Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Outrageous Kid Parties

Yahoo's 2nd birthday is coming up soon and I was searching the Internet the other day looking for some cake ideas and maybe some simple decorations. Nothing fancy. We aren't having a party, just cake and desserts after dinner.

However, while I was searching I was really surprised at how crazy some parents get over their kids birthday parties! This clip from the Talk really shocked me. Watch the first minute at least, a ball gown for a 6 year old?

Okay, that mom in the beginning was just nuts. How can you justify spending that much money on a 6 year old! I didn't spend that much money on my own wedding!

I also came across this post on a chat board.
 I know everyone is very busy lately but can we talk about our LO's first birthday party? This is my first child and I am feeling overwhelmed by the thought of her turning 1 soon. We are planning to have her birthday party at our house. May be 40 adults and 19 kids. I don't know how we are going to handle those kids. I just finished guest list and menu. However, I still have to send invitation/evites. Our parties are usually around meal time so we will have lunch for our guests. DH have decided to buy some toys and a diamond ear rings for her. I know she is her princess LOL. Since this is my first child, can you ladies please help me with some party preparations by sharing how's your birthday preparation coming up?

1) What is theme of your party?
2) What do you put in goody bags?
3) Sams club, Publix, or some other place for birthday cake?
4) Any party games for kids/adults?
5) What is your menu?

Diamond earrings for a 1 year old?? Dang! It took me till I was 34 to get diamond earrings! And 60 guests??? For a first birthday? Why? She won't even remember it!

I have a friend in Virginia who was shocked when her 7 year old son received birthday party invitations that included where the birthday child was registered for gifts! When she in turn sent out invitations for her own son's party with a 'no gift' request she had other mothers call and ask if it was a typo!

This year, since starting school, Yip and Yap have gone to a few birthday parties which included their whole kindergarten class, 18 kids, being invited. It always surprises me at these parties when 18 kids show up and the birthday boy/girl receives 18 presents and not just small book or Hot Wheels cars but some gifts were pretty big items.

Yip and Yap and I have already discussed their 7th birthday. They'd like a party, which is fine, but I can't justify asking every kid in their class to bring two gifts to fill up our house with toys which they probably won't play with. I don't see any problem with the 'no gift' request. I see birthday parties creating greedy little monsters out of kids! What is the point of inviting friends for a party? Do we want to have fun with our friends or rake in the booty? The boys and I have decided that for their birthday,at the end of the summer, we'll invite kids over for an art party where we'll have different art supplies and crafts set up and everyone can create their own masterpiece to take home. 'No Gifts' enforced. Does a fun party have to include tons of presents or fancy expensive attractions to keep kids busy? I don't think so.

We've never been a huge birthday party family. Some cake, ice cream and a few presents with grandparents and family in attendance. Yahoo's 2nd birthday won't be huge, and she definitely won't be presented with diamond earrings! She might have her uncle Marlboro Man in attendance but that will be the only family since everyone else is 1000 miles away. She's getting a couple toys and a big girl bed that's it. I did find a simple cake idea that Yahoo will love!

Using Mr. Potato Head parts for the cake and cupcakes. Too cute! (and easy) Plus Yahoo can help with decorating her own cake.

I think the Talk is right, these huge parties are more for the parents than for the kids. I can't justify a huge party when kids are so young they won't remember it. Now when they turn 13 or 16, that's a different story. I think a big party with lots of friends is a great idea but still I don't plan on spending tons of money, or asking others to, on my kids' birthday parties. No ball gowns. No crystal carriages. No pony or hot air balloon rides.

What is the craziest kid birthday party you've ever been to? What's your stance on the 'no gift' policy at parties? Am I wrong? Would you or have you throw a huge party for your kid's birthday?


  1. With both girls' birthdays so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had our first parties this year and asked that everyone bring a hat or gloves to be donated to those who need them (we have a "Giving Tree" at school during Christmas time. Some did bring an additional gift, but most were small or handmade.

    Another idea is to ask guests bring canned goods for a local food pantry.

    We just told the girls that their gift from their friends was to have them in their house to visit and play. Their family would take care of their presents. They handled it all pretty well, and learned about giving to those in need.

