I feel like a bad person, but I’m getting a little annoyed by birthday parties lately. Of course, I’m referring to the birthday parties that my wee ones are constantly being invited to. After all, they’re in daycare, preschool, Sunday School, playgroups, neighborhood and my friend “groupings” which all seem to have children who have birthday parties.
My personal favorite is the invitations to birthday parties that Little Miss gets invited to from daycare. She goes two days a week in the afternoons only (after preschool). The daycare is also a preschool where children go for mornings only. And we have been invited to two birthday parties so far since school started for kids that Little Miss has never heard of. I’ve politely called and declined the invitations. Wouldn’t you check to see if the children you’re inviting are at least friends of yours?
I got an invite in the mail today for a friend of mine’s daughter who is turning two. She’s been part of our playgroup since our older children were only a couple months old. Mister Man was not invited to her older child’s birthday party last month because it was limited to “only” twenty-five children, and apparently Mister Man didn’t make the cut. She felt compelled to call to tell me about this to be sure that I was ok about it. What am I supposed to do when she calls, regardless of how I fell, tell her that Mister Man has to be invited?
Now her daughter, who is over a year younger than Little Miss, is inviting Little Miss to her birthday party. Oh, but it isn’t just her birthday party. It’s her birthday party and the party for three other little girls that I’ve never heard of. You know what? I think I’ll pass, thanks.
I get wanting to minimize the number of birthday parties, and sometimes the cost, but if you’re doing a party for multiple kids, invite only people who are friends with all the children. We went to a birthday party this summer for another friend from that playgroup where it was her party and the party for a boy from her preschool who we’d never heard of. And it was at that boy’s house. It was really awkward for all of us who were friends from playgroup but didn’t know any of the preschool people.
And this day was coming, I knew…. We received an invitation for the daughter of a friend of mine via Evite. Yep. “My daughter is having a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese on November X at 10:30am. A light lunch will be served at the end of the party. My daughter has created a birthday wish list at Target.com. A printable list is also available in-store.”
Really? It’s come to an Evite? What happened to the invitations that you painstakingly pick out and write so that the child has something to open in the mail and tape to the calendar to look forward to? That part makes me a little sad. I get using Evite for casual get togethers — I’ve used it for my Super Bowl bashes. But for a little kid’s birthday party? Maybe it’s just me, but it rubs me the wrong way.
Oh, and if I want to ask you what your child is interested in so that I can get a “good” gift for you, that’s my choice. I think it’s horrendously tacky and just feels yucky to me to send me a link of where your child has created a birthday wish list. Like I said, call me Scrooge.
Plus, the party — for a girl just turning three — is at Chuck E. Cheese which is a place I loathe. Little Miss isn’t old enough to play the games, and the noise is just a bit overwhelming for her. It’s so not my favorite place, let alone for a birthday party. Unfortunately, that birthday party is being held on a Wednesday morning when Little Miss has preschool, so we won’t be able to attend that one either.
I feel like a crotchety old lady with my birthday rules, but it still just gives me an odd feeling. Birthdays to me should be fun celebrations made with thought and care that involve people you truly care about and want there to help you celebrate. All of these seem more like a grab for presents at a minimal cost and effort for the parents.
Am I being too harsh here? How do you celebrate birthdays?