So Aellyn’s first birthday is around the corner and I’ve been thinking about what to do to celebrate her milestone birthday. I’m kind of shying away from a big party for several reasons.
- It is expensive.
- It is more about the parents than the child (and worse the “status” of throwing the best party ergo being the best mommy).
- It just generally feels egotistical to me to have big birthday parties. I’m uncomfortable with Aellyn receiving tons of gifts which overshadow the true meaning of the day.
When I was a kid I only had 2 big birthday parties: 6 and 16 years old. That is the way my Mom did it. Other years it was a simple cake and ice cream family affair. My husband on the other hand had parties every year (according to him, Terry, is he full of crap?). We have a tiny house so even a smallish party would require us to rent someplace.
I really don’t want Aellyn’s birthday to be about getting gifts. I’m wary of excessive gift giving anytime because I think it focuses on “me me me” and results in too much crap. I think a single, special gift is more valued than 20 gifts from family and friends. I also don’t want Aellyn to grow up having so many toys she doesn’t know what to do. I want her to develop a strong sense of appreciation for the things she has and of charity for those less fortunate. Birthday parties don’t help with either of those things. Am I being a crazy hippie?
I do think birthdays are special and important. I’m not saying I don’t want to celebrate Aellyn achieving another year – I really do want to make it special. I just don’t think that matching balloons and plates and tons of gifts is how to do it. So my idea is that her birthday be a special day for her to choose an activity. This year I think I’d like to go to the Infant Workshop at COSI in Columbus. As she gets older she can decide what she wants to do and with whom (invite a friend or what not). I would much rather her end the day with a memory than a Fisher Price Musical Hunk of Plastic.
(As a side note, I think this is a theme with me. When my parents asked what I wanted for High School graduation they were thinking in terms of jewelry. What did I ask for? A vacation to Washington DC. I wanted my dad to see the vietnam memorial and the memories of a family vacation sounded better to me. I was right. That vacation is one of my greatest memories! (Remember the Blue Ridge Mts. after boiling in DC for 3 days?) Much better than a necklace I wear every now and then.)
(As another side note, this is not to be construed as meaning I don’t like to get jewelry. DH.)
I can get the requisite cake on the face pictures on my own time.
What are your thoughts on Baby’s First Birthday?