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August 26, 2007



I miss those times...don't you Jor? We had some great fun, and I still believe there's nothing better than a good 'ol home party. It's a whole new world out there.


Unfortunately I think we Aussies are going the way of the event. It's a way of not messing up the spotless home and having someone else think up the activities.

Re the presents, I was going to have my son open his later at his 5th birthday party, but he decided for himself that he would open then and there. That in itself takes up some time.


I don't think it's fair to label this sort of thing as a suburban yuppie affectation. I'm a non-suburban single mom and am already exhausted enough (not to mention unable to keep up with the housework) without inviting 10 or 15 kids to my house. We've had some wonderful parties for my son at the Children's museum and a rock climbing gym, to name a couple examples. The kids have a great time, and yes, I get some much needed help with the party planning.


I thought it was about not having to clean a messy house more than being about not having to clean up after.

Which probably tells you a lot about the state of my house.


I read a lot about how women are so much more stressed out and spread thin these days than they used to be. I can't really say I know because I just became a woman myself and don't remember those times past. However, this seems to be an example of how we're breeding this same manic, efficiency-maximizing style of going through life in the next generation. Every day is run by schedules and even children are feeling that impact. It's hard to operate when you're always on a deadline and become accustomed to thinking in 15 minute intervals.

Mary Kay

When your cousins were growing up, we had both some roller-skating, Chuckie Cheese, and at-home parties (we actually played drop the clothes pin in the bottle, and pin the tail, and it was outdated then but so much fun!) There sure are a lot more ideas out there now. I can see going out for them but I still think the gifts should be opened and Thanks said at the time of the party. I still have a picture of one of your mom's parties for you when you were about 5, all your little neighborhood friends. What cuties!
I sure miss those days!!

Troy Worman

My son Andrew will turn five in October, which means my family is a little more than a month away from our next birthday party extravaganza! I don't remember having any birthday parties. I'm not saying I didn't have any. I'm just saying that if I did, they weren't memorable. So, when my wife and mother-in-law started planning my daughter Julia's first birthday party I was taken aback by the extravagance. That was eight years ago. Since that time I have been to a couple dozen birthday parties, probably less than a third of the number my wife has attended, from swimming pools to playgrounds, from the beach to the bowling alley, from Pump-it-Up to the Alligator Farm.

That's right. Last year Andrew and I attended a birthday party for four year olds at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. It was pretty cool. The highlight of the day was feeding time, featuring a half-dozen buckets of fresh quail and several tons of prehistoric predators. You might be surprised how quickly a fourteen foot long gator can move. Not many quail hit the dirt. Of course, the important thing is that all the kids had a great time, and more importantly, the party was just what the birthday boy wanted.

It has been my experience that this is more often than not the case--the child picks the party location and theme. Certainly, this is how it works at my house. In fact, my daughter's last birthday party was thrown in our backyard. We tie-dyed t-shirts, painted pots, planted flowers, and listened to the Beatles.


I dislike the organized birthday party events that some parents are throwing for their children. Here in Germany that has been a recent trend but it's growing more and more. The mother of my son's friend (who then turned four) said, "It is so boring, doing the same thing over and over." Well, for her. At that time my son had been to a total of three birthday parties in his whole life and considered everything to be very exciting.

I plan to go the "invite a handful of friends to our house, make cupcakes and play musical chairs"-route for as long as my son and his friends enjoy it. Birthday parties don't have to be a competition.


My birthday parties were always during February vacation (in New England). My parents used it as a respite for the other parents dealing w/ kids home for a week: Cake and presents, then send the kids outside for 2 hours to play. Even if the snow was over our heads. We were pretty much thrown out while the grown-ups sat by the fire and drank. Ah, the 70s.

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