Because I'm a miserly old so and so, I totally hate birthday parties. I think I would convert from atheist to Jehovah's witness just to get out of birthdays I hate them so much. Maybe, I could just get the atheists to drop them from their belief system, but I don't have Richard Dawkin's phone number so it's not going to happen.
I'm feeling particularly annoyed about it today because I'm on the way to Target to buy the kid across the street a present with my hard earned money. Neighborhood update: The bullies moved away, harmony has been restored, and now, I have to buy a dang gift. Last year, I gave this kid homemade play-do and a note that said, "Thanks for having a birthday party during a fucking recession. Hope you enjoy your homemade gift, loser." Okay, obviously, I didn't include that note, and I threw $5 and a matchbox car into the gift so that my kids wouldn't be mortified. They were already beyond embarrassed that I made them wrap the gift in newsprint.
When I was a kid everybody wrapped their gifts in the funny pages. We need to return to old fashioned values like that. I'm sure it would have a positive environmental impact.
I think birthdays should be as low-key as possible. My main MO on parenting is to give them as little as possible because they'll never appreciate it, and they'll just ask for more. Besides, if they get everything when they're little, it'll just be blow and hookers by the time they're ten, and nobody wants that.
Last year, I managed to convince my son to have a family party two months after his birthday and with only two relatives. That was great. This year, however, he wants a party. Why we would throw a party to celebrate the 8 year anniversary of the last time I spent a night alone with my husband is beyond me, but I have unwittingly consented to the idea. I guess we'll have neighbors over, and we'll toss clothes pins into a glass milk jug. Kids love that, right?
I'm going to try to convince him to let me put this on the invitations: "Don't feel obligated to bring a gift, and if you would like to bring one, just bring an old toy that you're sick of because the chances are high that I'm going to break it or my mom's going to throw it in the garbage within a month anyway. Wrap it in a newspaper. Thanks." That'll never work because most of his friends' parents were born in the 80's so they don't read the news, and if they do, it comes in a totally non-wrapping-paper-blog-format.
Just to be mean, I've made the kids spend their birthday money on sausages and over-priced yogurt that I would never normally consent to. The only part that I like about birthdays is when we cuddle up, and I tell them about the day they were born. Boy Two's favorite boast for a few months last year was, "I shot out of mommy's vagina in one push." He was the winner in the pushing category.
Birth is cool, but birthday parties, bah humbug.