As I am in the midst of preparing for Baby Boy's first birthday (really not preparing like I should, just thinking now... ack!), I thought this article from Money Saving Mom was interesting and timely. The guest blogger shared that they only planned on throwing large parties for the 1st, 5th, 10th, and 16th birthdays for their children.
I'll admit I can go a little over the top and it can be stressful to prepare for birthday parties, but we've made it a point to have a big, somewhat ridiculous themed party each year for each kid. We determine a budget and come up with a theme and I spend a few months before the big day thinking of decorations and color schemes and food, and I make it work by shopping clearance bins, thinking outside the box, and decorating with lots of (cheap) colorful balloons.
Why do we do it like this? Am I a Martha wannabe, a Pinteresting mama? No, I'm not even on Pinterest and I get frustrated even looking at Martha tutorials online. Pretty but a bit too complicated for me most of the time.
We make it a priority to "do birthdays big" because we came so close to losing J-bird. And we were pregnant with a baby whose birthday we'll never celebrate. And we've experienced grief and loss through the death of friends and classmates. Early in our relationship, J-bird's roommate was killed in a terrible accident. His death greatly affected us both. So many years later, we still correspond with his mother and, with each note, we read a sentence or two that provides a painful glimpse into a deep, dark sadness. A mother without her only child. An unimaginable pain.
... "Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many."...
It all piles up after a while. All of the disappointment and resentment and fear and loss.
Life can just be hard and dark and sad sometimes.
[Wow, I can so quickly take a simple post about birthday celebrations and make it so sad and serious... Let me tell you, I've got a knack for it.]
Birthdays are big at our house because every year is a gift and cause for great celebration. Our children are wonderful, happy, bright lights. We like having a house full of people, people who love us and our children, to help us celebrate their wonderful lives, and we're more than willing to spend the money and do the work to make it happen.