Children’s birthdays: four keys not to overdo it: Sandwiches, chips, a delicious homemade cake, and many children wanting to have fun. No more, no less. They keep asking for days until my birthday, It was that easy to organize children’s birthday parties before, a celebration that, however, today is sometimes a headache for parents and an extra expense relevant to the family economy. This article details the keys to not overdoing these parties:
- Watch your budget.
- Don’t be in a hurry and start at the right age.
- Reduce the number of guests.
- Limit gifts and food, just the right amount.
A new way to celebrate birthdays
From the ham and cheese sandwich and the hooks at home to the ball pool, lightsabers, entertainers, hamburgers, puppies, and princesses for a day. What used to be a simple celebration at home with a few friends has now become an exclusive checkbook birthday party.
Given these excesses, celebrating a children’s birthday “of today” is not an option suitable for all pockets. According to data from the recent survey by the National Institute of Statistics on the living conditions of Spaniards, 10.4% of households with children cannot afford it in our country, a figure that rises to 26.9%, in the case of households with lower incomes, and 34.7%, if they are families of foreign nationality.
Matter of appearances
Every year I say that I will not repeat it, but, in the end, you see that everyone does it, and you fall again. I call ‘the birthday spiral'”, explains Carla Rivero, mother of three little ones. And it is that, sometimes, the celebration of the children’s anniversary becomes a race between parents -more than between children- to see who makes the biggest party, funniest, with more children and with more animation.
The party becomes a social expression. It is about not being different, not standing out, and doing the same as others.
The theme of the party, the type of cake, the decoration, the gifts or sweets for the guests, the games and activities for the little ones… When choosing “what other parents have done in previous parties and what they can do in the next ones,” Austrian anthropologist Alison J. Clark points out in a specific study on birthday celebrations. The party becomes a “social” expression. It is about not “being different,” not standing out, and doing the same as others, even at the cost of “the child’s individuality or personality,” concludes the author.
Keys to not overdo it.
1. Take care of the budget. The type of celebration that parents choose for their children depends on the tastes, time, and comfort of each one and the budget. Sliced bread, cocoa cream, pâté, potatoes and worms, milkshakes, soft drinks, and a cake are enough to carry out a simple and cozy party at home for 10 children.
The expense, barely 15-20 dollars, is almost a tenth of what must be paid if the treatment takes place in a park or toy library specializing in children’s parties (15-20 dollars per child) or a third of the cost of celebrating it in a fast food place, a somewhat cheaper option for which you have to pay around six dollars per guest.
2. Don’t be in a hurry. Although a child’s anniversary is always a very special occasion, and child must be asking you, how old am I today mom? sometimes parents want to run too much and celebrate big birthday parties for babies who are not yet able to appreciate and enjoy them. Until the age of three or four, it is enough to organize a small family reunion where the child feels comfortable with the people closest to him. From that age, they will enjoy more than a “typical” birthday and the company and games with others younger than their age.
3. Reduce the number of guests. It is necessary to abandon the idea of reciprocity that currently prevails, that is, to invite whoever invites. Each family has a different budget or space for the celebration and, therefore, the number of guests must be adjusted to these. It is convenient to make children understand this premise and make them participate at the same time in the choice of friends who will accompany them on their special day.
4. Limit gifts. Receiving birthday gifts is one of the most special moments of the celebration for children. However, when the guests are numerous, the abundance of presents can be overwhelming for the little one, and he will not even appreciate them. To avoid this excess, a good idea is for the guests to agree and buy a single gift together or ask them only to give you a craft.
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