Birthdays gone wild

February 2, 2007

Birthday party planning has been on my mind a lot lately. Part of it is due to Noah's upcoming birthday and his daily countdown (not to mention all of the things he plans to do once he's 4 like learning to drive!). And part of it is culture shock. Since returning to the States we have been invited to several birthday parties...which turned out to be more like galas for preschoolers. Seriously obscene events with multiple jumping/bouncy house/cages, hired performers, three tiered cakes, professional fireworks displays, mounds of presents, and thousands of kids (ok I exagerated...but thirty preschoolers feels and sounds like a thousand!). Whatever happened to those parties of my youth...homemade cake, a few balloons (regular blow-them-up-yourself, not fancy helium), family members, and a few friends? We never had any of the now mandatory "goody bags" or the fancy Martha Stewart style party decor. If turning four means a catered yacht club party, what happens when you turn five? and I can only imagine how sickly sweet 16 will be.

Earlier this week Noah brought home his weekly preschool newsletter which included an article on ways to eliminate the stress of party planning. The article sited a website called I visited the site and at first found solace in the fact that I am not alone in my discomfort and judgements (oops there goes my judgemental mama voice again), but the more I read the more disturbed I became. How have we allowed ourselves to get to a point where we need to have on-line support, school newsletters, and specific guidance on how to plan parties that are fun, less stressful, less expensive, and not over indulgent?

I'll be sure to post photos of Noah's four year old gala next week.
Anonymous said...

Oh Lucia, I feel your pain. I cannot make myself do the party thing. I think birthdays are for family and maybe a couple of friends. At our house, we make and decorate cupcakes and open a couple of presents. We also try to do a special family outting, like the zoo.

(Judson, Sawyer, & Ansley's mom)

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