Birthday Party, or not?

As the boys Birthday’s are drawing closer, I am starting to wonder if I actually want to throw a party or not. We have thrown Birthday Parties for the last 7 years. A few have been at our home, and a majority have been at other places. Here’s the thing: When did it become mandatory to throw these shindigs?! They are expensive as all get out!

We have attended a couple of parties here in our new town and, um, they take it up a notch. Kids are getting Michael Jordan basketballs as favors, snowman kits, huge bags of goodies. I used to just give out mini bags of candy! One party had full blown catering, with cheese platters for adults, fulls size meals, and more! We also have attended the normal play parties, gymnastic parties, and rec parties. Each party finds a way to have something where I’m going, “seriously?!”

While attending another party this past weekend for Alex, another Mom and I started discussing the topic. Her son actually just turned 6 and I was telling her how Alex thought the number 6 cookies she made were awesome. She’s also baker in town. Now, she immediately apologized and told me just so I know, there was no birthday party for this boy. I told her (we are friendly), “No, No, No it was just cute that Alex mentioned them. He is my picky eater after all”. She was relieved, and we started talking about how the parties are exhausting.

We as Mom’s don’t usually get any pleasure out the parties. There is the planning, the invites, the decorating, the cake, the food, the RSVPing, the PAYING!

Last year, because we wanted to distract the boys from my Mom’s death we spent about $1000 on parties. Facepalm. One wanted a bowling party. One wanted a Bounce U party. Both were expensive, majorly expensive. Now, the boys did have an amazing time at each party. They fully enjoyed being the center of attention. They also were extremely ungrateful, and kept waiting to see if the next gift would be better than the last. It was a HUGE deflation.

I remember having a couple parties growing up, but my most memorable birthdays were spent on vacation with my family. We would spend the week on the cape, being beach bums for the week. My Mom, and  oldest sister would bake me a cake, decorate it with penny candy from a local store, and we would go out for dinner. It was perfect, and created some of my fondest memories. I want the boys to look at their birthdays like that. Not with what they got, or how big it was, but who it was with, and how happy they were.

So, now this year, even though we have discussed having a double party at the house, I think we will go without. I feel like a day out, their favorite meal, and a special gift is enough. I don’t want them to be spoiled, or ungrateful. I don’t want them to EXPECT these huge parties every year. Most importantly, I don’t want them to think money grows on trees.

I had posted to Facebook and Twitter asking for feedback. Most people agreed that the parties were unnecessary. There were even some great ideas on what else can be done. One of my favorites came from Rachel who said they have an end of the school year party instead. They invite all their kids classmates and have lawn games. How much fun would that be instead! A party to celebrate everyone! Something when its not cold, I don’t need a venue, and everyone won’t be crammed in my house. I feel like I am leaning more towards that.

I will continue to put it out there though: Do you do a party every year? Do you think Birthday parties every year are necessary? If you do ,how much do you spend every year? If you don’t, what do you do instead? I would love the feedback, as I still have this pang of guilt for not throwing the party for them.


Erin

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4 thoughts on “Birthday Party, or not?

  1. I have four children – with three girls in the months of March, April & May. It would be a complete waste of money to throw an expensive party every year. It annoys me that you pay top dollar and they are only an hour and half – tops two!! Its that crazy? Last party we did at a bounce house – I whispered into my hubby ear, “This is costing us $5 a minute” Picture throwing down a five dollar bill every minute!!!! Then “POOF” its over. Done!! We have a party in the house with family and maybe a close friend or two for each child, but only do the large parties on a milestone or every few years, alternating between children. I agree, this is getting out of hand – I’d rather save the money and put it towards college. They’ll thank me in the long run!! Great Post!!!

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    • That $5 a minute comment is SPOT ON! These venues really know how to feed on our desperation for happy kids! When I told my husband I didn’t think he would be on board, but he said those magic words “you’re right”. Smart smart man!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t do parties. Granted, my girl is only two years old. Maybe it will change as she gets older. But I come from a family where we don’t celebrate birthdays. We do go out for dinner and give modest presents, but that’s all. No sending out invitations, no decoration, no renting tables and places, no breaking-the-bank party favors to hand out. It is just not the tradition in my family.

    Now, my mother in law LOVES to throw party. She probably host party every month, lol. When it comes to my daughter’s birthday, we compromised to celebrate her birthday BUT only within family, AND only by having a lavish picnic at a public park.

    So far, it works well. Let’s see in a couple of years 😉

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    • I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for the fact that the boys birthdays are 3 days apart, we probably wouldn’t have this post. However, because they are that close and they’re getting older, they want different things. Its just become too much.
      I’m right with you Anita, I like the idea of something modest. Eli is toying with taking them somewhere for the weekend, and just making it family time. My Mom was all about throwing them their parties as well. There is something about how happy the parties make them that makes us happy as well.
      You’re luck though because your daughter is still a toddler 🙂

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