Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Goody Bags

My son’s fourth birthday is in late November. It is early September and I have already
started planning it. It is amazing how
many choices that I have to make when planning a birthday party for someone who
cannot even spell the word “cake” yet. What venue should I book? Who
should I order the cake from? Who
should I invite? Do I serve a meal or
just hors d’oevres? What should I use
for decorations? What will be the theme
of the party?

It is absurd that I am putting this much effort into a
birthday party that my son will not even remember. I’ll take pictures, mind you, and later in his life I’ll show him
those pictures and say, “See? See how
much trouble I went to? Aren’t I a good

People will come to the party and bring gifts for my son. The attendance will be a true testament to
how popular I am. I will prepare a
goody bag worthy of the Academy Awards so that everyone goes home wondering how
I was able to pull it all together. This birthday party will, after all, be all about me.

Honestly, spending $250 on a party is not something I should
be doing. I would prefer to have my family and a couple of close friends over
for some homemade cake and conversation but can I really do that? Would it be fair to my son? He attends at least one birthday party each
month in which swarms of children gather around a $50 cake and sing “Happy
Birthday” in sync until they get to the child’s name. They NEVER know whose birthday it is. All they care about is the cake and the goody bag. The rest is meaningless to them.

Unfortunately, it is not meaningless to me. I will throw this party. I will pick the perfect venue. I will invite everyone I know. I will order a cake worthy of Suri Cruise’s
first birthday and I will spend entirely too much time and money creating the
perfect goody bag. My friends and
family will walk away from the party with great admiration for my skills as a
party planner and Mother. $250.00 seems
like a bargain for that.

Don’t worry. I
haven’t forgotten my son. I really hope
he has a good time.


  1. Oh I am ROFL!
    That so sounded like me many moons ago. Ahhh, those were the days. The oldest children are always the luckiest ones. Best birthday parties, cutest Halloween costumes, pristine baby book....blah, blah, blah
    By the time my poor little #5 arrives he/she will be lucky if I even remember it's birth month, let alone the exact day!

  2. Angie-
    I know what you mean. It's already started with my kids. My son has a very full baby book and I haven't even started on my daughter's yet. I guess it is inevitable. Neither of my kids, however, have ever had a homemade halloween costume:)

  3. I'm trying to hit your blog often, and it always brings at least a smile and usually a belly laugh, remember, all you have to impress is the adults, the 4 year olds will all be busy trying to push string around the room or some other worthwhile function. As for bag stuffers, something shaken, not stirred always works for me.

  4. Likewise, Papa Dale, your comments always make me laugh. Keep 'em coming!

  5. I have all but ordered the balloons for our little one's upcoming day. It is 4.5 months away. The theme, t-shirts and potential bag goodies are all lined up! It is crazy. You know our parents had better sense than this! LOL! We are so crazy!!! luv, h.

  6. H-
    Isn't it crazy? We just can't help ourselves though. It's an affliction.
    Our conversation today made me yearn for some H time. I know it's only been two weeks but, come on! I need my fix!

  7. You are scaring me Julianne. I don't remember my mother doing anything but making me a clever little cake, putting up some streamers/balloons, and inviting some of my closest friends. And I thought birthdays were always a big deal at my house. Have things changed that much???

  8. Ashlie-
    How many young children's birthday parties have you been to recently? I think you will be suprised! My friends typically go all out for their toddlers. I have actually known Mamas who rent out venues for their child's FIRST birthday. Can you imagine? Don't be scared, just don't succumb to the pressure. Your daughter will be perfectly happy with close friends and family... until she starts going to her friends' parties and sees what she's missing :)

  9. I am so opposite of this that it is quite sad. I am a very last min. shopper. Zach's bday party is tomorrow and I just remembered about the goodie bags so as I was in dollar general! I bought a bag of assorted candy and some see thru goodie bags and called it a day! I need to make more of an effort I suppose.

  10. melinda-
    I wish I was more like you!

  11. Hey Julianne!
    I've been reading your blog, and love it!! I am one of those nutters who decided to rent a venue for the first birthday party. I went with the Chatt Zoo. Best decision ever! $110 and they did *everything.* They unloaded my car, set up, served, made a list of who gave him what presents, took us on a tour, cleaned up, then reloaded my car. They even gave out goody bags after a "treasure hunt." No need to make your own! I scheduled the party between lunch and dinner. Some Cheetos and juice boxes were all that was needed. I may do this every year. Best of all, the kids, parents, and grandparents all had fun. And, I got to go home with that all-important "I threw the party of the month" glow.
    Lovin' the Blog!

  12. Kelly-
    The zoo, huh? Sounds VERY convenient and reasonable. I'm sure your son will have many memories of that glorious day :)
    Glad you are enjoying the blog!