Back on July 19th, my daughter, Savannah turned two years old. Leading up to her birthday, both family and friends kept asking when and where we were having her birthday party. In addition, they asked what I would be having at the party – pony rides, moon bounce, face painting, etc. As I sat there and listened to them, I began to wonder. When should you begin to make a deal about your child’s birthday with parties? I thought to myself, Savannah is turning two, and doesn’t know it. She doesn’t even like to unwrap gifts, let alone sit for more than five minutes in one spot without getting antsy. What would she do with clowns, ponies and other entertainment? And, with today’s economy, what parents wants to dish out hundreds of dollars on a 2-3 hour birthday party. This is one reason my husband and I eloped years ago. We didn’t want to have to take out a loan to have a large wedding, and then spend years paying it off. Instead, we kept it simple and had a few close family members and friends join us, and then took everyone out for a lovely dinner.
As a mother to a two year old and 8 month old, I have learned that it is easier to dine in than attempt to take the girls out to a restaurant. So, when July rolled around, I asked my husband what he thought we should do for Savannah’s birthday. He thought about taking her to NYC for the day, but that would be a 2 ½ hr. car ride each way. And, I didn’t think the girls would last with such a long car ride and all that walking around, without getting fussy or acting up. For Savannah’s 1st birthday, we ended up taking her to Max Brenner in Boston, where we let her eat their signature awful mess all by herself. She went crazy and dove face first into the whipped cream, chocolate sauce and ice cream – and, came out with a huge smile. It was nice just having a nice family meal, as we celebrated surviving the first year as new parents, and enjoying watching Savannah grow.
We decided that we would again take Savannah to Max Brenner this year, along with her baby sister, Arabella. We didn’t plan anything beyond this, as we knew that we would be lucky if they both cooperated for the car ride into the city, and lunch in public. Overall, we had a great time, and Savannah dove face first again into her awful mess dessert. She had no idea it was her birthday, but enjoyed being spoiled (yet again) with lunch out and new toys. When I told people we decided not to have a party, a few thought I was robbing Savannah of a time old tradition, while others praised my decision and secretly said they wished they had a low key meal together. So, as I sit here two weeks after Savannah’s birthday, I am left to wonder like us mothers do. Should I have thrown her a birthday party? Or, was spending quality time with us and her baby sister all Savannah really needed to celebrate her 2 year milestone. Was there a certain age you began throwing birthday parties with neighborhood children? Did you wait until your child began asking for a party? I’d love to know your thoughts – as, I am only a couple months shy of Arabella’s 1st birthday, and know people will begin to ask when the party is.
How do you celebrate your child’s birthday?