Party People in the House
I’m lucky; two out of my three kids still don’t really care about having a birthday party with their friends. Get them a bouquet of mylar balloons, let them lick the icing off the tops of a few cupcakes, and they’re set for another year. Presents are even optional at this point.
Unfortunately, the simple approach won’t suffice for my oldest. She’s got to keep up with the Joneses – all of her friends who’ve had slumber parties and bowling excursions.
To be honest, I’m putting the pressure on myself not to skimp on the festivities. She’s attended some nice, but not over the top, parties and I want to reciprocate. It’s not a matter of outdoing anyone, but merely returning the favor.
While she’s thrilled to spend the night at friends’ houses – remember, this is the child who flew alone to Washington DC when she was barely six – I realize that many of her friends aren’t yet prepared to do the same, at least not without a tearful 2 a.m. call to their parents, imploring to be picked up. So it seems that a slumber party will have to wait.
Likewise, we’re both tired of the mass outings to hosted parties where all you have to do is show up, but you pay an arm and a leg for the convenience. Not worth it, especially when the assumption is that the whole class will be invited, which can get uber-pricey.
So we’ll do something at our house for a couple hours. I’ve got a few ideas – some traditional, some not so traditional – that I’m prepared to execute. I’ll run them past the birthday girl and see what strikes her fancy. Maybe her party won’t be the first grade event of the year, but she and her guests will enjoy it. Hopefully so will I.
What is your attitude about children’s birthday parties? The more over-the-top the better or do you like to keep things simple?