More than seven years ago, when my older daughter, Jesse, turned one, my husband and I rented a party room at the local community center and invited our close friends and family to celebrate. We served deli sandwiches and a huge cake. The whole affair cost about $500, but we felt that we wanted to commemorate the day in a big way.
Of course, we realized that Jesse wouldn’t remember any of it, but it was important to us to celebrate the fact that we had survived our first year of parenthood.
In that way, the party was more for me and my husband than for Jesse (although she definitely enjoyed her first-ever bite of birthday cake).
Even in this tight economy, some families are splurging on first birthday parties — spending thousands of dollars to throw a big bash. But is it really worth all the fuss?
It may not be a bonafide trend, but Momlogic has a story about lavish first birthday parties. Guest blogger Jessica Katz senses that these big birthday bashes are becoming a competition for the parents to see who can throw a bigger party.
“The party should be about the baby, and what would make the baby happy — and it should be budgeted according to what you can easily afford,” writes Katz, who notes that the $5,000 would be better used in a college savings fund.
Undoubtedly, some parents can afford to spend $5,000 on their kid’s birthday party, so why shouldn’t they if it makes them happy? And if you’re planning a party, I’m not so sure it should be about the baby since most one-year-olds don’t realize it’s their birthday.
But as long as we’re spending other people’s money, I’d argue that the money could be better used on a relaxing weekend getaway for the proud parents. What better way to celebrate your first year of parenthood than by taking a break from parenthood?
What do you think? Did you throw a big birthday party for your son or daughter? Or are you planning a first birthday blow-out bash?