Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Don't Get It

(It's my car's turn to be in today. Crossing fingers it won't cost more than it is worth. I can still sell mine for around $2500.)

This seems to be the month for a lot of my girlfriends' kids' birthdays. So I've been hearing a lot of moaning and groaning about how much kids' birthday parties are costing these days -- around $2000.

Normally, I wouldn't speak up about things like this as we don't have kids so don't understand the need for 1st, 2nd, 3rd birthday parties but when the subject of party budget came up, I felt the need to voice my opinion as a 3rd party observer.

We covered a number of good points. One was why are you even doing this? The most common reason was for the pictures so that when their kids grow up, they can look back at what their 1st birthday party consisted of.

My view was a 1 yr old doesn't care about their birthday. And I don't think a 16 yr old looking back at 1 yr old birthday photos are going to care much either. If you are doing it so that your kid won't accuse you of being a bad parent for not doing it, then you need to question your definition of "good parent".

Well, that went over well. I think this falls under the same umbrella as substituting a baby for a doll or playing house with a real house or planning a wedding without realizing what marriage means.


  1. Oh Ha! You would think so wouldn't you? MY thirty-something daughter thinks I deprived her as a child because I didn't giver her any fancy parties.

    Now she gives them to her son instead.


    Go figure, Can't please 'em.

  2. $2000 are you kidding me!!!! I don't think you need to have kids to realize that is way over the top ridiculous! Honestly people need to give their heads a shake or two and come back to the real world.

  3. $2000! That is absurd! What happened to some hot dogs/pizza, cake, pin the tail on the donkey etc.? That can't be more than $100 tops! I helped out at my niece's 5th birthday last year. The kids were thrilled to watch a rented movie, eat popcorn and candy, and play dress up all afternoon. Put that "extra" money into an education savings plan and your kids will be happy that they don't have to take out as many student loans, rather than having pictures of an event they don't even remember! I think it's those absurd tv shows like Party Mamas that give people the impression they have to throw lavish parties for small children. I'm too much of a pragmatist I guess.

  4. You must live in LA or something. There are a lot of people who are over the top. The average person does not spend $2K on a birthday party, even today.

    Our 4th birthday party this year at a local museum for which we did not lift a finger cost well under $200, including pizza, cake, and goody bags. For the 3rd party we went to his daycare and made cupcakes with his class. That, including goody bags was under $50. First and second we just had family over (~$20 for the food and cake). These are the kinds of things the kids in his classes do too.

    I do remember when I was in kindergarten that I went to a rich kid's estate for a birthday party. They had a magician and peacocks and all sorts of stuff. So excessive parties happened 30 years ago too. Mine that year was at our apartment complex and we had a pinata and decorated straw hats. Pin the tail on the donkey may have been involved.

  5. Hi Roberta;

    How could she miss something she would barely remember or find significant at the time?

    I still think parents are doing more for themselves.

    Maybe I am just saying that because I didn't have my first birthday party until I was 13!

    Hi Sue, psychsarah & Nicole!

    When I did have my birthday party, it consisted of my 3 best friends and we went out for a chicken dinner and my birthday cake (ice cream) for dessert.

    Much less then $2000. I didn't and still don't feel deprived.

    My mom believed having parties where you just invited everyone in the class didn't make any sense. She wanted to wait until I had some really good friends.

    Until then my birthday consisted of dinners with family.