Birthdays cost $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Currently obsessed with goodie bags? My daughters are fascinated with these trivial treats. They are a curiosity that I had never encountered until my girls became pre-schoolers and the birthday party gantlet entered our lives. I have discovered that this expectation bar is set high for no good reason. Children are receiving gifts for coming to a birthday party! How odd. You are treated for coming to a celebration for your friend.

When I was little we never expected to get anything more than a sugar rush. We were very eager to help the birthday kid eat some cake. And if it was a really good party ice cream too. Ahhhh to get that edge piece, with all that extra goopy icing was the biggest score.

Am I too old fashioned to think that is all to expect? I'm in the pre-planning phase of my soon to be 6 year-old's birthday party. (I have one month) I am really just considering whether we should have a party. Should it include her classmates? To be honest, I don't want to be spending a whole lot on this party just to impress her friends and their parents. Because that's not the point of her birthday party. I am terrified to think that this crazed practice of showering your party guests with gifts has become an expectation. I know that for her schoolmates it is. Which is why for the past 3 years we have kept birthday celebrations limited to family only. We purposefully plan trips to Grandma's house around the girls' birthdays. We are more relaxed and more likely to have fun with the family.

I'm afraid that we can't do it any longer. Leah wants a party with her friends and I don't think I can avoid the topic any longer. Sure I can be a tough mommy and say "Well honey, we just don't want to deal with the financial burden this party will levy on the family for you and your friends. We've run the numbers and it's just not in the budget. Perhaps if you were to seek some outside funding for this event we may be more inclined to provide that level of service for you and your guests", but I can't. Birthday parties were very important to me. Especially if there were kids invited that lived outside of my neighborhood. Having my friends over to eat my Mom's yummy cakes and gobble up ice cream was my idea of a good time. Being able to play and have fun was what I wanted, and maybe some cool toys too.

So I'm trying to think of a way to do both, and of course not sell my self out by making goodie bags. Maybe a small party, 2-3 friends. I'm thinking that a cookie/cupcake decorating party would be fun. That way the guests get a goodie bag and I won't exactly feel like I'm selling out...all the way.


Anonymous said…
Often times simplicity is more enjoyable them pomp. Go for a simpler party, they just might enjoy it more! Just found your blog clicking on the "Randomn Blog" link on Take care!

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