Children’s birthday parties spiral out of control.


My invites look like a text, email, or phone call (for seniors). I can present all the information in this form and don’t need to spend a single penny on invitations.

Listen to This Glorious Mess where Holly and Andrew argue over whether or not you should issue pity calls. The story continues after the podcast.

3. No party favors.

I thank all the guests who come to my children’s birthday party. They take the time to celebrate this wonderful occasion and of course I want to thank them.

But does showing my appreciation mean giving them a bag full of random plastic trash that they may or may not like? No.

Whether it’s a Yo-Yo or an eraser, these things get tossed in the jumble of things once the child comes home. There’s already a giant ball of plastic called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floating in the ocean. I prefer not to contribute.

Also, I want to teach my kids that birthdays are about spending quality time with the ones they love and less about material rewards. Being present to each other is a present in itself.

4. No entertainment.

A clown? Wizard? Children’s zoo? Bouncy castle? Face paint?

I didn’t pay for any of those.

Babies don’t need to be entertained because everything is new to them; they are constantly learning and fascinated by the world.

Give little ones a few new toys, balloons and bubbles and they’ll play with them for hours.

Preschoolers are incredibly creative at entertaining themselves. Taking them to the playground and letting them run free can be exceptionally fun and memorable.

It’s not that I don’t care about my kids’ birthdays. It’s just that I find that social media has glorified and glorified birthdays to a point where it’s all about looks rather than feel… doing it for tastes rather than experience.

Besides, when it comes to their big day, who bothered to bring them into the world? I have the scars to prove it. Why should I create more stress for myself when I really should be congratulated as a guest of honor?

Birthdays are synonymous with celebration and joy. As long as my kids are feeling very loved, having fun, and making happy memories on their special day, that’s all that matters.

Catherine Chan, MSc, BSc, PMP is an author, wife and mother of two. She writes stories to allow individuals to talk about their feelings despite growing up in a culture that hid them. You can find more Katharine on her website Where podcastor you can follow her on instagram, Facebook, Twitter Where Youtube.

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