Birthday Parties: A sign of the apocalypse?

Is it just me or are birthday parties for kids getting seriously out of hand these days? What is up with the over-the-top themes, prizes, rental products, fancy cakes, and pricey goodie bags? Are these parents trying to buy friends for their children or make up for the fact that their kid acts like a spoiled brat all the time?

Parents start with a splashy first birthday party and then are forced to up the ante with each birthday party after. By the time a kid hits 12, mom and dad have depleted the college savings account and are dipping into their retirement fund. What happens to families today when they have spent every last dime on birthday parties? Will the deprived children rise up in protest, burning everything in sight? Probably.

Before the birthday party apocalypse is upon us, I am calling on every parent and every family to change your ways! Repent of this senseless spending and excessive celebrating! So what if your child has made it through another year, that has more to do with your achievements than theirs.

So next time your child’s birthday rolls around, get a babysitter and go out and celebrate the fact that you have successfully completed another parenting year. If you wish to include others in your celebration, maybe you could have a nice backyard barbecue.

You could even let your kids be there for it. If they bring you a present for your year of parenting.


About dirtyrottenparenting

I'm a parent of two lovely (most of the time) children. I work full time out of the home and I don't cook well, bake, sew, or do crafty things. I keep my high heels and jewelry at my office because there's no point in having them at home.
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28 Responses to Birthday Parties: A sign of the apocalypse?

  1. Kathy V. says:

    Yes! The kid needs to realize that I’m the one who did most of the work on the day of his birth, he should be thanking me, not demanding pony rides! Ungrateful little git. Seriously, though, this kid has an uncle who can juggle and make balloon animals, so I never intend to hire performers or rent inflatable houses or anything. I’ll just make my brother come to the party. It’ll be awesome when the kiddo turns seven. It’ll be HILARIOUS (for me) when he turns 16.

  2. It’s bad because I didn’t end up having a birthday party for my little guy because I kept offering suggestions to his dad and he would say either “well, no so-and-so already had one there” or “we need to do better than that” or “we’re not having them all over to our house”… so… nada – I threw in the towel! I’m pretty sure a simple barbeque would be awesome!

  3. Atlantic~mama says:

    Yup! I so understand this, having been to a few parties lately that were like this. Frankly, I cant afford to compete. My oldest is turning four next month and we are having a BBQ at his grandparents. The fact that they have a pool is a bonus! And the added bonus of free helpers to help watch the 3 month old and clean up. It’s perfect!

    • Just went to a party and felt woefully inadequate because apparently we didn’t know how much we had to spend on a birthday gift for some kid we’ve never met but our son goes to daycare with. Even if we could afford to compete, it’s not really what we’re about as parents.

  4. soapfismom says:

    Soapfi is still young enough that the birthday parties she’s had were more for our grownup friends and their older kids than they were for her. We have a tight knit group of hockey friends where we the “if we don’t invite so & so they will be offended” syndrome. So far we’ve managed to keep it reasonable – the first year was banquet room at the local pizza parlor – no rental fee, just had to buy a few pizzas and pitchers of beer, and the second year we only invited friends with kids Soapfi’s age and let them paint pottery at a local kids pottery studio. I just hope next year once she truly understands what birthday parties are she is okay with a small tea party in the dining room!

    • Having that set group of friends does make the early b-day parties easier. All our little girl got for her 2nd birthday was her 2 gifts and a cupcake to share between the 4 of us. Clearly I’m setting the bar low.

  5. theimmatureman says:

    My sons first birthday is coming up. After reading this I canceled Erik Estrada and the strippers.

  6. shannon2818 says:

    Love that idea – on my daughter’s next birthday, I’m going out to celebrate and i’ll ask for presents, (even though our kids’ birthdays are always low key)!!

  7. How about this one: A preschool classmate of my son’s had a birthday party complete with a limo to pick up each of the children. In PRESCHOOL! Go figure!

    • How do you top that one next year, helicopter rides? 7th birthday party trip to Disney? What pre-schooler gives a damn about a limo? I’m thinking way more money than sense in this case.

      • Totally Agreed. I have to admit that I likely wouldn’t have allowed my son to go, had he been invited (he was not invited). My reasoning is that a limo ride at 5 or 6 or 7 completely RUINS it for late years. “Been there, done that.” If you have a limo ride at 5 or 6, then what do you do to make prom or wedding special?

  8. kristina w says:

    i have ordered a pony ride for my 5 year old she rides in the odd lesson, its her birthday present and will be fun. i am doing my own food, my husdband is a baker so the well created cakes are easy for us. all decorations are recycled or from the dollar store. i do not spend a lot just food items. we know lots of kids from play groups so we have 15 to 19 kids coming. anyway just wanted to share it can be low cost, but fun and exciting.

    • Having a horse party for a kid who takes riding lessons doesn’t seem all that over the top. Unless by horse party you mean hiring an entire herd along with costumed trick riders to perform a show under your rented big top tent. Because that would be over the big top!

      • kristina w says:

        I’m not saying my party is over the top. I just wanted to share, what we were doing for my daughter. I am doing lots of recyled decoration, not sure why you would say” dosent seen all that over the top” . I put what were we doing and how much I was saving. And that my daughter will be excited about having her pony buddy share her day.

      • Not sure if you read the descriptor for my blog, but it does contain the word ‘humor.’ And ‘doesn’t seem all that over the top’ kind of means not over the top. But have fun with your recycled pony party!

  9. raspberrymel says:

    You are so right. Why put so much pressure on yourself? My daughter’s birthday is right around the corner and we’ll be having a backyard BBQ. I didn’t have elaborate birthday parties as a kid. It was family and close friends and it was just a nice time to spend together. However, I admit I am guilty of spending more than I should even on such a simple affair. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype and “expectations” even when you *think* you are keeping it simple. I couldn’t have read this post at a better time!

  10. Pingback: Parenting on the Cheap | dirtyrottenparenting

  11. Pingback: Happy birthday and sorry about the party | Dirty Rotten Parenting

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