Today I received the following email from a good friend.
Ok- so I will preface this by saying I despise most kid's b'day parties...I got burned out on attending the parties thrown by the private school parents--fully catered, clowns, tumble bus, Spiderman delivering the cake, $25 gifts expected by the birthday brat and every mommy trying to one up the previous mommy. My kids HATED me, cause I wouldn't do it. Absolutely refused-I believe in saving it for a special b'day like - 10 or 16, 18 or 21...something big seems a bit more easy to swallow then..every year. NOW- the pendulum has swung the other way and the past two invities have come with a fee! One is a skating party $2 admission - plus $5 skate rental and the other is bowling- entry fee, plus shoe rental.. Seems odd, would seem that if one can't pay for ones guests one should try having a party at home...seems the need to keep indulging ones kids with un-affordable parties is somehow socially acceptable? I guess I don't have to worry about Spiderman and the tumble bus showing up if the host parent is asking guests to pay to attend....and not that it matters, but I could afford to pay for the party and/or for my child to atend the parties with fees, but the principal of the concept is bothering me...so I would love to hear your opinion...maybe I should just have a glass of wine and get over it?I tend to prefer more low-key parties for the kiddos. I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb is to invite as many guests as the age of the child. My gut tells me that's sound advice.
Sure, it is fun to see your child's eyes light up when the moonbounce gets delivered or they ring the bell at the top of the climbing wall, but how do you celebrate the big milestones when a Kindergartener's party costs $400?
I don't know if I have a strong opinion about charging kids to come to a party. I suspect Emily Post would say that as the host you are responsible for ensuring your guests have a good time.
What do you say to my friend? She needs to RSVP soon.