How much is too much?

Last week, my daughter and I attended a birthday party for Nicole’s 2 year old son. It was a really fun cowboy party which included games, cowboy hats and to top it all off, pony rides. Everyone had a blast and I can truly say that it was probably the most well organized children’s party I’ve ever been to. I don’t know what she spent on the party, but I am sure she didn’t have to take out a second mortgage to host it.

Tonight, I read this article about elaborate children’s parties. Here’s a quick excerpt:

Two years earlier, she forked out $10,000 on a princess party for Sabrina, then three, sending a Cinderella character out to the homes of dozens of children to hand-deliver an invitation along with a song. She hired 10 princesses that day, as well as a horse-drawn carriage, 12-foot-tall balloon sculptures of the Little Mermaid, 10 activity tents and characters out of “Alice in Wonderland.” “The balloons themselves cost $4,500,” she said.

Now, is it just me, or does that seem to be a tad over the top? Let’s face it, these people are not spending thousands of dollars so their three year old is happy. They are doing it to impress their friends and neighbors.

I really don’t understand this rational, because to be quite frank, I really don’t give a damn what people think of me. I am a well-adjusted, financially stable, happy person. I dress in clothes bought on sale at Kohl’s and hardly wear any makeup. Do I feel the need to prove my worth to anyone? Absolutely NOT! Furthermore, I am not really that impressed if you spend half of what my adoption is costing me on your kids birthday bash. In fact, I think it is a huge waste of money and said kid will probably grow up to be a spoiled brat.

I would much prefer going to a birthday party hosted by Nicole. She is unpretentious and nice. Anyway, I would probably have to wear makeup at a $10,000 birthday party…


21 Responses to “How much is too much?”

  1. 1 Connie July 21, 2006 at 3:53 am

    It isn’t the money spent on one occasion that matters. It is the love given to a child every day, and given freely, that matters so much more.

    Obviously, you already know that quite well ;0)

    Here’s to simple parties with lots of hugs!

    PS – I have $10 in Kohl’s bucks…I’ll be on it!

  2. 2 M3 (Mary-Mia) July 21, 2006 at 4:22 am

    Good god, people are just nuts.
    You know the other thing I don’t understand? It’s why people invite every single person they know (plus dates) to their kid’s 1 year old bday party. What’s up with that? Do you really need 50-60 people around to watch your tiny tot smear cake around his highchair? I’m thinking our bday parties will be family only until the kiddo can actually write down the names of little friends she wants to invite. Just my two cents. 🙂

  3. 3 jennster July 21, 2006 at 4:23 am

    LOL at the makeup comment!
    you know, that’s just a sign that someone has too much fucking money.
    the end. lol

  4. 4 Christina July 21, 2006 at 6:48 am

    I don’t think it matters too much if you spend a little or even $10,000. on a party. I know this girl here in Hawaii who has 2 kids, one goes to school with my son and she threw an awesome party for 300 people with fire dancers and all kinds of entertainment, and I am sorry to say not only is she one of the nicest people I know, and has 2 of the nicest, most well behaved kids I know, but the party rocked. My point being you can be a great mom, wether you spend lots or not. You can also have great kids. I am not so sure it is about money, but about who you are as a person. My sons friend Tanner always invites him to spend the night and they have tons of money. They live in a 5 bedroom house here in Hawaii and they always take my son to Dave and Busters for dinner and give him and his friend each a $100. game card every time. I always joke with his mom (who is a great friend of mine) that the kids like it better there because here all they get is homemade pizza. Tanner says my pizza is awesome, which he tells me every time. Again he goes to private school for $12,000. a year but he is polite, smart, and even spends time playing with my 3 wild boys when he is here and actually acts like he likes it. His mom always says she doesn’t mind doing it since she can and I don’t feel bad because the boys end up spending equal time at both places. I only think money can matter if you don’t share it and take it too seriously. The root of all evil is not money but the love of money is the root of all evil.

  5. 5 Johnny July 21, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Hey, just watch Bridezilla and you can see things spiralling out of control.

    I can see on one hand things can get “competitive” where one parent feels the need to outshine a previous birthday party.

    And then some parents might equate $$ to love.

    It’s exhausting mentally and financially to do that for 18+ years.

  6. 6 Kim M. July 21, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    It amazes me what people will spend money on. What does that prove to your child!?? We have old fashion parties here. They are at home or the commutiy pool with a 12.99 pinata.

    Hey by the way there is nothing wrong with clothes from Kohls! You know that outfit you said you liked (the one at my friends wedding) I got that at SEARS!

  7. 7 Made in China July 21, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    You know, it takes all kinds. As an interior designer I have had clients spend over $26,000 on bedroom decor for their child (not including furniture).
    I have thrown lovley birthday parties for my son for $100! Character plates & cups, snacks, cake, activities, etc. That’s what kids enjoy!

