Can we talk about how rough not only hosting, but also attending kids’ birthday parties are these days?
I don’t know, maybe they have always been awkward things. Perhaps it is because we happen to live in a neighborhood where the majority of residents can afford to be lavish when planning these events. There is a part of me that wishes it could all be scaled back though.
My oldest went to a birthday party a few weekends ago where the goody bag he was sent home with at the end must have cost the hostess more than my gift to the birthday child. That’s a little twisted, don’t you think? The entire concept of the little loot bags has been taken to a *keep up with the Jones* mentality. I’m not the first to rant about this:
And most of the time, I don’t want my kids to have the stuff that winds up in those overpriced baggies to begin with. I’ve seen people put in lollipops and hard candy at parties for children under 5 years old. And please, whomever created that hard-as-wood AirHeads taffy crap must have been an out of work dentist. Those tiny plastic toys? If they don’t break on the car ride home, then I’m trying to figure out on to store these things on top of everything else. Why do we keep doing this to one another because I know you probably aren’t thrilled bringing these sugar-laden handfuls home either.
We could talk about being the hostess for your child’s birthday party and how much it really sucks when so few people bother to RSVP. How hard is it to let someone know that you can or cannot attend? When my oldest was seven years old, we invited about half the class (what we could afford at the time) and only TWO people responded. To top that off, only one was a yes. When we lived in that neighborhood, I listened to other mothers make the same complaint. After watching my child go through having only one person show up (and me still having to pay the for the entire 15 child package), I’ll move hell and high water to make it to yours.
We could talk about being the attendee going to someone’s party. It would be nice when I do respond and I ask what they child might like for their birthday that you have a few suggestions on hand. I don’t have a lot of money (read: barely any), so the last thing I want to do is spend $20 on something that the kid will never use. I actually resorted to Target gift certificate the last time a mom couldn’t give me a clue. I hate giving gift certificates! It’s so impersonal, there is no gift for the kids to unwrap, but trying to get my son to figure out what the girl might like is as difficult at getting him to remember to pick up his towel after the shower.
We are lucky. We have been able to attend some pretty amazing birthday parties and I will always be grateful for the experiences. And I can’t begin to express my thankfulness to those who have enjoyed being at parties we have thrown for our children.
This year though, we did not have host any parties. For the twins birthday, we took them to Animal Kingdom and for my oldest son, we celebrated at Legoland this year. I think until we moms can come to an agreement on perhaps scaling back at bit – traveling out-of-town and bringing some cupcakes to the cafeteria upon our return will become a new tradition.
Do you agree that only the birthday child needs to receive a gift at the party? Is there a petition to end the goody/loot bags somewhere we could all sign?
xoxo ~ Melissa