If you have a child in elementary school, then you have most likely just entered birthday party hell.
Between Numbers 5, 6, and 7, I know that for the next 10 months, we will be at Chuck E. Cheese, or Fun Factor, or Gymnastics Spectrum, or a bowling alley or some other germ-ridden hell hole just about every weekend.
So I came up with an idea to make all of our lives easier.
Instead of spending the next 40 Saturday or Sunday afternoons celebrating the birthday of some kid who you’ve never even met, I propose the Universal Birthday Party.
It will be held on the first Saturday of every month from 4-6 pm. Usually most baseball/basketball/soccer games are done by then. And it’s after nap time if you have kids that still take a nap.
You always know the time of the party, so you can easily arrange for a babysitter for your other kids. And you don’t need to send out any invitations. You just show up at 4:00, and check the list of who has a birthday that month when you get there.
The location of the party will rotate on a monthly basis: September — the local pool, October — Pizza Garden, November — Children’s Movement Center, December — Tumble Jungle, etc…
Every September 1st you will contribute $300 to the UBP account and receive a UBP card. Every time you attend a party, you swipe your card, and your account is debited. This debit includes $5 which will go toward the birthday child’s gift: a universal, big-ass gift card.
No more repeat gifts. No more too-small clothes. No more rushing around a half hour before the party trying to figure out what to buy for some kid you don’t even know.
At the end of the year if you have a balance in your account, that will roll over into the next year.
If your child has ever been on the swim team, you know they get ribbons for the events they swim in at dual meets. There is a table at the meet where a few volunteers sit and fill out the ribbons so the kids can take them home at the end of the meet.
The UBP will have a similar setup for thank you cards. Yes. Parents will be required to volunteer once a year for this task. This is the perfect opportunity to avoid having to make small talk with a bunch of parents you don’t know at all.
Thank you notes will be written and distributed before the party is even over. You’ll never even have to think about them.
Goody bags are not covered under this plan. In fact, they are strictly prohibited. No more spending hundreds of dollars on a bunch of shit that’s going to either get lost or broken before your kid even gets back home.
You’re welcome for that.
Now go enjoy your next 2 birthday party-free weekends.
I’ll see you on the first Saturday in November at Chuck E. Cheese.