Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Makakilo, HI
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Yes, the first birthday is a significant special occasion in the Hawaiian Culture. And that's what I think a lot of people tend to forget why it's so important to celebrate the first birthday. In the ancient days, babies barely lived to one year and so when they did it was a huge feat and the family would celebrate.
We are in the midst of planning and preparing for our son's first birthday celebration. (it's in October) While the temptation to make our son's first birthday party look like something out of "My Super Sweet 16" we keep reminding ourselves why we are celebrating our son's first birthday. It's a way for us to connect with the traditions of our kupuna (ancestors).
And regarding costs, we are probably at a GRAND total of about $7500, (including facility, catering, decorations, favors, games/prizes, and entertainment). However, if it wasn't for the ALOHA spirit and the fact that a lot of friends and family are donating goods/services our total would be around $12000 or so. We are expecting around 500 people to attend, including approximately 150 kids.
We are not filthy rich and this is by no means easy for us to dish out this kind money, but its also a way for us to thank the people who have already done so much in his first year and to thank them in advance for all the things they will do for our son in the years to come. As they say it takes a village to raise a child. I have heard of people who have applied for bank loans in the tens of thousands. I think that is absurd, if you can't afford it by saving, then you should party within your means.
While, so may look at this as ridiculous, we see it as a way to bless our child for the many years he has ahead of him. One of our main goals in preparing for this party is that while staying grounded and remember the traditions of our kupuna we need to make sure we provide a stable future for our son. So at his party we are making it a point for no balloons or extraneous decorations that will just be thrown away or flown away after the party is done, and we're also not wasting our money on prizes for the kids that will end up in the trash can by the end of the night. Rather we are decorating with the environment in mind and providing educational prizes that the kids will benefit from and also not just throw away or leave behind. In addition, we are asking our guests to recycle at the party (separating cans, bottles, paper goods, and leftovers----the leftovers will be given as slop to a local farm). We feel that our earth is already in trouble and that we need to remind our guests (mostly the children and their parents) that its up to us to provide a better tomorrow for the next generation.
I hope that this helps in understanding why people spend so much time and effort in throwing such a big party. Luckily for me, I am a Event planner so this type of stuff comes natural to me, but there are SO many resources on the internet that it's pretty simple to throw a party big or small.
Mom of 5 working full-time and waiting to go to nursing school! Whew! I need a nap!