I will be the first person to admit that I am not a “throw a birthday party” type person. If I can get out of throwing one, I will. I am not above offering money or other like minded bribes to achieve that goal.
I have friends who throw fabulous parties, with a theme and goody bags and everything. They probably don’t tell people when it’s time to leave and enforce it.
Not. My. Thing. Sorry. It’s just not.
A typical birthday party for me has been “Oh, God, I forgot the cake. How in the heck does someone forget a cake for a BIRTHDAY PARTY? Hey, hon, can you call your mom and ask her to stop and get a cake?” God bless my mother in law, please! She has saved me a few times. My family likes to plan. They will call two days before a birthday to ask what I am doing. I’m like “Seriously? I can’t plan that far ahead”.
I love birthdays and I love that the people in my life keep having them, but the planning, the buying and the execution are just a little much for me. Not only that, I have to spend a hundred dollars on a party and then my kids want a gift too? The party doesn’t count as a gift? Stepping out of my comfort zone? It should all count for something. It doesn’t. I mean, it didn’t.
Last year, my 20 year old planned a party for herself. She gave me a list of things she wanted for the party, the friends she wanted to invite and the presents she wanted to receive.
I gave her $100. I told her if she could do it all for that amount of money, she could have at it.
You know what? It worked. She decided that she would rather have something for herself than throw a party and suck up all that money. My genius idea was then born for each and every one of my kids. Chad and I sat down and figured out an amount that we would be okay gifting for each of our children’s birthday. For us, that amount happened to be $100 each. We figured that if we threw a party, even with family, and bought a gift, this is the amount we would typically spend.
Now, it is up to the kids to decide if they want a party, a gift or a little of both. One of my kids has chosen a gift, one has chosen a party and a small gift, and one has saved the entire amount. They are responsible for the planning and purchasing, although I am totally available for assistance. I love seeing my kids weigh their options and making their own informed decisions. The baby didn’t get an option, she got money…. and cake.
This has definitely worked for us!
As a side note, they DO get cake and a card from us. They also have the option of us using that money to purchase a gift if they would like a surprise. None of them have taken us up on that offer yet.
What works for you? Do you go all out or have you reigned in the beast of birthday parties?
Check out out more posts about things that work for us at WEARETHATFAMILY.