Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Ultimate Birthday Party

When we hosted Mini-me's first birthday party, I spent ridiculous amounts of money including $65 for a birthday cake. For her second birthday, we had her party at the Teddy Bear Factory. Ten children attended, including her, and I'm sure I spent in the neighborhood of $300. Looking back, I realize it was completely ridiculous. Not that I think her birthday shouldn't have been special, but come you think she remembers a thing of it? We don't even have that stupid bear from the second one any more. After that, I made a mental promise to myself that we would no longer go overboard on birthdays. Only the biggies get a little more attention. (5, 13, 16..and 18 when we kick her out of the house. Just kidding.)

I was reminded of our past events when Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer linked to Birthdays Without Pressure, and I started reading some of the most outlandish behavior on the part of some parents. I think it is unfortunate what is happening in our society of keeping up with the Jones'.

After Mini-me's second birthday party, we attended the party of a dear friend's daughter. It was at her house. Mom made the cake. She had traditional and not over the top decorations. It was during the week so her stay at home mom friends came with their kids. We had chips, dip and soda....and cake with juice boxes for the kids. After the gifts were opened, the kids played with the toys while the mommies sat around, talked and RELAXED...including the mom. Honestly, it reminded me of when I was five years old, and I loved it.

Why had I allowed myself to get trapped into this each year topping the next? By the time Mini-me's four year party was coming up, she told me that if she couldn't have a party like her cousin's, she didn't want one. Can I tell you how much money you save when you don't have a party at all? =)

Last year we knew we were moving. So I called a local beauty school and got a package for her and five of her friends to get their nails, hair and makeup done. (Super cheap since they were students.) They wore their own princess costumes; my best friend made the cake* and I ordered $5 pizzas for lunch. She loved it!

Since we've been in Edmond we've attended several birthday parties. It is VERY relaxed around here. Mom's have made cakes and instead of gift bags they do a craft...which I love. We still have our Terra Cotta bird feeder and potted plant outside the apartment. We'll never be the same again. And can I just say, "Whew!"

*I admit that my friend who makes our cakes is a professional. So, I was very spoiled with our cakes. Now that we've moved to Edmond, I'll be at Target like every one else!


Molly Coddled said...

Nearly sixteen years ago when my son turned two, I went ALL OUT on his birthday party. I spent over a thousand dollars: ponies, Mickey Mouse, popcorn machines, professional sound equipment, snow cone machines, etc. I even went to the local children's gym and hired them to bring there equipment to my backyard and supervise the kids for 2 hours. It was the talk of the neighborhood.

And I have one lone video to show for all of it.

I learned my lesson back then.

Barb said...

I honestly think we parents get more excited about the first few birthdays than the kids get. Seriously. I did the same thing. Over the top.

Once I got over myself, LOL, I realized you don't have to spend a lot of money for the kids to love their parties. One of the most successful and fun parties I ever did was for Krissy's 9th - I bought cheap white canvas sneakers for each kid and puff paint. We had a paint your sneakers part and a cookout. Hamburgers and hot dogs. The kids themselves were the entertainment.

I think it's the one birthday party Krissy really remembers because all her friends had so much fun and were so proud of their silly, gawdy painted sneakers.

Live and learn. Don't ask me what I spent on Krissy's baby shower though. My first grandchild. You know. Sigh.