Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taking Themes to the Extreme

I’ve been thinking about birthday parties lately.  I love a good party.  My kids love a good party.  But you know who doesn’t love throwing a good party?  My sanity. 

I am just not willing to deal with the kind of pressure that is “children’s birthday parties in these, the latter days”.  (Okay, there have been a few times I thought about it, but my brilliant husband reminded me of my inner stance against “The Man”) I sometimes feel like the following are prerequisites for birthday parties today:

1.)   Theme
2.)   Themed decorations
3.)   2-3 Themed activities
4.)   Themed cake
5.)   Themed ice cream
6.)   Themed gifts
7.)   Themed party favors
8.)   Themed take home craft

What the?  What happened to: invite people over you see at church, play outside, then have cake and ice cream?  Where did the simplicity go?  I blame Pinterest.  I had one birthday party growing up.  ONE!  We had non-themed cake and non-themed ice cream and then skated at the skate rink in our non-themed 90's whitewashed jeans.  My mom was one smart woman only allowing one birthday party.  Think of all the stress she avoided.  Plus, by not over doing it on birthday parties she helped keep me level-headed and grateful for what I did get instead of guiding me on a path of greedy expectations.  (Which, of course, doesn’t apply to all children, but probably would have been the case for me.)  I’m glad to know that their energy was spent with me at my favorite restaurant (KFC baby!) instead of planning a NKOTB party with Joey bobble head party favors.  

That being said, we still love invites to birthday parties, even if they are themed.  Because after all, nothing says friendship more than the themed “bring you kid over to my house for a couple hours so I can entertain them while you go to the grocery store all by yourself" party.   


  1. I hate birthday parties. Whoops! Did I say that out loud?

  2. Oh great, I just threw my son a Toy Story party. I didn't get too theme-y though, but that's just because I have an infant. You're right, though, it is a lot of work!

  3. Yeah, I agree. I threw one themed party and it was enough to put me over the edge. Shouldn't the theme just be "birthday"? You know, cake, ice cream, balloons, presents. I promised to do one for my kids every other year, and we're due this year. Although I'm determined to just make the theme "birthday" every party from now on. And another thing, how much is too much to spend on one of these things??!! Because I went to one 5 year old's party where I'd be shocked if it cost less than $500.

  4. I had ONE birthday party growing up, too. You know what? I never knew the difference. I'm pretty sure our kids won't know the difference either. At least until they are 10 or so and then birthday parties become a little bit lame and babyish. So, the way I see it, if I don't do anything extravagant, they won't ever be upset, and I will save hours of stress and more money on pedicures.

  5. We don't have a set thing for birthdays but we sometimes do them and sometimes don't. I do have to agree that they do get out of hand. I have come to bribing my kids and I have told them before if you don't have a friend birthday party you can have the money it would have cost me. Some have taken the bribe others have not. But the parties they took the bribe were the best parties ever! oh and we still do cake and presents with our little family so its not like we don't celebrate.

  6. I was only allowed to have a birthday party every 4 years, so 4 8 and 12 by the time I was 16 I didn't care anymore. After doing a birthday bash last year for my 1 year old (elephant themed), my mom so knew what she was doing. That maybe the only party he ever gets...or maybe I will do the every 4 years thing. I will let you know in 3 years how I feel about doing that all over again.

  7. I love themed parties! But that is probably because I've never tried to throw one. I'm all for people throwing themed parties that cost a lot of money if they love it. That being said, I'm definitely not that person. Growing up outside of Utah I never saw a themed party. I had birthday parties almost every year. They involved toilet paper, cute boys houses, silly string, scavenger hunts, etc...but never pendants labeling appetizers. Each to her own.