Having been through two first birthday parties, I feel like I can present a valid argument for why celebrating the big “1” is important for both you and your child. The birthday party tradition is one steeped in history. First celebrated by the Ancient Egyptians and made contemporary by the Germans, birthdays, especially first birthdays, are considered sacred in many parts of the world. They mark a rite of passage for humans and, in today’s world, we seem to focus more on the party than the purpose. However, when you have kids, the party sometimes seems quite daunting. There are hard ways to throw a first birthday party and there are easy ways to throw a first birthday party. But it can also be a great excuse to get your kids involved in cooking and preparation.
First, you must consider precedent. With the first party, you are setting a precedent. Trust me, your kids will never let you go backwards when it comes to their party. So, starting small with the first birthday party is always best.
Second, consider the venue. This is simple. First birthday parties should always be at your house or maybe a restaurant. Since it’s the first, you won’t have a million kids running around. Just wait until the first birthday party once they start school. Then you will surely lose your mind. But for the actual first birthday, a restaurant is fine.
I speak with authority on these first two points, trust me. I was a typical “first-time mom” with my oldest, Jessica, and wanted to have a “kid’s birthday party” at… wait for it… Chuck E. Cheese. Now, pay attention here. DON’T EVER DO THAT! There is something you must consider. Your 1 year-old will be deathly afraid of any giant talking animal. So, much of your party time will be consumed with talking your baby off a cliff. Next, the other adults at the party, probably mostly family, will not be happy with the quality of food nor the screaming child. Not to mention, it’s not cheap. Put the money in her college account. And, like I said before, your kids will never let you go backwards. When my daughter’s second birthday rolled around, she repeatedly asked for “Cheesy Mouse” since she had a giant photo of herself and the rat at her first birthday party hanging on her wall. Her memory of the scary giant rodent had faded and she saw only “Cheesy Mouse.” So, going backwards and having a quiet, family party at home for birthday #2 was near impossible.
So, take it from me, celebrate your baby. Celebrate your baby properly. Friends and family, a little cake, and fond memories for everyone.