In December we celebrated Baby Cinco’s first birthday and had such a blast! We love birthday parties!

It was a simple day with a homemade cake, party hats and candles. 😉 No stress, no fuss and no overspending! In today’s post I want to share why I only host nostalgic simple birthday parties for my kids.

Years ago I would have done the whole huge 1st birthday party, invite the mayor, ping the President, buy a cake for 100 people minimum and go all out, in gifts, food and decorating.

However after London was born I realized the bar for kids birthday parties kept rising higher and higher. You had to get a clown, a face painter, a real astronaut, a live pony and a cotton candy machine. Oh and if your goody bag isn’t a reusable tote bag filled to the brim with goodies then hunni your party just wouldn’t qualify for best party bag of the year awards.

I sat back after sitting at a winter wonderland party, fully tricked out with a snow machine, Santa and mini elf helpers and assessed what I was seeing around me. The competition behind kids birthday parties had become more about the parents outdoing each other in ideas and spending, than about the kids really. What one year old cares about whether icicles hang from the ceiling and whether there is a ice blue carpet with elf greeting guests at the door behind velvet ropes? Party after party I realized no matter how much the parents spent or how elaborate the decor the reaction of the kids was always the same.

{Insert wild, happy, screaming kids, hyped up on candy, cake and juice here}

The kids didn’t really care about all the hype. Sure they would be mesmerized by all the pretty decorations and overstimulated by all the activities, but all they really cared about was eating candy, cake and playing with the other kids.So I decided I no longer wanted to compete with the over the top ridiculous, expensive, fantasy lands.

Personally I had other goals that took priority, like building a portfolio, buying a house, saving for college, and I just wanted an overall simpler life. The planning, the preparation, set up, clean up. I wanted to pass on all of it.


We moved to a simpler way of celebrating

I also wanted my kids to experience the nostalgia of birthday parties like I had as a kid. No one rented a hall for a birthday party in my day, you also didn’t invite every single person you ever met, and you certainly didn’t feed them like the last supper. We had birthday parties in the basement, in the backyard, or in the living room and you invited your cousins and your best friends. Moms made hotdogs, potato salad or ordered pizza and made you a cake and called it a day and guess what, we all had a GREAT time!

When London turned one we tried a house party for the first time instead of booking a place like chuck e cheese, princess adventures or sky zone. We baked a cake, frosted it ourselves, and put sprinkles on it. It looked so messy but it was amazing! We also ordered 2 dozen balloons and decorations from the dollar store and put them all over the living room. Then the biggie, we only invited friends who had kids London’s age. That took our guest list from 50 to 10 kids. Praise The Lord!

We stopped doing parties every year too!

Next we decided that everyone wouldn’t have a birthday party year. Our kids are born in March, July, August, September and December. When Summer turned a year old I gave Jaela (July), Summer (August) and London (September) all birthday parties.

Literally every 3 weeks I was hosting a party and after that one time I vowed I would never ever ever do that again and haven’t since. I WAS EXHAUSTED! So our kids get to have big birthday party with friends every other year and the years it’s not their turn they have a family only cake cutting and or sleepover with their cousins.

Having done this year after year for the past 7 years I love the outcome and so does my wallet.

For starters it’s our party,  our way, on our own terms and my kids appreciate, the experience, and time we spend preparing more than anything. We go into the kitchen to bake cakes and it’s like a special thing for us. No one wants to be left out and they look forward to it more than any custom store or bakery made cake I ever purchased.

They also love decorating the house with balloons and streamers. It lets them get involved and allows us to spend more time together as a family being creative.  The extra bonus for me is that it’s simple and affordable. You can’t beat that.

How do you do your kids parties? Do you typically go Simple or all out and Splurge?

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