Today is Son10's birthday and he is celebrating it by playing a game of D&D with his close friends. They are enjoying this around our dinning room table in the middle of the afternoon. Just 7 kids hanging out playing a beloved game and they could not be happier.
There are no inflatable jumping things, no circus performers, no rented go-carts or portable big screen TV's with multiple high end game consoles from which kids play first-person shooter games in the name of celebrating the birth of a friend. (Yes that is me being snarky)
If it's not obvious by now I am a fully supporting member of the Simple Birthday Society or SBS. Yes, I just made that society up but if you too would like to be a charter member just sit there at your computer and raise your right hand and say. * I do solemnly swear that I will embrace the simple and the sweet, I will turn my back on the big, the ridiculous and the flashy. And no matter what my neighbor does I will not fall victim to the corporate birthday monster that roams the land making parents think they must spend thousands of dollars on a birthday and that makes children expect such excess as a right of passage from one year to another.* After all if you give them the world at 8 what they hell are you going to do when they are 16??
Today's birthday machine is a monster so out of control that it's hard to distinguish some birthdays from those of your smaller theatrical events and I find something really wrong with that. Not to mention the pressure mother's are putting on themselves to pull off these events.
Keep it Simple!
I mean you know that I am crafty as the next craft obsessed diva but I know of many moms who spend days if not weeks feverishly and stressfully crafting banners, cupcake toppers, t-shirts, gift bags... oh lets talk about the gift bags! When did it get written that you leave a party with more than you came with?? Really, I am all about thanking guests for coming and I might be one of the few people in the world who insists on always bringing a hostess gift when I go to an event but DANG!... where are the days when you went home from a birthday with a punch-balloon and a nifty pencil.. and you were happy to get it!
Son10 is a bit past the punch-balloon age (sad since I really do love me some good punch balloon!) and he is on a mission to put less in the landfill so Son10 decided that each child should get their own glass to take home as a party favor. He decided on those snazzy glasses with the chalk board centers from Pier 1. I then used my vinyl cutter to make the wording.. Sam's D&D Party and Roll a D20. Simple and done in under and hour!
Please don't get me wrong, I love a big crafty blow out events, I love fussing over details, planning and anticipation when I host a crafty get together or big number event. Where I get concerned is when the event in it's self is more the focus than the child. When guests( kids) come for the entertainment rather then the connection with the kid. That is when it went wrong for me and it was the day I stepped away from "Big-Birthday America". And I have never regretted it for a moment.
So.. have you felt the big-birthday pressure? How do you deal with it? How about your child?