Sunday, 30 October 2011

Birthday Party Musings

There are some breathtaking photos out there in blogland of the AMAZING coordinated parties that people lay on for their children's first birthdays and other toddler parties. Talented mothers with the time, money and motivation to create amazing themed parties with mouth watering dessert tables where every detail is considered. (I don't want to link directly to any of these parties, but I'm sure you could easily find some if you are curious).

While these make for great blog posts, seeing them often leaves me with a few question marks:

Are these parties for the parents or the children?
Are the children actually allowed to enjoy themselves at these pristine events?
Do these parties exist in the real world?
And... am I expected to produce something similar for my children?

I'll be honest and admit that I stopped following several blogs which continually post about these kinds of parties as I find it a bit intimidating.

We had a small party for Rascal today. Just us, three of her friends and their mothers. The children played in the garden. The mums sat and chatted in the garden watching the hilarity. It was a fun, relaxed event which wasn't spoiled for us by worrying about preparation or cleaning up afterwards.

Considering the teapot birthday cake, I probably should have made an effort to turn it into more of a tea party, but would this have made it any more or less enjoyable for the 2 and 3 year old children? Why add stress to the occasion? 

The children went home with a piece of cake and a balloon. Happy.
No expectations of anything else.

To me, the most important thing with a birthday party is to have fun...
... We all did...
Mission Accomplished :-)

What are your ideas on children's parties?
I needn't have worried, the cake was YUM!
P.S. Just for the record I wish that I was talented enough to create a beautiful and fun looking party like this one! How awesome is it?!?


  1. I love making cakes for my kids. It's the only part I actually enjoy, I must admit. We normally only have us at the party and my children often miss out on lots of friends etc. I don't feel bad tho. I don't think they suffer.
    Sometimes one or two friends are invited. It still seems enough. I def do not like party favours and hate the LOOt my children receive from other parties. I am a grinch aren't I!!!!

    Fun is better than stuff, for sure. And cake is everything lol x

  2. Your partyy sounded just super for that age group, no fuss or stress. That other one was just way over the top, like you said, who has the time for such things all the time?

  3. For the record, I really am impressed by the party from The Golden Adventures that I linked to.

    I didn't want to link to an example of the kind of over the top parties that I was referring to.

  4. cute as cake! well done!! I hate making cakes so my mother inlaw always does it for me phew!
    and I hear ya re birthday party madness, though I do like to celebrate with lots of people, I'm not into all the fuss and details, it's just the way I am. and I don't blog much about my kids parties so I don't feel too much of a failure! haha

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kids birthday parties and I go all out - I try to theme/colour co ordinate as much as possible (however, it is mostly all handmade) and 'eekk' so glad you didn't link to any of my parties as over the top *gulp*
    My personal birthday parties are the happiest memories I have of my childhood and I want my kids to have happy memories too - And My Mr B never had birthday parties so I go over the top for him ::))
    Rascals cake is gorgeous ::)) and as long as everyone had fun and left happy that is ALL that matters.
    ps: I DON'T do loot bags either!

  6. I know the kind of blog you mean! There was a big scandal a couple years ago here when some party planner said public ally what some parents were spending on parties. I think the average was low thousands up to $15,000! Unreal. So anything I do after that seems quite normal! I think themed parties for the under 6s are for the parents, I don't think the kids really get them. This year we got a friend who is a fairy to come and oh my, that was a massive hit with all concerned! She kept them occupied for an hour and it was just so relaxing! Hazel has two seperate groups of close friends so we can't get it down to reasonable numbers without leaving people out, so my problem (aside from the fact Hazel doesn't like cake) is always numbers. But that aside, the old party favourites go down well and generally the kids are more interested in running around like maniacs than doing organised activities. The problem with the party blogs is that they create a false impression of what is normal. 90% of parties are the same as they were when I was a kid, it's just an industry trying to make us think the 10% are the normal ones! I do loot bags, but I grew up with them so it seems right and proper :) And I do admit perhaps I go a little over the top with them, but only a little. I suspect if I had two kids things might be a bit more basic too :P

  7. Your party sounded just right for a little one and her friends (and the mums!) to really enjoy it. I love to plan for parties, with the decorations etc but at the same time keep it simple and really affordable (i.e. a lot of homemade). We've only had our girls' 1st birthday so far and they weren't even really aware of it, so I guess it was more for those of us a little older! But in the coming years I want to focus on fun rather than perfection. I'm also not keen on party favours. I saw a cookies and milk themed party on pinterest that thought looked cool for the upcoming 2nd birthday! You bring up good points and I think fun and relaxed (for the parents) is a key. Glad yours went well!

  8. Totally agree.... We made a rule that when you turn 7yrs you get a party with friends, and then the next one after that is 10 and so on. All the other parties and family ones... we normally spend it with extended family and do something special.... I'm all for relaxed parties, its the way to go... glad you had a great day :)

    ps: and I love the relaxed looking party theme you linked to

  9. I lOVE your teapot cake! Different strokes for different folks and all that I think. I love birthday parties, the cake baking, having millions of people over, party dresses etc, clauds an extrovert so i'm sure she'll take it in her stride when her birthday comes around!

  10. Your party sounds great. . just right for a three year old. I don't mind it so much when the child is really young (like first birthdays) when the parents make it obvious that their co-ordinated party is more for the parents then the child, but you're so right about the super-over-co-ordinated perfect parties. As Jaz said, fun is better than stuff!

  11. The inner of your birthday cake looks even more delicious than the whole one - it's a work of art! All kids want is some other kids to play with - and some space to run around. Add a birthday cake and you've got a party - easy, peasy! Yours sounded lovely and relaxed . . . and most importantly fun! :D

  12. gosh your cake is fantastic!

  13. The cake looks AWESOME!!! Is there anything creative you cannot do??? I love parties. We have a 'family/grown-up' policy before 5 but I have had a bit of fun'theming' this year. Having said that my themes just mean tweaking the characters in the games to be the theme (like toss the teddy through a hoop)not doing a whole lot of crazy work. I get the joy that some people get in organising an amazing party though I just don't get when they spend $100s and $1000s doing it - maybe I'm just cheap??!!. I am most uncomfortable with huge parties where everyone brings presents because I feel like it is unsustainable for people to be expected to spend $20 buying a gift for people's children on 18 different occasion through a year (if all the friends have these parties!). I want people to come to any celebration we have and leave feeling loved, fed and having had a good laugh - same for parties big or small. And I never want people to feel they cannot come because they don't have anything to give. Sorry this has turned into a novel! :-)


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