Can We Go Back to Simple Birthday Parties?
Those birthday parties when there’s just cake and ice cream are all but gone. Nowadays they are usually lavish affairs with goody bags of crud and pricy toys.
Back then, birthday parties mean kids gathering around huge tables at the celebrants’ houses. Sure, there would be snacks for a short party or a meal. The big fun starts when the hostesses of those simple parties come with sheet, sprinkle-studded, white buttercream icing-cloaked birthday cakes afire with candles. The children all sing “Happy Birthday to You” to the celebrants and they in return make wishes and blow out the candles.
Well, in recent times, parents and other caregivers overcomplicate those simple candles-on-a-cake affairs in terms of the parties themselves and the costs of throwing them. What parent can rent an entire park for a sports-themed fete? What mommy can shell out a car payment just to rent some ritzy hotel catering hall because the party theme is a royal princess ball?
Entertainment at such parties include much more than just clowns blowing up balloon animals or magicians. Some parents hire a DJ to provide the eating, playing, and dancing music (not to mention the accompaniment to the birthday song when it’s time to light and blow out the candles on the cake). Few parents managed to even hire “big shots” to perform at their kids’ parties.
Why overcomplicate such a party like this? It’s just a candles-on-cake affair, only the celebration of the child’s life matters! (Image via Wikipedia)
And it gets even worse. Pooploads of children have to invite their friends over, which means more invitations and more money being taken out of their mommies’ and daddies’ pockets because of the food and favors. Oh, and some schools have rules that when a child is hosting a party, he or she should invite all of his or her classmates from that class.
The gifts and favors add to the stress. The toys in the so-called “goody bags” are plastic, decrepit works of art made from a nation that supports, um, child labor and heckish working hours. Ditto for most of the gifts that the little celebrant receives. As for the cake – it’s usually bought from the store or cloaked in technicolor fondant that would sometimes taste and feel yucky.