2/22/2012

Random Birthday Thoughts

My birthday is Saturday, and while trying to come up with something to tell Tim that I'd like to have, I happened to see the Sunday Sweets edition of Cake Wrecks (a good site, should you ever need a laugh) and it got me to thinking about the elder kiddo's most recent birthday.

See, for his birthday, we took him and a handful (small handful) of friends to the local bounce house during normal open bounce times and then to CiCi's for pizza. I paid admission for both (most of the kids were free at the pizza place, so that really wasn't all that much) and for the two siblings that needed to come with the invited child. All told, it was under $100 - probably right around $80, and he got fewer presents because of his special party (he knew this and was 100% on board with it.)

But I got quite a lecture from my mom about it. She saw it as me caving to the ridiculousness of the culture - with people who have 100 kids and rent the circus and give everyone diamond encrusted gold nuggets in their goody bags. I was reminded of my own birthday parties (which were great, mind you) and how simple they always were.

Now, I'll start out by saying: winter birthdays are hard. I have one, I know. But at least where I grew up, you could pretty much count on there being snow, so sledding inevitably factored into my parties, and then an inside game or two and/or a craft and we were done. It was easy. Around here, the only thing you can count on for a winter birthday is that there will indeed be weather of some sort. It might be 80. It might be sleeting. I might be sunny but frigid. And there's no way to know what you're going to get far enough in advance to plan a party and send out invites. What you have to do, really, is plan 3 different parties (if you're planning on sticking at home) so that you can appropriately deal with the weather. (Cause if it's 80, the kids are going to want to be running around outside, not cooped up in the playroom playing pin the number on Thomas. Alternatively, if it's sleeting, you need more and varied inside activities as well as a back up date for when everyone who's afraid to drive in the sleet bails at the last minute.)

Regardless, I didn't think I had gone too over the top for the birthday party. He turned 4. He had 5 friends (+ 2 siblings of one friend). It was less than $100. Still, there was great guilt at the end of mom's lecture. Right until I saw this edition of Sunday Sweets on Cake Wrecks.

See those cakes? Those professional, muli-tiered cakes? Look closely at the ages on the birthday ones. Not one is for someone who will be older than 5. Now, I ask you, is it possible that any of those cakes, all on their own, cost less than $100? (Plus, if you're having a cake that huge, you're surely falling into the 100 guests with gold nugget goodies category, right?) It made me feel better about the whole bounce house thing, at least.

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