Birthday party smackdown: big parties vs. small parties

After last year’s huge birthday bash for our daughter, I swore that we were finished with big birthday parties.

I don’t know what pushed me over the edge, whether it was the prep work, the money, the 50-odd people in the venue or the hired entertainer, but I felt certain we would only host small birthday parties going forward.

We just held our first one, however, and it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Big party vs. small party
Round 1: The guest list

I stuck to my guns and told my daughter, who was about to turn five, that she could invite five friends. I knew we were in trouble when she started rattling off names of kids she barely knows, in no particular order.

“No, just five,” I explained. “Five friends. We need to pick five because you’re turning five.”

It was excruciating — mostly for me — as I helped her narrow down her selections. This was a foreign concept to us. We have always thrown both kids large birthday parties where nobody was left off the list.

Except for a few instances where there was a hard cap on the number of kids permitted, like gymnastics, it’s always been fine for their younger or older siblings to come along, too. There was a “the more, the merrier” vibe because we didn’t want anyone to feel left out.

But this time it felt like we were leaving out the whole world. The final guest list was tiny with just her close friends from preschool and/or ballet. I texted the parents the information and then slipped them printed invitations like I was a spy with a dossier …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

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So what do you think?

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