Thursday, March 4, 2010

To Party or Not To Party . . . That is the Question

You can call me lazy, unkind, smart, frugal, crazy, or any number of things, but my girls are 4 and 5 and have never had an official birthday party. Don't get me wrong, we do get together with immediate family to celebrate the occasion, but we don't do themes, friends, giftbags, etc. Up until now I have never thought it was necessary. When the girls were younger, they wouldn't have known the difference. As they got a little older, I didn't want to set expectations for them that were too high. This year is the first year that I am considering it. With Peanut in Kindergarten, she now has friends that she sees all day every day . . . more often than she sees me! She has gotten invited to several parties and has now started to mention who she wants to invite to her party when she has one. She isn't assuming that she is going to have one this year (I asked), but she figures she'll have one eventually and wants to be prepared. (She's quite a little planner!) As Doc and I have begun to discuss the pros and cons of an event like this, we've remained undecided. Some of the thoughts we've had so far are:

  • Peanut is quite shy and a party where she is the guest of honor might be beneficial to her developing social skills.
  • It might be an easy way to meet some of her school friends and their parents.
  • If we give her a budget and let her make some of the plans it could help with her understanding of money and finances. Cost benefit analysis is important even at her age.
  • Stress - What if no one comes? What if everyone comes? Planning, prepping and supervising are never that easy.
  • Setting up expectations. If we do a bounce house this year will she expect an amusement park next time?
In terms of expectations, one thing that I think Doc and I agree on is the fact that a party will not be a yearly event. As a child I had a party with friends when I turned 10 and when I turned 16 - milestone years. I think that limiting parties to significant milestones is a good idea, but I also think that 6 could be a milestone year as well. This is her first year of school! :o) Luckily, we have until May to decide, but I am curious . . . What are your thoughts?


Post a Comment