Monday, January 22, 2007

Birthdays Without Pressure

"Seven year olds in rural Minnesota get picked up by stretch limos to transport them to a friend’s party."

"A three year old’s parents in the same community rent a fire station for party #1, and a private club with a pool for party #2."

"A six year old girl and her friends in St. Paul get makeovers and dance in public as part of a “starlet” package at a party business."
Now here is a website that overachieving parents who are keeping up with the Joneses ought to read! You gotta take a few minutes and check it out! It's a website created by a small group of parents and professionals in St. Paul, Minnesota with a vision to launch a local and national conversation about how kids birthday parties have gotten out of control.

The stories are true, hysterically funny, and sad all in the same breath. I know these people - they live in my town too. After raising 3 kiddos and seeing some of the parties they were invited to, one has to wonder who is the party really for? The kid or the parents? I recall one parent who sent out invitations to a hockey party, rented out the local ice skating rink, and pretty much demanded that kids attending should bring a regulation NHL piece of equipment as a gift (they didn't want the cheap stuff) for their kid. My kid stayed home.

I also had a friend of mine whose 7 year old daughter was picked up by stretch limo and whisked off for a spa day with her friends.

As for me and my kids it was ice cream, cake, pin the tail on the donkey, a few games and lots of laid back fun in our house. Sometimes we'd do a party at the karate place, the roller rink, or the science museum. The only real big blow out party was when they had their bar and bat mitzvah celebrations and even that was low key in comparison to some of their friends' events (which tended to be more like a $15,000 wedding affair).

So what do you do for birthdays?

(H/T Leann S.)