I am not anti-birthday celebration.
But I am anti-massive-birthday-parties-for-kids-every-year.
As I try to simplify and focus on the things that are really important and rid my life of stuff that doesn’t make me happy or improve the quality of my life but takes up my time, money and energy, over-the-top birthday parties for kids really make less and less sense to me.
I love a good party. Don’t get me wrong.
But I think less is more.
And I don’t understand the invite-your-whole-class-to-your-birthday-party thing.
They are expensive, half the kids there know nothing about your kid, and you end up with a bunch of stuff that either your kid doesn’t like or your kid never plays with or picks up and puts away.
And to me, those big birthday parties put the focus on getting lots of stuff.
Lots of stuff doesn’t make me or my kids happy, really.
I think no matter how old you are, your birthday should be all about you. I think everyone deserves a day where they are reminded how special they are. Where they are celebrated.
Yesterday was Number 7’s birthday. We had a great celebration of her.
But it didn’t involve over the top parties, it didn’t involve getting tons of stuff, and it didn’t involve me losing my mind.
The past couple years, Number 4 and I have had birthday “experiences.”
And for the first time this year, Number 7 and I had a birthday experience, too.
It was a great day.
I asked her if she wanted to go to school or if she wanted to skip it and stay home.
I knew what she was gonna pick.
I wanted her to have a day to do all the stuff she likes.
So she started off coloring and drawing.
One of her favorite things to do is watch “how to draw” videos on YouTube.
I set her up with the iPad in the kitchen, and after everyone else had gone to school, while I cleaned up in the kitchen, she had fun drawing.
Even the iPad was a treat, because technology is off-limits during the week.
She learned how to draw a minion which she was pretty proud of.
At lunch time, we went to get ice cream. I had some money left on a gift card, so it only cost two bucks.
After that, we went to the movies. I had two movie gift cards, so I only paid for popcorn.
There was one other person in the whole theater. Number 7 thought that was pretty cool.
We ended the day by celebrating at home with our family (and Grammy and Papa).
Number 7 opened a couple presents, and then we ate a cake that my mom baked and Number 4 decorated.
Number 7 got a few presents — things she really wanted. She got a “a baby that actually cries”, a soccer ball and a soccer goal, and a big water jug to take to her soccer games — all the things she had hoped for.
If you are coming up on one of your kid’s birthdays, consider scaling it down and focusing on quality rather than quantity.
One-on-one time with you is one of the best (and most memorable) things you can give your child.
And it doesn’t break the bank, either.