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Throwing a half birthday party

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I did a search and couldn't find anything, but if there is a half birthday thread please point me in its direction!

We're celebrating our sons half birthday this June (and plan on doing it every year like this) and I would love any suggestions! He will be 18 months old, I think he may be to young for a theme so im thinking just some food and cake? id like to make it a come and go party, very laid back.

On another note, any suggestion on how to ask for gifts that support our values? (handmade, natural materials and so on?). I hope that our friends and family know us well enough to know how we're raising our son, but I thought I should include a little note with the invite?

ETA: to clarification, we will not be celebrating the December birthday.
post #2 of 53
For gifts... I'd just ask folks not to bring any if you are picky about what you want your child to have. Or you could have a wish list ready in case anyone asks you, but I would not specify what to get your child on the invite.

We just did a 6.5 party (HALF WAY TO A TEENAGER!!!) and made clear on the Evite that it was just about celebrating together and that there would be no gifts and favors.
post #3 of 53
so, are you not doing regular birthday parties? Is it customary to do half birthdays in your family/community?
I get the delimma of how to celebrate a winter birthday... but I think I would just focus on celebrating together and not requesting gifts of any sort (unless that is something commonly done in your family).
post #4 of 53
We do a half birthday every year for my 6 year old, but as we also do a birthday party (I do the birthday, her dad does the hirfday) we expressly say no gifts. I would only accept gifts if you don't do them for the actual birthday.
post #5 of 53
do you celebrate both year and half year? If so then definitely specify 'no gifts' on your invitation. I can't even imagine being invited to 2 parties a year for someone and get a gift spec for each one!

If you only celebrate at the half year mark (?? I think maybe I am missing some background) then no mention of gifts, please. People include gift receipts. If they don't then freecycle. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your gift.
post #6 of 53
Not sure that it's really any different than a regular birthday party, except for being 6 mos after. My son's a December kid, and we just had his friend party in late January/early February - just when everyone has that holiday let-down.

And I agree with the gift thing. If you're also doing a regular birthday celebration (with gifts), no gifts should be expected for the half bday. Otherwise, it's never really polite to specify what sort of gift to bring. The only time it doesn't annoy me is when it's an "in lieu of gifts... we are request a donation appropriate for..." Of course, then you have to hope people know what "in lieu of" means. My daughter requested donations for the animal shelter for her Sweet 16, and a bunch of her friends thought "in lieu of" meant "in addition to"...
post #7 of 53
I agree that I would not expect (or request anything specific) for a half-birthday celebration. We celebrated them growing up (I don't with my own kids), but it meant choosing what we wanted to have for dinner, getting to use a special plate, and my mom making a chocolate cake. I'm kinda surprised anyone invites others for a half-birthday, TBH - but to each their own.

Specifying about gifts without being asked is tacky (even for a yearly birthday). I can see finding a clever way to say you'd prefer not to have any gifts, since that seems to be acceptable for many, but you really should not say "we only want special-wooden-non-battery-plastic-free gifts" even if that's your preference.
post #8 of 53
I don't know much about 1/2 birthday parties, except that the parents usually only have the one party like pp mentioned, and their children have bdays in Dec or early Jan, like your DS.

We've been invited to a few parties where the children have registered at the local toy store. The info is included on the invitation. As a guest, I've both picked things off the list and chose something I thought was appropriate. I'm not put off by the idea of a toy registry, but don't think I'll do it for my kids. My sister threw a "book party" for my two nephews and specified on the invitations that guests should bring ONE favorite book (used or new) or no gift. That idea went over pretty well with the guests.
post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's input and suggestions, I do appreciate it!

jtbuko, I like the idea of a gift wish list, that way if anyone wants it ill have it on hand, but I wont have to include it with the invites.

shanniesue2 (and many others, sorry for not quoting all of you), no, we will not be celebrating his birthday on December 22nd. My hubby and I will have a special meal with him but that will be the extent of it. My son's grandparents are all divorced (some of them twice) and many are remarried with new families who have have Christmas traditions (certain days that they get together) during the week before Christmas. We know that they would love to celebrate Sebastian's birthday, but we want it to be all about him so as a family we decided to celebrate his half birthday's instead. Not to mention, here in Winnipeg we're looking at -30 or colder in December.. sometimes -45 with the wind!

wondertwins, the book party sounds wonderful! What a creative idea!

... I think ill update my original post to clarify that we will not be celebrating his December birthday, I think it may have came across like we are looking to milk our friends and family for gifts, which is totally not the case!
post #10 of 53
thanks for the clarification!

How about a painting party... just get a bunch of washable finger paint and a variety of brushes/paint utencils. Spread out some large sheets of paper and call it a party... this is what I thought about for DS's 2 year old party... but because his birthday is at the end of february, we can't count on not having cold weather. But in June, you could do the paint stuff outside then provide a sprinkler for the kids to play in and not have to worry about getting paint all over the house.

