So I have 3 kids. And their birthdays are fairly close to each other and to Christmas. To say I’m tired of planning parties by January is an understatement. Sadly my 3rd kid is the January birthday. So not only does he have to deal with the 3rd kid syndrome, he also has to deal with the 3rd birthday syndrome. Sucks for him.
Anyhoo, do you remember how birthday parties used to be? You’d invite kids from the neighborhood to your party at your house. The kids walked there, in a nice party dress, ate cake and ice cream, you opened your presents, and the party ended. You were lucky to get pin the tail on the donkey or a clown. Oh have things have changed.
The Venue: Forget having it at your house. First of all- it’s not big enough. Unless you are one of the reality show housewives. My kids’ school tries to enforce an all inclusive birthday party. Which I totally understand on some level. No one should have their feelings hurt. But at some point, we need to prepare these kids for real life. Not everyone is invited to everything. I’m not saying rub their noses in it or exclude one child and invite all the others, but a party for 10 is a whole hell of a lot cheaper than a party for 20-30. Even if you only have 10, you need a venue. If you even think about having it at your house, you better make damn sure the entertainment makes it worth it. Hire a petting zoo or go carts or both!
The Food: You still serve cake but you also must have at least 4 other food options. Make sure they are free of preservatives, gluten, and taste great! These kids may have just eaten but they expect food. Cake is not enough. Even though they just had lunch. Even though the party only lasts 2 hours. We bring snacks to games that only last an hour. What do you expect?
Remember when cakes used to be baked by your mom at home? Just a cake with candles. No writing, no $10 plastic character on top. Just the cake. With icing. And candles. And because it was homemade it usually looked somewhat inappropriate. Or maybe that’s just me.
The Presents:Opening gifts in front of guests is a huge no no now. It would be insensitive to open presents because no one else is getting presents. WTH? It’s my kid’s BIRTH day! That person should get presents! Every kid should experience the joy of opening presents in front of a group of people who aren’t getting any. And every kid should also experience the anxiety of having the gift you brought judged by all the other kids. 😉 Besides, it eats up at least 30 minutes if not more of the party. Then you don’t need a magician! Score!
The Goody Bags: Food and entertainment isn’t enough. They need to leave with a goody bag! Because if the birthday boy is getting a gift, by God, every other kid should get one too! “Goody bag” is somewhat of a misnomer, isn’t it? By the time I start thinking about goody bags, I’m done. A quick trip to the 99 cent store or the $1 bins at Target and viola! Throw in some left over Halloween candy if you are feeling extra generous. Let’s face it, everything in the goody bag gets thrown away as soon as the kid gets home…or lost. Why are we doing it????
I guess this has become kind of a “back in my day” post, but seriously! Back in my day, we didn’t need fancy theme parties! We were happy to have all our friends together for some cake and presents! Let’s take back the birthday party! Stand up to the peer pressure of making it “the event of the season!”
Whose with me?