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Insane Birthday Parties

March 16th, 2007 at 07:50 pm

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1581036,00.html

Interesting read - anyone with kids, particularly in California I am sure, has seen this.

I was just pondering this because I guess a big giant bouncy house is the norm for the 1-4 year old set. I do not get it in the LEAST!!! Sure the boys love going to all these fancy parties with bouncy houses and food galore. But it is just insanity. & the gifts too.

I simply do not play along. In fact, most of the time I specifically ask for no gifts. It has just gotten so out of control. I remember one of my first posts here I Was asking for frugal birthday gift ideas and a few people said I should be more worried about saving up money for my kids' birthdays. Look, the are 1 & 3 - why should I Save up a lot of money to throw a party???? Some favors form ebay and some snacks and pizza just about cover it. Betty Crocker cake or cupcakes make them pleased as punch. & the kids have had some really nice parties. Simple, but nice. The worst is feeding the crowd, and often we just serve appetizers to avoid that.

It's sad that so many people feel so strapped and yet do play along. I guess personally I just don't get it. Was thinking about it because kids just went to yet another super fancy party, and was just invited to one with a bouncy house for a 1 year old. ????? OF course the 1-year-old parties are ALWAYS the fanciest. I am not even sure if we even had one for 1 - LOL.

Often the thought crosses my mind, if this is for 1, um, how do you top this when they are 4, 5, 6... I guess the article alludes to what happens...

Hey my niece got a pony for her birthday - pony rides. YEesh. Just remembered that one - she turned 2.

9 Responses to “Insane Birthday Parties”

  1. PRICEPLUS Says:

    It almsot seems there is a competition sometimes to see who can throw the most lavish party! I don't get it but it seems to be becoming the norm these days!

  2. Cat Says:

    We like to do an old fashioned, low key birthday party and they are always a smash. Some parents seem to have an "ah ha!" moment, too, when they see how much fun the kids have with such simple arrangements. We usually have a scavenger hunt--and the birthday cake is the "prize" that's hidden somewhere at the end of the hunt. It's amazing how excited a bunch of six year olds can get over finding the birthday cake. We also play one or two games like freeze tag in the yard, or "fishing" out the window with a string tied to a pole (you or another adult attaches some little trinket or party favor). One of my thrifty friends gave crazy wheelbarrow rides at her daughter's birthday and the kids were begging for more, more, more. That costs zero.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Agreed - I have never felt pressure to do the big party. People don't seem to mind our low-key approach. I guess when you realize that it is easy to step back and not play along... Crazy wheelbarrow ride sounds pretty fun! LOL.

  4. KEALINA Says:

    i've seen that article... it's very crazy... first birthday are a big cultural event locally and lots of people have a big party which my DH and i have already decided we don't want to get sucked into...we're definately keeping it simple...i know a couple that actually spent about as much on their babies first birthday as we did on our wedding...

  5. Ima saver Says:

    What is a bouncy house???

  6. Carolina Bound Says:

    My kids never had one of those big parties. The most lavish it ever got was an overnight with friends, pizza and a video, and a nice breakfast in the morning. Of course, that was when they were somewhat older than the age group you're talking about. When they were toddlers, they didn't get parties, just a simple family gathering with cake and a camera. Pony rides for a two-year-old? That's nuts!

    Julie, a bouncy house is one of those inflatable "houses" that kids can enter and bounce around on the "floor." You see them at amusement parks sometimes. They can be rented for parties.

  7. Cat Says:

    I can't resist another comment. I've told my kids that we're not doing a birthday party every year. We're going to do it the way my mom did for us: On your birthday you get to choose what's for dinner, what kind of cake you want, and have a friend over for dinner. After dinner, there's the birthday cake and presents from the family. My mom always made a cake from a box, but still, I LOVED smelling it baking and liked knowing that the sweet smell in the house that day was for MY birthday. We do lose sight of the simple pleasures, don't we? We train our kids to want more.

  8. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Hmm..haven't seen one of those parties yet. But I'd like to. Not that I would throw one like that. But seriously some people do. My cousin had a huge baby luau "baby first birthday" party. With the works, clowns, 500+ people, face painter, chinese lion dance, bouncy thingy, etc. Crazy.

    But everyone had a great time, and my cousin wanted to do it. Wish I had been there to eat the great food though! Arrgh.

  9. LuckyRobin Says:

    We had a pony party for my daughter's 4th birthday. We split the cost with her best friend's family, who's daughter was born the day before mine. We got 2 hours at a pony farm that also had a petting zoo and they provided the cakes and clean up. We were out $50 each, and my daughter still talks about it 6 years later. But we did it because she was horse crazy. I figure one big party every 8 years or so per kid, if they are into it. Most of the time we don't have parties, just cake and ice cream after dinner. We let them open presents in the morning, because that's all they really want the minute the get up and I would have loved it as a child.

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