November 22, 2009


Today, most parents are working, or if not, looking for work. When their kids’ birthdays come around, it’s a time for them to reflect on what they want in a party, what their children want, and how this is all going to get accomplished. The party is just part one of this equation. See our “Gifts, More Gifts and Even More Gifts” article for the second part of the issue.

In the days of yore, when moms were at home, birthday parties often took place in the home, with a limited number of people, including children …usually some family and some friends. Nowadays, parties seem to be more “entertainment” and “show”. Depending on the parent’s financial situation, sometimes aided by the great/grandparents, sometimes not, the party invitees include most of the family, many co-workers and their children, “school” friends (usually with their parents) and others. It really becomes a much larger party with parents having to supply lots of food, cake, party gifts, balloons, some sort of entertainment (a children’s performer, etc.), and more. Those who can’t afford all of this, as well as many who can, may go to public parks or a family member’s large back yard. But the emphasis seems to be on having a BIG PARTY!!!

Regardless of where these parties are held, the number of adults and children has grown tremendously, from those “days of yore”. This isn’t bad; it’s just the way it is now! The real question for everyone involved, is “who is the party for…the kids or the adults”? Just food for thought!!!

So as great/grandparents, how do we get involved or not, in this festive time? Many of us are invitees. Some contribute financially to the party. Many send gifts because they don’t live close by. Ours seems to be a position of watching and helping when needed. Again, this isn’t bad, this is our role…come to the party. And, if we’re invited, we gladly show up, cameras in hand, ready to be introduced to the multitudes. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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