As to the gifts, with grandparents I have offered suggestions like "I think DS would really enjoy x, y, or z... but if you find something you think is really cool, I bet he would enjoy that, too." Or for Christmas, I told them that DS was really into trains... just gave them a broad category to work with. But I wouldn't put a note in the invite or anything (especially if you're going to invite non family members)... these comments were just part of conversations when the grandparents were asking for ideas.
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavensearth View Post
ETA: to clarification, we will not be celebrating the December birthday.
You're not going to celebrate it at all, or do you mean you're not having a big party and inviting people over? Not even a special dinner?

I understand the appeal of a half-birthday party in the summer, as my entire family's birthdays are in November and December. But I personally am horrified at the idea of expecting anyone to bring my child a gift when it's not actually her birthday. A party with cake and games and all the stuff that goes with, sure. Gifts, no. Gifts would be for family to give at the small family celebration on her birthday.
post #12 of 53
Don't people always bring presents to a kids birthday party? I can't imagine not bringing a gift just because it was a few months later. My son's birthday is in April and there was one year that we didn't do the kid party until mid June. Everyone still brought presents

OP I think you are wise to consider the fact that people will most likely bring gifts unless you specify not too. IME interwebz rules tend not to apply so much in the real world. It is tacky to specify gifts, unless you do something like the book party, which would allow for someone short on time or money to participate.

What is the difference between buying a kid on their actual birthday and buying a gift for their half birthday? This has always stumped me.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
Don't people always bring presents to a kids birthday party? I can't imagine not bringing a gift just because it was a few months later. My son's birthday is in April and there was one year that we didn't do the kid party until mid June. Everyone still brought presents

OP I think you are wise to consider the fact that people will most likely bring gifts unless you specify not too. IME interwebz rules tend not to apply so much in the real world. It is tacky to specify gifts, unless you do something like the book party, which would allow for someone short on time or money to participate.

What is the difference between buying a kid on their actual birthday and buying a gift for their half birthday? This has always stumped me.
it's not the kid's birthday.

Personally I would do a no presents party.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keria View Post
it's not the kid's birthday.

Personally I would do a no presents party.
But it is the day his parents are choosing to celebrate his birth, so I do think gifts are appropriate.

As for party activities, my twins have a June bday, and we have lucked into nice weather both years (fingers crossed that will continue!). Last year, for their 2nd birthday, we had a backyard party. We asked guests to bring their swimsuits, turned on the sprinkler, filled up the swimming pool and opened up the sandbox. This would work great if people were coming and going, too. The party started at 2:00, so there were no meal expectations, but we had a lot of yummy snacks and cold drinks, for both adults and kids. Everyone had a good time, and we even avoided opening gifts until after the party, as everyone was enjoying themselves outside.
post #15 of 53
Okay, now that you clarified - I do think it's okay to accept gifts for a half-birthday celebration that will take the place of a regular birthday (though, I would personally prefer to have the part closer to my kids' b-day, so I would have a party in Nov., or early Jan - but that's doesn't matter b/c it's not my kid )

I am glad you decided not to include a wish list with invites - I think if grandparents ask it's okay to say "hey, now that you said that, he really does love cars and balls right now" -- but anything else isn't polite, IMO.

I have never been to a birthday party 6 mos before the actual birthday - so that is why it's hard to imagine saying happy 2nd birthday, for a kid who just turned one not that long ago, yk? But I suppose people just celebrate his birth the same as they would if it was closer to his real birthday - which likely includes bringing cards and gifts.
post #16 of 53
Thread Starter 
nashvillemidwife, no, we will not be inviting people or family over to celebrate his 22nd birthday.. it will just be the three of us. Of course, when he is older, if he wants to have his bday party in December we will do that.

dubfam, I always bring gifts, but maybe im in the minority? heehee I wasn't actually going to specify to bring gifts, I was going to say that if they wish to bring a gift something handmade or preloved is fine with us.

We were recently invited to a party that included a long list of gifts, as well as websites where we could by local used gifts like kijiji and a place that we could make donations. There was also a price limit on the gift. I think receiving that invite is what made me question if I should include anything a gift.. after all, this is my first time around at this!

wondertwins, sounds like a great party!

Drummer's Wife, ive never been to a half birthday either :| I hope it goes well! Ill be sure to include something about it being a half bday and that he will be 18 months on the invite

Thanks again mama's for all your insight and suggestions!
post #17 of 53
Are you celebrating his first birthday or his second birthday?
post #18 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keria View Post
Are you celebrating his first birthday or his second birthday?
We're celebrating his year and a half birthday...
post #19 of 53
i would celebrate it exactly like a regular bday following whatever philosophy you follow. i would even have a bday cake and everything. i would do the whole 2 thing - coz it would make party stuff so much easier. in time your son will understand. he wont be confused. i did dd's half bdays till she was about 4. her half bdays were personal celebrations. it did not confuse her. she knew the difference between half and regular bdays.

i would be doing the exact thing you are doing if my dd's bday was so close to xmas.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavensearth View Post
We're celebrating his year and a half birthday...
Ok then then I would do a no presents party, presents are for Birthdays not half birthdays.

And your son is one he wont care about presents, and as an added benefit you won't have to deal with plastic toys.
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