Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thoughts on kids birthday parties...

Totally unrelated photo of my kid
looking like a hobbit :-)
Yesterday one of N.'s classmates had a 3rd birthday party. This is only the second one we've been to, the first was for a one-year-old and it was at Gymboree (which is too expensive for me but was so much FUN!). This one was in the house, themed with our favourite little orange disney fish, and had somewhere near 20 kids (each of which had at least one, if not both, parents), aged 1.5 up to 8 (mode age was 3). N. behaved wonderfully, wasn't overly shy, didn't throw a tantrum, and we had a really nice time.

It did, however, teach me more about birthday parties in this day and age.

The surprises:
- the three-year-olds were the best behaved. There was one kid of about 7 who was obnoxious enough for the whole group.
- kids don't open presents at their parties these days, I guess it's considered poor ettiquette. our parties used to go *play games-eat cake-open gifts*. This time we just handed them over to a huge table and went about our business
- parents stay (which I like because I don't know anyone whose house I'm visiting ahead of time), and the hosting parents provide lovely nibblies including brie and fruit and a really great guac ;-)

The disappointing but not so surprising:
- You need a gimmick. A theme is a minimum, but it seems destination parties are better. We missed one over the break that was at a health complex with a kids zone, and then there was the Gymboree party. What ever happened to taking kids to McD's and buying happymeals?
- Wine and beer? i understand it's for the moms and dads (duh), but really, if you need beer to enjoy a kids party you have other issues.
- The size of the gifts was intimidating. I like to give books, coloring books, stickers, etc. - creative things. The boxes looked like they contained Big Wheels or something. If I put out even $20 on a gift, that means averaging hundreds of dollars a year going to all the classmates' parties. Nuh-uh.

N. hasn't had a party yet and likely won't until we move back home. We have the tradition of the Grammie Birthday Visit, which we really enjoy. Plus, our apartment can't hold that many people, we can't afford a 'destination', and I would rather spend money on food and clothes for my own family than camembert for 30 other adults.

When we do have one, my theme will be "crafty afternoon with stuff I have in my stash", whether it's all boys, or boys and girls ;-)

1 comment:

Kaye said...

Yeah that's a good point, I think when we were kids, they did open the presents at the party. Now they don't. Weird.
I'm comfortable being an evil mom that doesn't hold bday parties and only lets her kids attend a few.