New York City, USA
To celebrate my host brother's first tooth, 8 month birthday, and my host parent's two year wedding anniversary my host mom, Mary, planned a great big Atam Hadik with all of the traditional elements along with her modern style. Mary had a wonderful table set with sweet and savory food along with cakes decorated in English writing, and the wall behind decorated with Armenian letters and balloons.
There were two surprises at the party. First, after Hamlet was showered with the sweet bulgur mixture by his Tatiks and other guests, he chose tooth shaped papers for his career path. Mary wanted something different than the usual objects that denote different careers. As seems to always be the case, Hamlet didn't just choose one and was not particular in what he grabbed. Hamlet grabbed three teeth- the ones that were closest- and immediately put them in his mouth. His choices: business man, lawyer, or football player (soccer). All very lucrative and respectable.
The second surprise was even unknown to Mary. A woman came in to the party that she didn't know, but her cousin and sister were on it. She was Minnie Mouse! I was relieved she wasn't a clown, I was going to grab Hamlet and hide in my room. Minnie Mouse led the other kids and semi-willing adults in dances, games, and songs.
Mary and Manuk put in so much hard work for the party. There was a lot of pressure to have a well decorated and beautiful party table. In the end, everyone was able to enjoy the party and all was worth the work. For Mary it was an important milestone and she didn't once balk at the responsibility. In the USA many would have simply called a party planner. I am so happy I was around for such an important day in my host family's life, and look forward to sharing the memory with Hamlet when he is older.