Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Too Many Birthdays

I have four kids. 

They all get invited to birthday parties quite regularly.

That means that I'm shelling out some serious moola for some random kids' birthday on a regular basis.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good birthday party as much as the next fool, but the madness of it all is costing me a small fortune.

I try to buy little toys and art supplies on clearance.  I have a box of clearance toys in the closet that I can pick from when we get an invitation.  But then some times I wonder, "Do they know that this is a clearance item and not really something hand picked for them?"  Then I think, "Duh, they are just kids, they don't really know the difference-- right?"  Hopefully the parents are too busy to notice the bargain gift that I just pawned off on their kid.

I usually go with said bargain toy, candy, and art supplies.  I have my child add a personalized note and call it quits.

When it's my kid's birthday I go with the family angle.  We make a huge deal about their birthday at home.  I decorate, buy presents, let them pick a cake, dinner, character paper plates, and we do a big family activity (like Six Flags or a water park) and invite their cousins along. 

I have never had a birthday party with all of their friends from school for any of my kids.

Since I hate all of the bazillion parties we end up going to-- it's only fair that I don't torture anyone else with my kids' parties either.

It's madness-- madness I tell you!

Who's with me?


annie said...

I am with you! I used to do birthday parties, but decided the stress, mess and crappy presents just weren't worth it!

Leca said...

10 minutes after I posted this I got a phone call. My boys are invited to another party for this weekend. Will it ever end????

Julaine said...

Your kids get invited to every party because they're fun kids, and that clearance box of toys must have some good gifts in it. What I've seen, some of the most "fun" and played with gifts are the cheap ones.

heather said...

I'm so with you. And I am also tired of the crazy expensive/outrageous parties the parents are throwing to boot. How about the one that my 3rd grade daughter was invited to a few Saturdays ago. The first 2 hours was swimming at the local indoor pool. Then over to the kids house for 3 hours of eating pizza, cake, ice cream and opening presents, and then they watched a movie. Then they all went to the bowling alley for 2 more hours, and this was a party where pretty much EVERY CHILD from their class at school had been invited. 22 kids. Absolutely insane if you ask me. I am all about family birthday parties, it's where the real fun and great memories are at, at least for us anyways.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you! It's one of the reasons I'm the meanest mom ever! My kids have never had a friends b-day party nor will they ever. And I'm pretty mean about letting them go to parties too. I just can't seem to force myself to buy useless presents...

Macey said...

Well, speaking as the Mom who called Leca 10 minutes after the post--BOO to all of you!!! Right after Leca brings her boys to the party, I'm never speaking to her again!!! SO THERE!!

Just kidding---I totally get what your saying. We personally do one year family party, next year friends. We generally alternate until they are 11. That's there last kid party. For me, the party is more about helping my kids foster friendships. I could care less whether a gift is even brought.

I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar said...

Haven't gotten to the kids' parties point yet, but I'm sure I'll feel the same way. What you need to do is teach your kids to be unfriendly. Then you won't get thte invites. That's the cheap route!

Becky said...

I have only had one party for my daughter that involved friends and I specifically said no presents on the invite for two reasons-One, not every child I invited can afford a present and Two, my child has all she needs and another 5 presents on top of our gift was just unnecessary. So, I say go for the party, just stop the present insanity!

Tina said...

I have to tell you that this is a hard one for me. We do a small family party every year of cake and a few presents but it is certainly no fancy party. I am just not into that. I don't do a friend party every year. My oldest two are December birthdays and I just can't bring myself to even think about it with the holidays. I have done a few special parties. I usually save it for the special years like 8 and probably 12 (although no guarantee). I have done a Luau for Hannah and a dart-gun party for Isaac. They were great parties and not over-the-top. I struggle with the present issue because I don't really need more "stuff" around my house and yet, my kids have bought presents to their friends and there is something fun about opening presents that your friends have picked out. I have seen some kids so excited that they can hardly wait to show what they got for them. I know my kids just picked up a present for this Saturday's party that they can't wait to give.

I am always a little surprised with how tight you are with your family. I teach my kids that family is most important but they also need their friends, Hannah more so than the others. Dave is kind of like you. He doesn't care about making friends because he has always had his brothers. I don't understand because I love my family but I actually prefer to live far away from them.

*Abby* said...

I hear ya! now if only had some family around to invite!

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