For my birthday last year, I decided to get myself a piñata and beat it with a dowel in my backyard. I mean, I invited friends. It was actually a lot of fun - so I wanted to repeat it this year, except do it without those 1) crappy piñatas you get at a hispanic grocery that's made of a balloon covered in party hats with Justin Bieber's picture or something, and 2) piñatas they sell at the big box stores that are made of solid cardboard and require a systematic decapitation with a police nightstick (true story; he was an officer stopping by the convenience store next door, sympathetic to our plight as violent candy-seekers).
So I made my own for my birthday this year! Naturally, it is a yak.
It was made with three balloons, some phone book pages, maybe about two and a half cups of flour and water, a few tablespoons of acrylic paint, and three rolls of crepe paper. Actually... probably at least 8 hours of work spread out over 3-4 days. But it was good, fun work that didn't feel like work.
I love celebrating my birthday. It's the one get-together I can organize that implies people will actually show up, and I can arrange all kinds of random stuff I would never think of doing for any other holiday (read: things I couldn't get away with). For example, this weekend I am going to force my husband to sit through 6 hours of Star Wars movies with me. Why? BECAUSE IT'S MY BIRTHDAY.
An awesome resource for piñata making is pinataboy.com - so if you've got the urge, I say go for it. It's awesome. And while it's natural to feel sad about breaking such a cute little yak, pinataboy says "Remember, piñatas LOVE to get whacked and smashed! It's the most fun a piñata can ever have!"