Tuesday, May 6, 2008
For E's first birthday, I went all out on the decorations, the food, the cake, the cupcakes, the whole nine yards. However, Dad and I had decided that we didn't want a truck load of toys at the end of it. E has a cousin who, incidentally passes down a lot of things to us. Most of them are like new and we are very fortunate to get her hand-me-downs. I also have some wonderful single friends in Chicago and New York that just can't help themselves and send us packages on a regular basis. So, we already had a house full of great things to entertain our little one.
We put little inserts into her invitations letting everyone know how we felt. We felt very blessed to have what we do, and felt like we didn't need anything else to trip over. Please, come to the party, but don't bring any gifts. If you feel like you must do something, cut her a check. That's right, we went there, however inappropriate. We asked that people give cash to start her a savings account. Now as anti-Miss Manners this is, a lot of the people invited were family members so somehow we felt okay about doing it.
The day of the party arrived and we had dropped a pretty penny on the festivities, but what the hell? she only turns 1 once. E's birthday is October 29th, so of course, we went with the Halloween theme. We had a great time, I talked our neighbors into letting them trick or treat, even though it was two days before Halloween. But, somehow we ended up with a table of gifts, I guess they just can't help drop $20 bucks at ToysRUs on some silly doll. So be it. The funny thing is that the people who did bring checks or cash gave her like $5 bucks. Isn't that ridiculous? Can't part with hard-earned cash for a college fund, but on a piece of plastic from China...bring it on.
Over the weekend we had two 2 year old birthday parties to attend on Saturday. That's right, two of them. One was at noon, and the other at 3 o'clock. There wasn't even the excuse that we couldn't do them both because they were at the same time. So Hubby and I decided just to go for the gusto and do them both, to hell with naps.
The first one went great, a casual little deal in the back yard with plenty of decent beer for the dads. The birthday girl got a few gifts and we all played a few games. Then on to the park for birthday party number two. This one was a combo-party for a two year old little girl and a one year old little boy, they are cousins. I like the idea, just get it all over at once.
The pile of gifts was obscene...OBSCENE. It took an entire picnic table, and it was still over-flowing. Now, I know that little kids have no idea. How would they know that they are not supposed to just tear into each package, tossing the contents aside like a piece of garbage? No one knows who got what, or who gave what. Watching the adults feed them one brightly colored gift after another was about enough to make me vomit.
I think when E's comes around again this year we will just put the cash in her savings fund ourselves and take her our for an icecream cone.....or maybe to volunteer at the local homeless shelter.