Author Topic: TOO MANY PARTIES!!!  (Read 5468 times)


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« on: May 17, 2009, 05:06:48 PM »
Ok, I don't want to sound like Scrooge . . . but . . . when summer rolls around there are too many parties to go to.  I know some of you are thinking . . NO WAY, there's never ENOUGH parties!!  Guess I'm showing my age, I am not a party hardy person.

The parties I'm talking about are the kind you usually are expected to bring a gift to.  I'm not talking about a backyard BBQ or picnic where you bring a dish to pass  - that's different.

From the time a young person turns 13 until they turn 30 it seems there is one party after another (not picking on this age group, it's just a fact).

  • 13th b-day party
    8th grade graduation party
    16th b-day party
    Celebrate getting drivers license
    18th b-day party
    High school graduation party
    21st b-day party
    College graduation party
    Wedding shower
    Wedding day
    25th b-day party
    Baby shower
    Baby birth
    30th b-day party

I find it difficult to say no every time I get an invitation to said parties.  Yet, how can I possibly afford to give a gift or money for all these occasions?  I only have one child and I will never see half of these people coming to our parties (not that we're having a party for all of these) or giving my son a gift.

As it is, our son has been invited to elaborate b-day parties of school friends - whose parents EASILY plunked down $150 or more for this party at the roller rink or private party room at the local game place, etc.  Again, I'm showing my age but when I was growing up our b-day party was held in the backyard playing games, had hot dogs, cake and punch.  We didn't have parties for all the dates listed above - however, we DID celebrate them with cake within the family, and that was fine.  As time goes on the parties today get more and more elaborate.

So far this summer we have a baby shower, bridal shower, three high school graduations and a wedding invitation.  Plus, a niece having another baby = gift.  We're not attending two of them due to schedule conflicts.  Does anyone have one of those money trees in their back yard I could have some seed from???

Sigh . . . it's only just begun.

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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 05:33:10 PM »
Hi Bucky

You're not a scrooge!  I think it's about time someone said 'enough is enough' about expectations for fancy parties and gifts. 

Parties are wonderful for sharing the celebration of a stage in life, achievements, to welcome a baby ... bringing together the people who have been part of the young person's life so far, spending time with loved ones.  I know it sounds old fashioned but I reckon these parties should be simple affairs based at home with shared food and simple decorations. 

While people correlate money and celebrations it's difficult to change things.  I've met parents of 4 year olds who feel peer pressure to provide entertainers for birthday parties, and presents in the 'going home bag' that are as expensive as the birthday gifts.  It's hard to be the first ones in a social group to do something different, but maybe other people are waiting for someone else to show them the way? 

In the UK we don't have as many key dates as you do in the USA, and they also vary from culture to culture.  For my family, bar/bat mitzvah at 13 is a major celebration.  It's always seemed to me a wonderful time to celebrate a young person because they're getting gangly, a bit spotty, and all those other early teen delights!  We had simple parties, concentrating instead on the religious aspect.  But the parties were fun, with 'home made' entertainment:  swing dancing for my daughter's bat mitzvah party; circus tricks for one son; pool and table football for the other son.  People were delighted to have something simple, everyone could join in and HAVE FUN!

We've also changed the way we do presents.  Over the past few years charity gifts have become popular in the UK.  Many charities have web sites with gift sections.  You make a donation and you 'send' people a gift in the form of a goat for a village in India, or school books for children in Kenya.  I've sent new parents a charity gift of training for a midwife in Africa, for example.  The charity sends a lovely card to the recipient with details of the gift.

Gifts have just become an exchange of money, and it's money that most of us don't have!  I'd rather give to charity as a way of showing people they are in my thoughts.

Hope you find other people in your family who share your concerns and maybe together you can begin to change things.

Take care - Chickpea


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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2009, 10:00:06 AM »
OOOOH  Bucky,

Your singing my blues.

I try to stay ahead on baby showers , graduations and wedding gifts. I have a designation gift place in a storage closet. Sacks and cards also. It is very difficult to keep up.
I try to keep up, but I really am a scrooge, because I am so tired of it all.

This time of year is the peak season of it all.

I am soooo ready for my life to slow down. I feel sick and tired.  :)

blessings kimbo
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 11:06:59 AM »

  well my sons every year get a party in the hous eand garden, music, cake, sausage rolls, hot dogs, and party games, the good old fashioned way, and you know ?? the kids love it!!

last year i thought at 13 my oldest would feel too old for that, he said he wanted a house party same as usual  and as his birthday lies just at halloween, they still wanted to dunk for apples in a bucket, the invites are always sent bring yourself and a card, the party bags are a piece of cake, a balloon, packet of crisps, amd a bar of chocolate bought from a big discount store here, kids rave about the parties, i heard one lad say this is more fun than my party was, his was in a very expensive hall, im the entertainment i dress up , and we even have pass the parcel, all this these days is a nonsense and as a single mum until recently i couldnt afford anything else.

Its insane all these big flashy parties, what were treaching our kids is that having these things is a must do, and debt is the way to go, well i wont buy into it!!

There are kids here rolling up to catholic first holy communions  in horse drawn carriages,and after paties as expensive almost, as a wedding day  until a local priest put a stop to it, its unreal.

You know Bucky decide who would do it for your son and you and go to those parties, and buy something modest, the best gifts i ever get are ones inexpensive but alot of thought put into them, either that or your going to be financially strapped if your anything like i was.

  really i think its teaching kids nothign really, i remeber the days and im not that old at 37 out playing in my street as a kid with old newsparper, grass clippings and stones, and a hedge for a counter and playing chip shops, the grass was the chips and the peebles were stones, and i remember being happier than most of these spoilt kids.

  Do what you can and ppl who cant understand that aint worth the worry honey

T x



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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 01:32:42 PM »
We've just had a mad 6 months - youngest daughter was 13, grandad 80, elder daughter 16, no. 2 son 21, no. 3 son 18 and closest friend 50!  Now there is a big lull till December and my 5oth, though at the moment I'm in denial and can't face another 'big' party, so Bucky, I know exactly how you feel! XX Ailsa
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2009, 09:54:54 PM »
I know where you are coming from!!!!!!!  In the last six weeks we have had a new baby born, two making first communion, my son and his girlfriend having birthdays, Mother's Day, three nephews having birthdays and two graduations.  I am going broke!!  I always try to give something but it sure gets hard to do when they all stack up together. 

The newest craze amongst the younger set is to host the parties at someplace like Chunkie Cheese or a place that has a ton of these jumping pits.  The noise level with three or four parties going on gets unbearable.  I have almost decided it is time for this old aunt to bow out from all the festivities.  No one around here seems to give a simple cake and ice cream party anymore.  No wonder everyone lives broke!


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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 06:59:51 AM »
Yea and I have 3 kids  16, 13 and 4 and two exs and a fiance fathers day is always fun lol.  And it always seems your kids never get the gifts that you put out for there friends,  Whats up with that?


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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2009, 04:26:18 AM »
I had 2 years full of big event parties, so for the next few years hope there will be a big lul.  I have another problem which is hard to admit to.  Sponsoring people who are doing an event for charity.  It sounds really bad to say this, but last month there was a big event for a local hospice and I think nearly everyone a work was participating, then I had a cousin abseiling for Anthony Nolan, in the same week another event for a local child. I feel so bad but there is a limit to how much I can give to charity, I already have a monthly direct debit for the charity of my choice and every year I make a donnation to the local hospice. 

I eventually started telling people that I was unable to sponsor everyone, but I guess it just feels bad.

On the subject of charity gifts, I bought my mum a charity gift for christmas last year and she was not impressed lol.