I read in the paper a few months back that a single mother was asking parents to pay £6 a head for their children to come to her twins 5th birthday party and she was ridiculed online for it. Ruma Ali, 29, asked parents to help with the cost of boys Shiyan and Kiyan’s celebration at an indoor play centre in Leicester. Student Ms Ali said she made the request because she wanted all of their 60 school friends to come along, but certain parents have been less than impressed. I remember when a children’s birthday party involved inviting friends over for cake, play games, listen to music and have a good time. Why is it all now to do with how much money is spent?
When I was a kid, a small group of friends would come over and celebrate my day and some family were there too. It was small, intimate and we always had fun. The day was filled with laughter, song, dance and created so many memories. These days that’s not the case. These days it’s about making it an expensive ritual. Hiring over-the-top party buses and spending a fortune on pleasing everyone. If someone asked me to pay X for Emily’s attendance, I would be annoyed. It seems rude. If you’re throwing a party for your child, whatever age, you should foot the bill. If you can’t afford to do so, have the party at home. It’s not rocket science.
I’ve been to some friends children’s parties where it’s held at home, surrounded by family, a roaring BBQ, screaming laughing children and it was the best day, and I’ve been to other parties where the kid is having a tantrum because they’re not getting all the attention at their themed over-the-top party paid for by their parents. Birthday parties should be about having fun, not impressing people. That goes for any age. Don’t make your guests feel awkward. Why complicate things? There’s really no need. Do what you can afford and let the kids have the fun without the expensive ridiculous accessories. If you can afford it, by all means, spend what you want, but let your child have their special day with their friends and their gifts without the awkward silences.
Throughout my adult years, I’ve thrown numerous parties and most of them have been a disappointment. The ones that weren’t planned were more fun. Now, when it comes to my birthday, all I want to do is spend it with my family. Enjoy it with good food, some nice wine and people who I love. I don’t want ridiculous gestures or out of this world parties, I just want something small and intimate shared with the people I care about. As for Emily, I hope she wants a day filled with very much the same. Although times have changed since I was a kid, there are certain things that shouldn’t. If you don’t agree with that, do what you feel is right, but don’t question other peoples opinions. Organising a party amongst friends where everyone splits the bill is entirely different, and shouldn’t even be considered on the same wavelength. Don’t ask other people to foot your bill. It’s as simple as that.