I grew up in the time of MTVS newly popular show “Sweet 16”. Do you remember that show were wealthy parents lavished their little darlings with excess after excess? I do. Vividly.
Our own children have a big party with friends years 1,5,10,15, and 18 out of compromise with the age we live in but every other year we choose an experience related adventure. The adventures have not been cheap by any means. We don’t view this as a frugality issue. So then why you ask not have Birthday parties for our precious babies every year?
Here are our top five reasons.
1. We don’t believe it’s healthy for kids to have so many toys. When our kids toy piles grow they usually become overwhelmed. In turn they end up throwing everything on the floor and play for a minute before choosing to head to another room with a prized possession for peace and solace. I sincerly believe having a party where your child receives 20 toys from loving friends and family is a little bit self destructive!
2. We want out kids day to be revolved around experience not material. How many cute little parties have themes and cakes and gifts all revolving around one specific theme? Usually from several trips to a party central store of course. That money to us would be better spent on a quality activity with the family instead of a party each year for each of our children with many thing bought that just end up disposed of anyway.
3. We are selfish and want to spend the day with our kids not entertaining. This reason is the most obvious to me. Every party we have thrown has been my husband and I trying very hard to take care of our guests with little time during the actual event (or even before) to love on the birthday child. A recent birthday for one of my children, that we did not have a party, was a perfect example of why we choose no party years. Our child this year received their gifts early in the morning to enjoy all day and choose to bring them up to Mom and Dad’s room to play with Mom and Dad for a large part of the morning. The joy, laughter and love we shared that morning is a memory we will cherish long after that toy breaks.
4. Birthday parties are ridiculously excessive nowadays. I’m sure they had over achievers in our parents day but now everything is so perfectly Pinteresty and etsy crafted it makes one feel over the whole venue. Perhaps it was growing up watching “sweet 16” that makes me roll my eyes at myself on the years I buy goody bag trinkets on perfect theme. Or maybe it is the fact that you think it brings out competition among friends throwing following parties. Or the sheer excess it encourages. Either way the novelty runs thin when parties are done frequently in this house.
5. It makes the years we have parties all the more special. Our middle child is very much looking forward to their party this year as it will be a big event. But they also enjoyed the event we visited last year. It’s all about tempered indulging!
Whether or not you celebrate big or modestly is such a personal choice for each family but I am in favor of bringing back some nuance of simplicity. And honestly some simplicity of expectation such as in the days my generation grew up! For these reasons we have chosen to make things simpler some years while still allowing our kids the experience similar to their friends other years.
Until next time be blessed and be a blessing friends!