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A Birthday Party or a Birthday List, But Not Both

Admittedly, I’m a little stingy when it comes to birthdays – yes, even my kids’.

It’s not that I don’t want to celebrate the momentous occasions of my children’s births, I just can’t get over the excess of it all. Relax, I’m not the kind of person who’s going to insist we celebrate Christmas in April in protest of commercialism or anything like that, I just really feel that just because we can spoil our kids, doesn’t mean we should.

But even though this is the way birthdays have always been around these parts, it doesn’t mean that it’s easily understood by my kin. So on the occasion of BooBoo’s 6th birthday last week, decisions had to be made. When asked back in July what he wanted to do for his birthday, BooBoo presented me with a hefty birthday list and the desire to have a big party at an indoor inflatable jumper facility. “Oh Honey, that sounds like a lot of fun,” I said, “But this list of presents along with a birthday party is going to cost a lot of money. You’re going to have to decide what matters to you more, the presents on this list or a birthday party.”

Between you and me, we very well could have done both, but $300+ for a party?! That’s half my grocery budget for the month! Behold my delicate financial sensibilities! And while BooBoo’s happiness in incredibly important to me, I couldn’t help but think of all the parents who can’t afford these kinds of parties for their kids. Do their children grow up feeling any less loved? I think not. So was this where the guilt was supposed to come in? Just because we could afford to host this party, we should? I didn’t think so.

BooBoo’s decision was a tough one, no doubt. We went back and forth on what the gift situation would be, with and without a party, and how he’d still be getting presents from the friends he invited, but that those gifts wouldn’t be anything like the items on his wish list; ultimately BooBoo decided his birthday list was more important.

That’s not to say his birthday wasn’t special! Take a look at BooBoo’s simply sensational birthday!

  • Breakfast in bed 1 of 14
    photo (174)

    When you live in a two-story home like BooBoo where food is expressly prohibited upstairs, it's kind of a big deal when your family wakes you up singing "Happy Birthday" with a chocolate-covered donut in bed.

  • Followed by marbles 2 of 14
    photo (175)

    As a collector of street treasures (a cool stick here, a nasty bottle cap there), we knew BooBoo would lose his marbles over marbles during breakfast. We were right.

  • School day 3 of 14
    photo (176)

    When your birthday falls on a Thursday, you still have to go to school... but if you're lucky you get to wear a cool ribbon!

  • Let the presents begin! 4 of 14
    photo (179)

    Cake wasn't happening until Saturday, so we sure weren't going to wait on opening presents!

  • He seems OK… 5 of 14
    photo (178)

    ... with his decision to go with big presents in lieu of a big party. Doesn't he?

     

  • What do we have here? 6 of 14
    DSC_0533

    What could it be?

  • Gasp! 7 of 14
    DSC_0534

    Lego platforms! Just what he always wanted. No, really.

  • And then… 8 of 14
    DSC_0541

    ... he received the coveted Lego X-Wing Starfighter. I think he liked it.

  • And finally… 9 of 14
    photo (177)

    The Dino Dan Tyrannosaurus Rex!!!! Now this is what he really always wanted.

  • The "party" continued 10 of 14
    photo (184)

    The Saturday that followed was filled with a nice lunch at the restaurant of BooBoo's choosing and a trip to the arcade!

  • And of course… 11 of 14
    DSC_0553

    ... cake at home (that I didn't make).

  • He didn’t care… 12 of 14
    DSC_0559

    Because it had a Darth Vader candle!

  • Make a wish! 13 of 14
    DSC_0563

    To another magical year!

  • Well done! 14 of 14
    DSC_0566

    In the end, I can't help but feel like we're the lucky ones!

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