I know, I know, it sounds terrible to quit throwing birthday parties for your kids, but hear me out first. A couple of years ago after my daughter’s 10th birthday party I took a step back and looked at the money we spent on her birthday party and thought there might be a better way for my family to celebrate birthdays. I am not a Pinterest mom, and I’m not really in a season of life where I enjoy having lots of people over to my house. Truthfully, it stresses me out. All the cleaning, preparation, and planning is just too much when I already have a very full plate of life that I’m responsible for. Maybe you love doing these kinds of things, but I don’t. So, I tried the next best thing, I attempted to make birthday parties easier by renting out the local jump place, where they do absolutely everything for you. It was so much easier, I thought I had birthday parties whipped forever. But, it still cost a lot of money and it was over so very fast. I’m not opposed to spending money on my kids at all, but this whole “birthday party planning frenzy” equals lots of money on things that are consumable. Plus, I don’t know about you, but it seems like the standard “throw your kids a birthday party” has been hijacked by Pinterest craziness. I don’t even think I’m capable of throwing the kinds of birthday parties I’ve seen. And none of our extended family lives close to us. Coordinating everyone’s schedule to plan a big family party is almost impossible (Although we do celebrate birthdays with each of our family’s when we can.) Enter my grand idea.
Instead of having “friend birthday parties.” We offered to take our kids away for the night or weekend for a fun getaway. What if we spent all of our time focusing on celebrating the birthday child and creating memories together as a family. I have learned the past couple of years that investing in experiences and creating memories with my family brings us closer and creates traditions that are both life giving to our family unit and immeasurable to our kids. After my big epiphany, the next birthday we celebrated was my son’s. We gave him the option of a birthday party or a night away with the family. Without any hesitation he choose time away with the family. For our first birthday celebration, we went to Wilderness in the Smokies, a resort and indoor water park. My son said it was the best birthday ever! For my daughter’s a couple of months later we went to Dollywood, a theme park in Pigeon Forge. We ate at her favorite restaurant while we were there, and spent the night in a hotel. She agreed with her brother, that it was way better than a birthday party. Since then we have celebrated several more birthdays this exact same way and my kids look forward to it all year long. It might cost a little more money than throwing a birthday party, but the memories that we create and the time we spend together are worth it. Plus, each family can tailor a birthday night away to fit their budget. I love how easy it is to customize an amazing getaway for each of my children.
As with every idea, what works for my family might not work for yours. You may love throwing birthday parties, if so by all means don’t feel like you have to change anything. At the end of the day, what matters most is that we create memories and traditions with our families. Keep pressing on momma!