No Birthday Party This Year?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Last year, in lieu of a birthday party, Sisi helped me make paleo cake with chocolate frosting. We gave Sisi a party hat, sang happy birthday, and that was it.  She totally loved it!

Contrast that with her 1 year party. I swore I'd keep it simple. Relative to many of my friends' kids' parties, it WAS simple.  Just light lunch, desserts, doggy themed decor and some baby toys and blankets thrown on the lawn.  But somehow I still ended up spending a lot of money, and hours and hours of time crafting all the little details.  Simple is very hard for me, especially when decorating and crafting is my passion.
onesie wall art

I'm extremely torn about what to do for Sisi's third birthday.  Part of me wants to throw her a small and simple no-fuss party. Part of me wants to scrap the party, and just take Sisi to the aquarium and have family meet us for dinner at a restaurant.

I need to ask myself the following questions:
1.  Am I capable of throwing a small and simple party?? 
2.  Which option is cheaper?
3.  And most importantly, which option will Sisi like better?  

Off the top of my head, my answers are "No, I'm not capable of keeping it no-fuss," "The aquarium will obviously be cheaper," and "Sisi would rather be surrounded by fish than at a party."  All signs point to the Aquarium.

Except there is something inside me that wants to throw her a party anyway.  Perhaps I want to show my love by putting time and creativity into her special day.  Perhaps I feel guilty always attending amazing parties but never throwing them.  Perhaps I just want an excuse to bust out my Silhouette die-cutter machine.  But even with harsh self-imposed rules (like no goodie bags, no more than 10 kids, no centerpieces, no massive dessert table) I still can't help but want a face-painter, buttload of balloons, clever games, pretty linens, and specialty cake.  All those things cost money and effort. Have you ever blown up 100 balloons and tried to hang them from the ceiling?  I have.  Never again.  

While I totally love and appreciate the extravagant parties Sisi attends regularly, I've come to realize they are just not for me.  First, I'm a minimalist now. I can't stomach the idea of a bunch of wasted food and decorations that will end up in the trash.  Plus, presents are so fun, but we are really trying to keep our house clutter-free.

Also, being paleo makes parties even harder.  Lots of parents can simplify their parties by doing pizzas, cake and punch. But there are really not a lot of cheap paleo options. If I'm going to throw a party, I want to feed people nutritiously.  I can only think of a few restaurants that would really fit the bill, and they aren't necessarily cheap.  Oh, and me cooking for everyone?  Not even an option.

So, I don't think I'll be throwing a party for Sisi this year. Even though this fact causes me a bit of guilt and grief,  I'm pretty sure Sisi won't care.  Joe even said we could use some of the money we would have put into a party, and go on a special little getaway instead.  Maybe a night in San Diego or Santa Barbara for the three of us?  Sounds amazing to me.

All this got me thinking back to childhood- I never chose parties for myself as a kid.  Being the introvert that I am, I always asked to take my two best friends somewhere special for the day, like Disneyland.  Then we'd go home, have a Baskin Robbin's ice cream cake, and call it a splendid day. Sisi is so much like me, I have a feeling that's what she'd pick, too.  Nothing wrong with that!  

How do you guys feel about kids' birthday parties?  Do you enjoy throwing them?  Any tips for keeping them simple and stress-free?


Anonymous,  November 17, 2013 at 8:48 PM  

I was pretty introverted as a kid too - I opted to either pick a favorite restaurant or have a few friends over for a sleepover… I think my largest party was my 100-day korean birthday party, lol. I like the idea of keeping things simple. :)
- Junia

After all, wouldn't they just grow as the kids get older?

When I turned 21, my parents barbecued for over 70 people (at my request). My sister and brother were commissioned to make the salsa.. my sister said her finger smelled of onions for days. That's love. And I think every child knows that about their family no matter what the party looks like.

sk November 18, 2013 at 7:02 AM  

I think your idea for the Aquarium sounds perfect! At this age, the parties are more for the mamas, and if you're not *that* into it I would skip it! There will be plenty of years where she'll probably ASK for a party and THEN you can do your hosting thing.

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