Toddler birthday parties

I have to admit I’ve been feeling a little guilty for not having a big party for Avery’s birthday. I went back and forth about it, but realizing we had our good friend’s 40th birthday celebration and Easter the weekend before her birthday, it was tough to find a good time for it. We celebrated her birthday a week earlier when my mom was visiting, I sent cookies to school for them to celebrate there and Chase’s parents were coming over for cake and presents on her actual birthday. So, shouldn’t that be enough? When I was a kid, sure. Now in the days of $500 birthday parties, sometimes it feels like I’m depriving my child of a true celebration.

I had big parties for both kids’ first birthdays. I did them at my house, and baked cupcakes and bought pre-made food at Costco to feed our friends and family. I bought decorations and invitations. And beer (that may have been a bulk of our bill). I didn’t even do favors (I hate them, who needs more crap in their house?) and it probably cost $350. It just adds up. Not to mention the time buying supplies, but for a first birthday it was worth it. Since Avery was born less than a month before Clay’s birthday, I decided that we would alternate years for who gets to have a big party.

Our friends with older kids have hosted parties all over town: gymnastics places, Chuck E. Cheese (my worst nightmare), ice skating rink, etc. at a cost hovering around $500. There is a definite advantage to this, as you don’t have to pick up the mess or let weird kids (or their equally odd parents) in your house. But for small kids, whose friends are basically your friends’ kids, is there a point? Avery is two and a fancy party would be lost on her anyway. She loves sweets and girly clothes/toys. That’s all she needs to be happy. She was so excited every time we even said happy birthday to her. We had quality family time and I saved $300+ and countless hours of planning.

I gave Clay the option of a party since he’ll be four in May and he didn’t get the big party last year. He’d rather go to Legoland. A kid after my own heart. It won’t be cheap, but it’s money spent on time with my family. Worth every penny.

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