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The Deluxe Guide to Birthday Parties

February 26th, 2006

Wacky Girl has gone to a whole lotta of birthday parties in the nearly seven years she has been here on Planet It�s Somebody�s Birthday Again. In fact, just today she went to two more! (One for a boy, one for twin girls. So really? It was more like three, three, three parties in one day!)

The child is something of a birthday party expert. As a party-hopping mommy, I appreciate a fun party that doesn�t overwhelm the kids (or the parents) and leaves us wanting more. (First tip: Most of the time less is more and just perfect.) Here are some suggestions for you, and some pitfalls to avoid. Happy partying!

We’ll add more to this as we go along, but for now:

List Of Gifts To Buy

Barbie dolls (specifically �fashion� ones)
Polly Pockets
Bratz anything
horses and accessories
make-up kits
princess coloring books
princess dress-up clothes
princess anything
Doodle Bears
Care Bears anything

dinosaur anything
Power Rangers
science kits, especially ones that blow things up (make-your-own volcano, etc.)
spy kits
Lego anything
hockey stuff
pirate dress-up clothes
board games (Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Hi-Ho Cherry-O)
Yu-Gi-O and Pokemon trading cards

Here is what makes a party good: Gift exchange. You don�t bring a gift for the birthday kid, you bring a non-gender specific toy, game or book and everyone does a swap! They don�t have to fight! Wacky Mommy highly encourages gift exchanges because it discourages the greedy little kiddos from the game of �More! More!! Mine! Nooooo! Mine!�

However. Some children will not tolerate a gift exchange, as some of us are too painfully aware. For these children, may we suggest the new trend of opening the presents after the guests have gone home. Yes, after.

Cuz if you�re a broke guest (as we have been, on several occasions) and all you can afford is, say, a Clifford book or two, you really feel stoopid when the birthday kid opens your lame gift, pitches it to the side, and screams in joy and ecstasy when he opens the huge Box o� Plastic Crap from his friend who has more cash. And I would like to snarkily note (snarkily! nice usage, eh?) that the Clifford book might be around, and loved, for many months or even years. While Plastic Craptacular will be strewn about, stomped on, pieces lost, etc. and not live until the next birthday.

Don�t do presents that day, do them another day, WG suggests. (She means avoid the �feeding frenzy� that follows the birthday kid opening the gifts and the guests descending upon them like crazed locust. Really � think about it from the birthday kid�s point of view. You�ve just opened this really great, whatever, and some little hoodlum comes along, screams, �That�s cooooooooool!�, grabs it out of your hands and breaks it. Do you get a new toy? No, you do not. You �Learn a Valuable Lesson,� as your parents will say. And the lesson is what, exactly? Don�t get gifts? Don�t share? Don�t have friends over? What is the lesson exactly?)

1 Comment

  1. julie says

    Or, do what a lot of families do in our neighborhood. The kid picks a charity to support (e.g. Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, Oregon Food Bank) and the kids bring either a check or supplies for that charity. Everyone feels they are doing a good thing, and the Birthday Kid gets to feel really important when they deliver the goods. This, of course, does not mean Birthday Kid doesn’t get any presents…there are always tons from grandparents, aunts, etc., but at least the quantity of presents is significantly decreased.


    March 8th, 2006 | #

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