Kids parties out of control?

February 20th, 2010 11:44pm

I love celebrating birthdays with my kids. It is so much fun to be able to rub elbows with their friends and just have a crazy good time! I loved that the hardest decision was how to coordinate the schedules of their four friends that would be coming. Pirate parties, princess dress-up parties, spider-man parties…we’ve had some real fun!

Of course, that was when they were 4.

Now that I have an almost 9 year old and her circle of friends (not to mention the social ramifications of said “circle of friends”) has increased exponentially, I have to admit that the upcoming celebration had me somewhat panicking. Who do we invite? Just her friends from church? But then the two friends that go to school with her will talk to their school friends and everyone will wonder why they weren’t invited too. What about her basketball friends? Will her dance friends find out and feel excluded? Before I know it, the guest list has started to top the fire martial’s capacity limit on my home!

And lets admit, the gifts are definitely fun to receive. But amidst the daily clutter of accumulated papers, books, toys, clothes, and everything else that somehow winds up in neglected piles all over the house and most especially in their not-so-large bedrooms…who really wants more “things” to have to organize and maintain?!!

With large party numbers, it is financially ¬†unrealistic to look at a paid venue. But isn’t it also totally unrealistic to invite everyone that your child knows for fear of alienation? YES to both questions!

Alas, my salvation is at hand in the form of one of my much wiser and more experienced friends that discovered the solution. She told her daughter to pick two friends and they would spend the better part of a day doing activities like pedicure/manicures, build-a-bear, jewelry shopping, movie, lunch or whatever struck her daughters fancy (within a predetermined budgetary constraint, of course). They had an absolute blast and no one she knew had any hard feelings at not being the “one” selected. On the contrary, they wanted to hear all about it! It was a smashing success!

I am anxious to give this one a try. In this day of financial crisis, what are some of your ideas for helping your kids celebrate while not breaking the bank or alienating their social crew? We’d love to hear your success stories! Visit our forum on this article and give us your thoughts!

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