Birthday Party Depression

by AEA on April 24, 2009

Here is a topic that needs more attention. Parents, usually mothers, can get depressed when faced with their child’s upcoming birthday party. There is so much to consider; the number of guests, the location, the entertainment, the competition with their friends birthday parties and the ever increasing cost. When the parent wants the best for their child and can’t bear to have them be disappointed on their birthday, it is very easy to fall into the “got’ a have” circumstance. Is this today’s culture or is it some type of obsession?


In many cases, the party costs have gotten “out of hand” with custom cakes at $1000, party rental places at $500 for four hours, an entertainer at $300 and party favors at $20 per guest. There are birthday parties that rival weddings, costing tens of thousands of dollars. The driving force is the parent’s need to provide the best or the need to compete with your their friend’s birthday parties or both.

Younger children do not care about the expensive cakes, the over-the-top entertainment or how their party compares to their friends party. These children just want to have fun. Older children who request the extravagant party and have no real sense of costs, parents just need to take control.

Here are some ideas to help keep the cost under control:

  • Make the cake and other food items yourself. A standard cake usually tastes just as good as or better than your custom designed cake anyway.
  • Keep the guest list to only close friends and family.
  • The location can be your home or backyard or the local park.
  • Choose a mid afternoon party time to save from serving a full meal.
  • For activities, do art projects and yard games.
  • Make the invitations yourself.
  • Plan a budget and stay with it.

Remember that the way to keep the cost of any event low is to keep thinking on a smaller scale and be more active in the planning, the cooking, the creating and the activities.

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