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Anyone else feel birthday parties are becoming too much?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have been to some enormous and expensive birthday parties lately! Renting out an entire water park and giving out pretty impressive goodie bags, catering, etc. I'll spend a couple hundred dollars maybe and I feel like that's pretty expensive but some of these parties eclipse anything I'd do. I worry that it's starting to become expected here to have pretty big parties.

But maybe it's parties in general? I mean weddings are a lot bigger than they used to be too.

Do you think birthday parties are starting to get crazy? Maybe it's not happening everywhere.
post #2 of 12
It seems to depend on the family, their values, and their income. Our friends tend to keep it very modest and frugal- potlucks, playground/park picnics, or the backyard BBQ. I'm sure we're pretty average in that way. I don't think anyone is really judging harshly on such things, and no need to keep up with the Joneses, ya know? There always have and always will be extravagant extremes, but it really is just personal preference, I think.
post #3 of 12

yes!

and they start earlier now!  when my 2nd grader was in preschool his classmates used to hand out sandwich baggies filled with stickers and cars in their friends cubbys for birthdays and now my younger son in preschool gets invited to big expensive parties.

its crazy!

post #4 of 12

i really think throwing big parties are crazy... my cousin rented the entire resort, have the most expensive catering services for her daughter's 7th birthday to think that they were not that well off at all and i heard they just borrowed the money to show off.

 

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Do you think birthday parties are starting to get crazy? Maybe it's not happening everywhere.

 

A 100x over, yes!

 

Personally, I hate gift bags for many reasons. 

 

I am also seeing a trend of entire families attending.  Maybe only the one child is invited but mom shows up with two siblings and expects them to be fully included in the festivities. 

 

So far, we have only done small parties and I hope to keep it that way.

post #6 of 12

I like entire families attending.

post #7 of 12

I am not opposed to entire families attending if the party is planned as a family event, we enjoy that ourselves and always attend when invited.  My son's party have been family parties.

 

I am talking about issuing an invitation to one child and mom can't/won't tell the younger kids it is a bigger kid party and expect all of the siblings to be included.  There are some activities for 7yo-8yos like bouncy houses, trampolines, etc. where two and three year olds getting involved significantly alters the birthday kid's activities.  If there is a close relationship with the entire family, that is one thing but if the young sibs don't know the birthday boy/girl, the littles shouldn't be forced upon the host/birthday kid.

post #8 of 12
Most of the things we do involves whole families, including parties. The kind of thing where the parents are friends, and the kids are friends, and the kids who are different ages tag along anyway. But we're like family with most of our friends. That said, it's obviously rude to show up at a party for someone you don't know well with your entire brood in tow when only one was invited.

I don't know anyone who throws huge, expensive parties. The friend I have who throws the most elaborate parties still doesn't spend a bunch of money. She's just very creative, and makes the cutest little decorations and comes up with ideas like a treasure hunt for a pirate-themed party.

Our family is more low key. We always ask the kids what they want to do for their birthdays, and sometimes they ask for a party, but usually they want to go out to dinner or to see a movie or something. My youngest just turned 5, and insisted that he did not want to have a birthday at all. (In fact, he insists that he didn't turn 5; he's 2.) We were already visiting some friends on his birthday, and they just happened to have cake, so we had a little impromptu celebration for him. But he still insists that he's 2. eyesroll.gif
post #9 of 12
Nah, I live in an affluent area where people like to show off their possessions, and nearly all the parties we've been invited to have been fine. Maybe a rented bounce house or something, but nothing OTT. Lots of people do choose to do venue parties, like at Build a Bear or Pump It Up, but those are only a couple hundred dollars -- I probably spend as much on food and decorations for our parties at home, and I have to clean up afterwards! I don't feel any pressure to change our party style either -- if people don't enjoy a lowkey backyard gathering, they're welcome to decline our invitation the following year.

That's not to say that some people don't go nuts with party extravagance -- I've heard of it, just never experienced it. Good point about weddings too -- bachelor/bachelorette parties seem to be weekend-long, destination events involving air travel in many cases, instead of your chums taking your bar hopping for one evening. But again, I don't know how widespread that really is.
post #10 of 12

I don't worry about what other people are doing, and never thought about what I did either until I read threads like this.  :)

 

We have rented a bouncy house place, and I have put together nice goody bags before with the help of the kids.  It was something WE enjoyed doing (I love throwing parties and 2 out of my 3 kids have inherited that gene).  I sure hope that nobody stewed over it resentfully!  Neither my kids nor I have ever really cared about receiving goody bags or anything like that at parties they go to, they've had fun at big ones and been happy just hanging out with their friend.  (and the parties they've had have run the gamut too).

 

I haven't noticed that parties are more crazy/expensive than the ones I went to as a child.  There are more paying options now (I remember going to the roller rink/theater/community center as a kid, which I am sure was the equivalent of the $250ish you'd spend at a bouncy house place or whatever these days), but actual expense?  Eh.  Weddings seem to be getting smaller to me, but I grew up southern where your parents invite their whole roladex plus every single church member to your wedding, so I probably just have warped sensibilities.

 

I don't think most people invest a lot of energy worrying about what others did at their birthday party do they?  I mean, the kids will be happy with whatever.  If the parents are not, hopefully they're capable of putting a sock in it.

post #11 of 12
We have to do destination birthday parties if we want to do a party. We live on the top floor condo and our downstairs neighbors complain if we sneeze, so anything, small or not, isn't happening here. Most places for birthdays run $250+
post #12 of 12
We have to do destination birthday parties if we want to do a party. We live on the top floor condo and our downstairs neighbors complain if we sneeze, so anything, small or not, isn't happening here. Most places for birthdays run $250+
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