I may not be getting mother of the year this year. Again. That’s because, much to Greg’s chagrin, I’m planning a joint birthday party for my two kids. The oldest is turning five and my youngest daughter is turning three, all between the end of April and the beginning of June. But here’s the thing: their birthdays are only 6 weeks apart. Complicating matters further is the fact that we can’t have my oldest daughter’s party until a few weeks after her actual birthday since we’ll be on vacation. We could have it a few weeks before her birthday, I suppose, but then it might not be warm enough to plan anything outside. Anyway, if we had two separate parties, they would likely only be 3 or 4 weekends apart. And not only does that sound like a giant pain, but it sounds utterly wasteful to boot. So why not combine them?
Combining their birthday parties seems totally practical to me. For one, it wouldn’t require our friends and family members to give up two weekend afternoons within a one month time frame. And while I’m more than willing to make two separate cakes, I would probably only have to supply one set of plates and napkins, and one buffet of side dishes and snacks. I have a friend from high school who usually lets me borrow a bounce house for super cheap too, and having one big party would allow me to do that just once instead of twice. When I asked my oldest what she thought about it (our youngest is too young to care too much), she was totally indifferent. She said that she just wants to have some sort of party and that she really wants to invite some friends from daycare. Done.
Talk about a fun sucker! I think that having a joint party takes away from how special and unique each one of our children are. And while I recognize the practicality of doing it that way, I would prefer to have two separate parties, even if that means giving up two weekend days within a month. But, as Holly often points out, I don’t do any of the planning or preparing for either of our kid’s parties, so that’s easy for me to say. I never stress about the cake, the food, or making sure that we have enough drinks and snacks. I usually just provide moral support and show up. But that is the great thing about being awesome. I just bring the party with me.
Parties are Wasteful
I’ve been to a lot of over-the-top birthday parties for kids over the past few years, and I tend to think that they’re wasteful. I mean, does a four-year-old need a petting zoo and a clown at their party? No. Professional catering? No. A custom-made birthday outfit with their name on it? No. And they certainly don’t need a giant waterslide bounce house big enough for adults to frolic on. Guilty!
In my opinion, our kids will not suffer long-term damage from having a joint birthday party. Hell, they might even enjoy it. Regardless, I think it’s worth a try. And if it doesn’t work out well, we just won’t do it again next year. It’s as simple as that.
Is it just plain tacky? Maybe. Do I care? Apparently not.
What do you think about joint birthday parties? Would you have one for your kids? Are they frugal or just plan tacky?