Emma's Gotcha Day Video

Monday, February 8, 2010

Emma's Dol Party

Yesterday we officially celebrated Emma's 1st Birthday with a Korean American Dol Party. She did wonderful and loved all the excitement. I have been planning and preparing for a couple of weeks, hoping to make sure everything was perfect for our sweet girl. I always want to remember her birth culture and incorporate it into our lives. Family and friends joined us for the wonderful celebration of her birthday. There are many traditions associated with a Korean child's first birthday. We tried to include them as well as add some of our own. Here's some pictures of Emma's special day.

The Dol table is generally filled with fruit and stacked with items. This symbolizes prosperity for the child. We stacked fruit, gumballs, gumdrops, and cookies. It was a lot of fun decorating the gumdrop tree. Although I don't know how they get some of the items to stay in Korea. We used hot glue which meant the gumdrop tree wasn't for eating...
The backdrop was a quilt we got for Emma. I have made a tradition to get her a quilt on her birthday and other special occasions. I think quilts are a neat keepsake and she can use them later!

This is made from a styrofoam cone and 7 bags of gumdrop slices... and lots of hot glue!!!

A special thanks to SevenCupcakes for the cupcake toppers. They were adorable!!!

The cake was placed on Emma's great-grandmother's cake stand. I thought it would be neat to include something from each grand-grandmother.

The punch bowl also belonged to one of Emma's great-grandmothers as well as the utensil holders.

Instead of party favors, we decided to have a candy bar with treat bags for the kiddos to enjoy.

This is the Doljabee table. The items in the tray are presented to the birthday child and it is said that whatever she picks will signify what she will be in life.

Some were traditional Korean items...
Thread- long life
Wooden spoon- good cook
Money - wealthy
Book- scholar/excels in academics

And then we added a few of our own:
Bible- ministry
Softball- athletic
Stethoscope- Doctor/Nurse
Apple- Teacher
Lineman tool- Linegirl (this was an item picked out by Uncle Zak)

She choose the microphone during the Doljabee. It doesn't surprise me as she loves music. She dances to music, sings at church, and stops anytime she hears music. That's my girl. The next item she chose was the stethoscope, so it seems she might be a musical doctor! Maybe she will sing for her patients... The softball was the third item, which makes Daddy and big brother proud!

In the Korean culture, it is customary to give our towels as party favors. We made these and gave them to the Doljabee raffle winner. The rest were given to those who answered questions about Korea correctly.

Another component of a Dol is to have a blessing/prayer for the child. We had guests write a blessing or prayer on the photo frame and will put a picture of Emma in her hanbok in the frame and hang it in her room. I thought this was a neat keepsake for her special day.

There is always a picture of the child and the Dol table. Emma was interested in playing with the cake since it was so close!

This head covering is worn at the Dol. She kept it on for a few minutes. Usually they are too big, but Emma is big for her age, so it fit pretty well.

The Dol table

She loved the balloons!

Doesn't she look beautiful!

Mommy and Emma

Our wonderful family. We are so thankful for Emma. She is a blessing to us and we know God has big plans for her!

Her birthday outfit. Running around in her tutu.

We gave her a set of training chopsticks from Korea for her birthday. She liked them...and used them as drumsticks...musical, I think so!

This is Giggles, an asian message doll. I picked this up at a local boutique. She is asian and has a opening on the base to place a note. We wrote Emma a note and she can look at it when she gets older.

Her own cake to destroy...

She didn't know about it at first...but with time she managed to smush it and get it everywhere. It was so sweet, she even shared with Daddy, Chase, and Nana.

This is a day that our family will always remember. I want to thank all those who came and share this special day with Emma. An extra thank you to those who came and helped decorate, made punch, stacked cookies, blew up balloons, donated gumballs, cut up fruit, and helped clean up after. Thanks so much, we love you all!


  1. Oh it turned out so BEAUTIFUL! I am so happy you liked your cupcake toppers! Anytime you need anything you know where to find me:) Happy 1st Birthday Emma! You are one lucky little girl to have such wonderful parents & big brother that love you so much!!

  2. What a great celebration. I just found your blog on google... congrats to you and your beautiful family.

  3. What a beautiful, cute and informative blog. I'm glad to have found it while searching for dol party ideas. Thank you.
    Best wishes!

  4. I found your blog while I was googling for ideas for my daughters Dol.
    What a special story and a beautiful party. Thanks for sharing.