The joy of throwing your kid a birthday party

Every year they ask “what are we doing for my birthday? Can I have a party?”.  And if you are like me, every year you want to say “aren’t you getting too old for that?”.    Just the idea of entertaining kids stresses me out.  Let alone actually doing it.    Usually,  I try and convince my children that a birthday party is not in their best interest.   In previous years,  I took the approach that the money spent on the party could be used instead for “x”.    This year, I don’t know what got into me.   My soon to be 11 year old asked for a sleepover birthday and I surprised myself and said “sure” without even offering up an alternative.   My only stipulation — he could only invite 6 kids.  He had the list ready in a matter of seconds.   One of the kids on the list plays on his B2 hockey team, three of the kids play for the A team and 2 play basketball.   And guess what? He had a hockey game the night of the party and this meant the party would start at the rink.  Although, we told the parents “no gifts”, the fact they all came to cheer him on at the game, was the best gift of all.

After the game, time to head back to the house (yikes!) for Little Caesars’ pizzas ($10), DQ ice cream cake ($25), knee hockey and xbox.  The total cost of the party–under 50 bucks–and that included a breakfast of bacon ($5), cinnamon rolls ($3) and chocolate milk ($3).  And here’s where I sound like a Master Card Commercial.  The smiles and laughter captured in the photos and video — priceless. 

So what is my message here.  I did very little planning, no decorations, no real cooking or cleaning (paper plates).   The entire party was very low maintenance. Except maybe those few minutes I had to crack the whip at bedtime.  But everytime I look at the pictures and video, I can’t help but smile at how happy the kids are.  Brent calls it the best birthday ever.  What more could a parent want.  And one last tip, we sent the older brother to a friend’s house so he wouldn’t rain on his brother’s birthday parade.