Fellow organizer Monica Ricci has written a wonderful post on overdone birthday parties.. To quote Monica:
. . . kids only know what you show them and they're happy with sooo much less than parents think. They really don't need a bunch of new toys every birthday, and for Pete's sake, be the first on your block to stop giving the dreaded goodie bag. I (not-so-affectionately) call these Little Bags of Crap because let's face it, no kid needs to come to a birthday party and leave with a bag of cheap trinkets to add to their own clutter at home. Ack!
I couldn't agree more! Most kids already have more toys than they could possibly need; the average child gets about seventy toys a year. (Per Affluenza, which in turn references Born to Buy.) I see households swimming in an excess of toys all the time.
Want some ideas on doing things differently? The Berkeley Parents Network has a discussion thread on alternatives to goodie bags. ParentDish has a similar discussion. And Monica points to the web site Birthdays Without Pressure.
[photo by Erika, Mom of Two]