Are big birthday parties inevitable?

June 20, 2008 3:26pm CST
Hello, My son is about to finish his first year at primary school. He has attended about 20 birthday parties this school year. Although I always vowed to keep his parties small and simple, I agreed just this once to have a big party for with all his class in a soft play area. Mainly as I didn't want him to be the odd one out. Its expensive and I wonder what we'll do with all the pressies he gets. Any suggestions? From wee chats with other mums in the schoolyard, most people feel the same. We end up spending money on presents that kids don't need. Then all the wrapping paper and plastic that things come in, can't be good for the environment. How do other people get around this?
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3 responses
@chitchat (179)
• United States
20 Jun 08
Before my daughter's last birthday, I only did small parties with family. About two years ago she started getting invites to classmates' birthday parties and these were a big deal--from inflatable indoor playgrounds to gymnasiums to indoor water parks. I did feel like I had to get her in the game and compete with the other kids for cool birthday parties. For her seventh birthday last november, I caved and allowed her to have a birthday party with her friends at the movie theater. They have private party rooms for cake and presents, the birthday girl was allowed to choose and reserve seats in the theater, and before the movie started her birthday was announced and all the viewers sang happy birthday. They also got free popcorn and a drink. She had fun and I'm glad we did it for her, but it was expensive. I don't plan on doing it again for her next birthday. I was thinking maybe a small party for family every other year and a big one with friends on the alternating year.
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20 Jun 08
Thanks for the suggestion. We'll just enjoy the party this year. Someone once suggested me giving out envelopes for donations to a kid's charity to parents instead of them bringing presents. I wondered about this. I think our son would have been miffed not to get presents this time. Maybe try it next year. Cheers
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24 Jun 08
Hi. I do the same thing. Its just trying to keep up with the "Jones". Its hard to say no when kids are young and there peers are getting things. talk to your child and see if he would donate it to the homeless shelter are ask for donations to something that he is interested in. With that said he is just a kid. Happy Birthday to him!!
29 Jun 08
Thanks for your input, we'll be wiser next time. We had the party and it was fun. Next year we'll try and organise donations instead of plastic toys. Its worth a try!
• Canada
20 Jun 08
Things sure have canged in the last twenty years!!!! When I was little we had parties, but not nearly as big as the ones that children are having tese days. I would have just had the simple party, were I in the same situation, and taught my child that a larger one really isn't needed. If ithers were to ask him about it, hopeully, again were it me, the child would have learned enough to say "I didn't need a big party. Your friendship and a small gift is fine. I don't need all the fancy frills." You want to talk parties? I'm trying to plan my WEDDING with the same philosophy.
21 Jun 08
Yes we'd hoped to just do a wee party. In the end we gave in as a one off. As for our wedding we just had a small one with us and our son. It was lovely. We didn't have a party afterwards. We since had another son so are christening him next weekend and having a garden party afterwards. Hope the weather is good. Years ago we had planned a wee wedding in Santorini with a party for friends and family afterwards but we cancelled the whole thing for lots of reasons. I think with a small budget all you need is a space to fit the guests, buffet food and good music. You can decorate yourself. Your guests will have fun anyway I'm sure. Enjoy planning it.