    Hope this helps!

  2. I completely agree with you! When Hadley turned 1 last August we wanted to have a first birthday party for her, but we also wanted to have a lake party with our friends. Since I don't get very many weekends off, we were trying to stuff it all into one.

    We didn't want our friends to feel obligated to buy gifts for Hadley. We instead opted for the family b-day party on Friday night and then had our friends out to the lake the next day just to hang out. It ended up working out great. Of course we still got some gifts from close friends who wanted to buy Hadley a birthday present because they knew she had just turned 1, and that was okay.

    I have a friend in Indy that goes all out for her daughter's birthday. She stresses months in advance about how she's going to pay for the maddness. Last year when her daughter turned 5, she rented equipment to have a red carpet appearance at the house where the girls came in big dresses and got professional pictures as they entered the house. She had a runway set up inside too w/ pictures. The girls then got into a limo and went to build a bear where she paid for all of the bears. After that they traveled in the limo to Chuck-E-Cheese, in which she paid, and then back home. Whew! OVER THE TOP!!! (and just absolutely ridiculous!)

  3. When I see shows like that (and that repulsive Toddlers in Tierras) I just want to throw something at my tv! The most extravagent party we've thrown was when Sweet Pea turned 5 and we went to Chuck E Cheese. She had 4 other kids there to celebrate with her, cake, pizza, play time and presents. First birthday with Sweet Pea we invited everyone we were friends with... too much! Our house isn't big enough for that. Now our typical party until they are about 5 or 6 is grandparents and aunts come over, godparents if they can make it, and we have some food, cake, and presents. When they are old enough to start wanting friend parties then it's party games at our house with basic (but pretty) decorations, cake and ice cream, and presents.

    I just bought Little Man's birthday presents (turns 2 on the 13th!) and I got him a Mr. Potato Head and a Little People car/hill thing. I spent $18, which is fine considering he'll get presents from his grandparents and aunts!

    I love the Potato Head cake idea!

  4. I agree that a lot of people are taking things WAY too far with their kids parties now! I just went to a third bday party, and it was adorable. It was at the neighborhood's clubhouse, they served pizza and ice cream, and asked kids to come dressed as their favorite fairytale characters. They all had a blast, and it wasn't huge or expensive!

    My other favorite kids party ever happened to be one of my own (of course!), where we invited the whole class to the skating rink and had a "skate party" there for a couple of hours-it was a blast!

  5. I guess I should clarify from the last comment-the skate party was one my parents threw me when I was about 7, and skating was still cool ;)

  6. Glad to know so many of you moms are 'level headed' when it comes to birthdays.

    Carrie, I can't imagine stressing myself out for months over a five year old's party. Wow.

    Yahoo's getting a pair of cowgirl boots and a magnetic Melissa and Doug dress up doll. Probably about $50 all together but I know they'll be well used and played with gifts. She's always stealing her brothers boots to wear!

    Thanks for the great comments ladies. I love reading what everyone has to say.

  7. Wow! It's kind of crazy what people will do for their kids.

    I have a few friends who went over the top for their child's first birthday party and a few who kept it low key. I understand the desire to have a large party - especially since in some cultures the first birthday is a huge event as it means there is a good chance the baby's going to live - but any parties are really for the parents, not the child.

    When I have kids, I don't know whether or not we'd throw a huge party when our kid turns one. The only reason I would do it is to see people that I hadn't seen in a while! haha.

  8. HAHA. . .I have left this marked in my reader because I wanted to see what kind of comments were left. :)

    We try very hard to keep things simple. That's hard to do when just inviting immediate family means 30 people. UGH! The older kids get to pick a couple of friends to invite over & we usually do bowling or miniature golf with them. That to me is a big enough stress!

    Then you have the neighbor that does it BIG. Every year my kids ask "why do they get to do THAT for their birthday". THAT would be a petting zoo, pony rides, a huge bounce house, cook out. . . .you get the picture. Of course the frugal side of me looks at it and sees all the money that was just wasted on kids that will never truly appreciate it.

    Hard to believe Yahoo is 2 already!! Looks like you had a great family time. Which is what it should all be about!


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