A month or two ago, I notice from the updates of a friend’s FB page that she had been attending quite a number of baby’s one-year old birthday parties. Judging from the pictures she posted online, these were big bashes held at either a hotel venue or own homes.
There were dessert tables, entertainers for the kids like face painting, balloon sculpting, and bouncy castle, and even door gifts for the guests. Door gifts which are packed nicely in fancy paper bags! This is even better than company dinner and dance or prom night, it’s like attending the Oscar.
According to the friend, the cost of renting one hotel venue alone is S$7,000. (US$1 = S$1.24) On top of this, there’re costs for entertainers and the fancy food. At one particular party, the parents ordered mountains of cupcakes and macarons from this artisan bakery shop, ET Artisan Sweets. I was taken aback, wondering if the one-year old was fed sugar, but was told the sweets are for those two years and above. (I was advised to remove previous picture and replace with a publicly available dessert table picture that is somewhat similar to the actual one. But this public picture doesn’t match the ostentatious display of the actual.)
Admittedly the pastries look really pretty and very tempting. But that’s a titanic load of sugar on that table! I won’t go on about adults chomping on the desserts, but young kids getting addicted to sugar is a different matter altogether. I’m not saying the kiddos should avoid sugar since there’s sugar in fruits as well, but the amount is really moderate. Macarons and cupcakes, on the other hand, are to kids what crack is to an addict. The combination of sugar and fat is a lethal one, since the sugar makes a person feels non-satiated and so consume more.
Anyway this post is not on healthy eating, though this is a concern when organizing a child’s birthday party. What are you going to serve at the party that is healthy and yet will tempt the kids and adults alike? But the bigger question for me is do I want to organize a party for Buddy’s first birthday? It didn’t take me very long to decide though and my answer is no.
I think my husband and I are the pragmatic sort. We don’t see the point of having a birthday bash for Buddy when he wouldn’t remember anything at this age and wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this party and another fun session. Sure there are pictures and perhaps some special commemorating item. But to me, pictures are different from memories. The child may or may not look at the pictures again. In fact it’s more likely the parents, especially the mothers, who will be going down memory lane. On the other hand, memory stays inside you, deep inside your subconscious mind.
I rather that Buddy has a birthday bash which we can organize together, and at the same time get to develop his organizing and decision-making skills. This will make for a memorable celebration, which is more gratifying. Expectedly this can only happen when the child is slightly older, which I think 3 years old is a start.
My husband thinks that parents who spent so much on a child’s first birthday is like someone who takes up a big loan to buy a fancy car in Singapore. (For crying out loud, the price of a BMW 5 series sedan is almost S$268,000 for the cheapest sub-model.) Like the car, the party is a source of comparison. This is especially so in certain mommy groups, where keeping up with the Joneses has turned into a petty competition. It makes you wonder if the birthday bash is for the child or is it really for the parents? Sure you can have another birthday bash which you can organize with the kiddo when the precious one turns 3. But why not save the money for the first birthday bash and put it into good use that helps the child in his or her development? After all, most of us have limited resources and even if resources are plentiful, it pays to be use them wisely.
So for Buddy’s first birthday, we will have a family celebration. I will also get some snacks and small gifts for the teachers and other babes at the infant care center for them to celebrate with him. Now I’ve to wreck my brain to get some healthy and tasty snacks for the little ones.