When Cake and Ice Cream Just Won’t Do

A recent birthday bash for a five-year-old California girl included professional catering, 150 guests, ponies, and a magician. The tab? $6,000. According to a recent _MSN.com_ story, it’s a growing trend, with parents trucking in fake snow for an afternoon of front yard sledding, spending months planning Harry Potter-themed parties, or hiring horse-drawn Cinderella carriages.
For those interested in a saner (and less expensive) approach, the article suggested replacing strolling jugglers with old-fashioned games like tug of war. A related story in the _Chicago Tribune_ on 6/4 offered more ideas like keeping kids’ parties to a manageable size by allowing the birthday boy or girl to invite one friend for every year of the child’s age. Feel the need to include all of your child’s classmates? Team up with parents of other children whose birthdays are in the same month and hold one party that includes all of the kids in the class.
h3(matt). Matt’s View
p(matt). As parents go further and further over the top with their children’s birthday parties, other parents often feel pressured to keep up. However, a small but reportedly growing number of parents are at the forefront of a countertrend: throwing birthday parties with a larger purpose. They encourage invitees of their kids’ parties to bring reasonably priced gifts and let them know that all of the gifts will be donated to a local children’s hospital or other charity. Now that sounds like having a good time while doing good.

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