Birthday Parties
Parenting

Birthday Parties

by Martha Scully

I am deep in the heart of birthday season. For my husband and I, we have reflected on our daughters birthdays and have decided to scale back. The reason for this is that we feel that children’s parties have gotten out of control. There is pressure to make the party bigger and better than the year before. My youngest daughter wants to invite the entire city to her birthday. Some parents feel that the party should be memorable, fun, and overall the perfect experience that everyone will talk about. I know of one family that spent over $800 on a party for their 8 year old daughter. Although I must admit the food and activities were amazing, $800 could be a mortgage payment for some.

Here is how we have scaled back:

  • The entire class cannot be invited. It has to be friends that they play with on a regular basis. For us, we do not pressure ourselves to have family friend’s kids and siblings.
  • There is a cost cap to the party. There are some places in our city that are so expensive that we have flat out said “no”.
  • The goodie bags cannot be filled with plastic junk. For my daughter Charlotte’s party we gave out a clay pot, potting soil, and seeds.
  • My daughters can choose between a family adventure or a birthday party (not both). Last year with Sophie, we went together as a family and saw the new baby beluga at the Aquarium in Vancouver.
  • At 10 years of age the big parties end. Instead they are allowed to have a few friends over to have dinner, cake, play and sleep over.

What about you? Do you feel the birthday parties have gotten out of hand?

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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.