I love parties.  I love planning parties.  I love the details, the organization, the creativity and ingenuity.  I love taking a theme and tying it through the whole event with little touches.  And I love trying to do it on a slim budget.  For me, it is fun.  But then again, I used to professionally plan weddings and other fun events.

So enter the debate:  How big is too big for a child’s party?  Is there such a thing as too much or over the top?  

Obviously, I am going to be a little biased here because I love parties.  But first let me say that yes, I think there is such a thing as too much (and I’ll get to that later).  However, I fully recognize that where the line falls depends on the individual.

I have been to very simple birthday parties where the kids had a blast.  It doesn’t take much to please children.  And if you’re using your imagination, it can be done with even less.  A little play and birthday cake makes my kids happy.

For me, I enjoy doing all the dreaming, planning and even the executing.  I like to create the atmosphere, the themed food, games and activities.  But the key is I love doing it.  If you don’t enjoy the elaborate planning, that is totally ok!  Because what it is really about is celebrating your child.  

Here is when I think a child’s party has gotten a tad out of control:

  • When it costs too much (you’ll have to fill in the dollar amount).  Did you ever see the TLC show, “Outrageous Kid Parties” when it was running?  Let’s just say that a preschool graduation party for $20K or an eight year old’s party for $32K is WAY TOO MUCH!  If I spend more than a couple hundred dollars, I’m freaking out.  The figure that makes you comfortable may be a lot more or less than mine.  And that is ok, too!  
  • When it is so over the top that other children will begin to feel bad about their own birthday parties.  I do a lot for my kid’s birthdays (and other random parties), but I always want to be sensitive to this.  If you saw even just one episode of Outrageous Kid Parties, you would agree it would be pretty hard to compete with a $32K birthday party.
  • When it is done to replace the value a child should be feeling all year long.  I could throw the best birthday parties ever, but if my child doesn’t feel special and valued by me the other 364 days of the year, then I have failed. 
Planning a child’s birthday party is a lot of work whether you keep it to the basics or go all out.  Let’s face it, when you have children, even cleaning the house for company is an accomplishment!  So have fun and enjoy celebrating your child.  
What do you think?  I’d love you to leave a comment and I’m sure many people will have varying opinions on this subject.  Please share your thoughts but also be respectful and kind to those you may disagree with.  Thank you!
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