  8. 8 Doris & Dan Clark July 21, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    Kids are simple and don’t care that you spent their college fund on their 3rd birthday party.

    They probably don’t get it (at an early age) and as they get older, they want cake, presents and fun!

    Like MIC said, simple and inexpensive is what kids enjoy!

    And I agree, any child’s party where you have to dress up for is not a fun one.

    And I love Kohl’s. Wish they had them here in Canada.

    Keep smilin!

  9. 9 Space Mom July 21, 2006 at 2:12 pm

    I am in the middle of party season at my (almost) 4 year old’s class. Sunday is our party. We have gone to parties at a puppet theatre and ones with story tellers, or at an indoor gym.

    I feel a little cheap in that we are having pizza, ice cream cake and cake at our house and the entertainment is playtime in the back yard.

    I made a pinata too, but mostly for the fun of it…

    I can’t see the point of spending so much on birthdays. I guess I am just frugal!
    And we have a rule for birthdays…the birthday girl gets to pick out dinner! 🙂

  10. 10 asiangarden July 21, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    wah~ 10,000 for a party? No thanks!!
    I like the parties we have at the resturaunt, yes the food costs alot, but it’s not all big and fancy, and everyone loves to eat!

  11. 11 wzgirl July 21, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Hey, you shop at KOHL’s, too?? I was just there yesterday. Honestly, I think that all of those large balloon structures would give me nightmares. 10G for a BDay party – wow. My husband & I have talked about how we plan to do the homemade cake & icecream thing. Maybe a roller skating party when little one gets older…….stuff we remember loving when we were kids.

  12. 12 Fraulein July 21, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    I’m already stressing about planning the Peanut’s 2nd birthday party, with just over two months to go, but it’s certainly not because we will be taking out another mortgage to pay for it! It’s more than I’m not sure what kind of backyard activities to plan to appeal to kids of both genders ranging from 2 to about 6.

  13. 13 Tammy July 21, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    I can think of a bajillion ways to spend 10 grand. And a kiddie birthday party doesn’t make the list.

    Can we say overindulged? That child will be in for a rude awakening when she grows up & the world doesn’t treat her like a royal princess. Look out!

    I’m a fan of old-fashioned home birthday parties for the kidlets. Pinatas, musical chairs, freeze dance, pin the tail on the whatever – with little prizes from the dollar store or Oriental Trading. Lots of fun for little $$.

  14. 14 Pendullum July 21, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    I am a firm believer in birthday parties at home and I have come up with creative party ideas for the past 8 years…
    We have had costume parties, sing alongs, magic parties(where we did magic tricks and taught the childrens some) sing a longs…
    We have movie night now…
    Where we use form my husband’s office a power point projector and we show a movie and rent a an old fashioned popcorm machine … every kid brings a sleeping bagand they watch a movie under the stars…

  15. 15 Laura July 21, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    You can have an awesome theme party without spending a ton of money. So many web sites publish party craft, game and decorating ideas that involve using things from around your house. Here are a couple links to theme party guides on one site, and another website that has TONS of awesome ideas, in case anyone’s interested:

    First Birthday Ideas:

    Summer Fun Ideas:

    All-Around Amazing Site:

  16. 16 Joannah July 21, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    Birthday parties should be simple, fun, and kid centered – not advertisements for how much cash you have.

  17. 17 Gracencameronsmomy July 21, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    We are having my son’s 5th birthday party at a park, like we always do. No bounce house, no clown, just friends and park fun…He’ll live…

  18. 18 Georgia and Jeff July 22, 2006 at 1:31 am

    Wow. I’d go to that party just for the goodie bag!

    What do they give away? I-Pods? Laptops? Geez.

  19. 19 Christina July 22, 2006 at 6:34 pm

    Oh I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my comment above, but I was just trying to play devil’s advocate. As my sister will tell you all I love a good arguement. I think this was an awesome post because it get’s people thinking. This girl on another blog wrote one awhile back about censoring teenagers reading and that created a lot of good conversation. All in good fun.

  20. 20 Linda, Brandon, Braydon, and Lila July 22, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Here is my 2 cents on b day parties. I loth goodie bags, who ever came up with that idea sucks!! I spend a week throwing away crappy toys & candy from those dumb things.

    the person throwing the 10k bday bash must have wanted people to know it was 10k because it is common knowledge now.

    If you are a good person, loving to your kids and you are not trying to “buy” them for some sick guilt you have, I say throw a bash. I would love to spend the big dough…but, that is not reality for most of us. And really…who remebers those parties more the guests or the one who should, the birthday person.

  21. 21 lemon_golfer August 19, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    I agree – you don’t need to spend much at all to have a special party that children will remember for a long time. I collect and describe unusual, archaic, long lost party games in my blog

    chin chin!

    your faithful servant

    Montegue Blister esq.

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