Why Should A Child's Fist Birthday Party Be Grand?

Why Should A Child's Fist Birthday Party Be Grand?  It doesn't help that older generations have done it that way and that the grandparents are usually the number one spoilers. That usually translates to us spending as much as we possibly can.   We're essentially mixing importance with money.
Kids have birthday parties, that's just how it is. And it makes sense.

It makes more sense than say... me celebrating my birthday party. I've had lots of it already, so it's nothing new. Plus I'm footing the bill... so, you know: "It's ok. It's not a big deal. Let's just stay in." :D

What puzzles me is the grand 1st birthday celebration. I can understand the 7th, which is usually a little more modest (compared to the first, anyway). But the first birthday... It's especially bewildering to me.

For one, the main celebrant won't ever remember it. I know I don't remember mine; do you?

And telling them after the fact how it went doesn't do much good either. Will they love you more for it? Will they just come to expect that as standard fare? Anything less than that is a disappointment? Well, I guess those depend on the kid...

I'm sure parents do this grand celebration out of love. But I'm pretty sure one-year-olds equate love more with time rather than money and parties.

When I worked overtime, my kid barely seemed like she recognized me. And I'd like to think my salary paid for a good amount of what she was wearing and eating. In contrast, once we had more playtime, she'd smile the minute I got home.

When someone says life was simple when they were younger, I think that's what they mean: money = paper, love = time+fun.

The party will be pretty fun though, if only for a day - that the kid won't really remember. But hey, you know what they say now: Facebook never forgets!

I think I can see why Efren Ll. Cruz waited until the second year. Not only will they not remember, but depending on which skills they've developed first, there's a lot they can't do.

They can't blow their birthday candle (most likely), some can't walk, some can't talk...

And actually, a kid I know got "shown up" at his 1st birthday by one of his cousins. The slightly older cousin, was just old enough to be able to dance - and did so to the delight of the predominantly older, "mom-and-pop" crowd.

The kid, a bit of an attention hound, tried to take back the limelight but could only manage some herky-jerky movements. He was given the requisite cheer and applause, but nowhere near the attention his cousin got.

Kids probably can't participate in the games either. Though I guess that depends on the game.

But of course, we can't go through life stoically plodding along. Celebrations here and there aren't bad, it doesn't even matter if the reason seems arbitrary. Importance, it seems to me, is a human construct. Aside from the basic needs of food, water, and the like, we're free to decide what's important and what is not.

What happens though is that we mix importance with money. High-quality goods cost more, and we always want the best for our families - or at the very least, the best we can afford.

That usually translates to us spending as much as we possibly can (or heck, maybe even more than we can afford). It doesn't help that older generations have done it that way and that the grandparents are usually the number one spoilers.

But in the end, celebrations are about having fun and spending time together. It's not necessarily about having stuff and spending money.

I don't say that to mean not having a grand celebration though. You should have a grand celebration - if that's what you can comfortably afford.

But it doesn't make much sense spending a month's salary in one day, and then spending months on end doing overtime or a second-job just to make all that money back.

Though I guess it's telling if adults grapple over a decision kids intuitively make: money = paper, love = time+fun.


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