Sunday, January 29, 2006

OOC birthday parties...

1960's home movies- cute smiling mom brings out tacky homaemade birthday cake- all are wearing silly party hats, blowing horns, making silly faces. Kids running around yard- playing games, blow out candles... I thought that is what birthdays were--(Or maybe i watched too many rounds of credits for the wonder years)

Yesterday was a birthday party for one of my ds's preschool friends (at least it was on a saturday- unlike the standard sunday party- when you have to crush their spirits as soon as the open the invitation)--As I am learning the rules have changed....
1. homes are no longer acceptable venues-- some place must be rented, permission slips also a must
2. presents-all invites must say no presents-- if you accept presents or at least do not saythey are unnecessary makes you look not greedy (or that somehow you are wealthy enough to meet your childs every toy wish and whim)-instead request x dollar donation to x charitable cause (although i applaud philanthropy- and encourage children finding ways to give- diallowing presents... i find this a little presumptuous as does miss manners and assumes your child is too good for my gift and coerces me to donate or else look cheap) If someone wants to give your child a gift let them (much to my parents chagrin and our joy this is how the first scantily clad barbies entered our house)
3. guest list- must include all neighborhood, school friends, relatives, and anyone else you semi-know, etc. small gatherings not en vogue.
4. food- cake and ice cream are not longer acceptable fare--no longer a homemade cake either- it has no been expanded to include a full meal for all attening pizza, chips, soda, and all other forms of junk-- and everythign must be prepackaged individual packages-- no handful of chips or cup of soda-- only mini cans, mini bags, etc.
5. goodie bags- don't get me started--don't get me started this outrageous trend must be quashed! when i was little we sent our friends home with bags of popcorn decorated with stickers or homemade playdough (yes my parents were into healthy and homemade) now each bag must be filled with pencils, stickers, cars, candy-- the cost of which must equal at least $5-10.

I guess i yearn for the simplicity of yesteryear. i remember sitting at the dining room table with my mom -- planning the guest list, picking invitations, planning the games (like playing fishing pole- where we erected a giant decorated cardboard box in the doorway of the guest bedroom and toss the line over (while the parent on the other side attached a small gift (you've seen pollyanna- you know the game) a tisket a tasket, duck duck goose. Cake- always homemade and decorated will all a mothers love and ice cream (and i got to pick the flavor), dad came in early from work , and the ultimare surprise of what was hidden beneath the glamourous wrapping paper of your presents.

After i will never forget my care bear cake,that salty smell, as i kneaded the hot pink playdough and packaged it into little sandwich baggies to give to my friends. It was a celebration-not of money or extravagance or me and the joy of childhood!


ShelahBooksIt said...

As one who had the OOC birthdays a generation ago, I feel like my own kids' parties are always lamer than everyone else's and than my own as a child. It's cake and ice cream and a pinata here.

smartmama said...

i can only imagine your mom doing a birthday party- WOW!

Alissa said...

i don't do birthday parties. our bday parties are what we term "cake and ice cream parties". have some friends come over for cake and ice cream... play for an hour, go home. no goodie bags, no presents involved except from the parents. how will my kids cope?