While I was growing up, most parties were held in people’s homes, especially birthday parties. These days, many parents feel an obligation to have them in bowling alleys, movie theaters, and indoor sports centers since this is what most of the other parents are doing.
In my family, we have managed to keep birthday parties in our homes or backyards. The guests are mostly other family members with a few friends thrown in the mix. This tradition is still meaningful to us, and a way to celebrate our milestones with the people who mean the most.
We often bake our own cakes and make the food for the celebration, but we may also have a store-bought piñata or a Pin the Tail on the Donkey and other games to add to the fun. Of course, we have the birthday themed plates and party hats to add to the festivity. Balloons and streamers are always great additions and make the occasion that much more special. If the weather is warm, outdoor toys such as water balloons, sprinklers and water guns can allow kids to have fun while staying cool. If you have a pool, even better. There are no times limits or restrictions to the number of people you can have and the party can start and end at any time. The children in the family never seem disappointed with these parties and enjoy being the center of attention for the day.
I have great memories of childhood birthday parties at my relatives’ homes, and I’m glad the younger people in my family are continuing this tradition. I love being able to visit with relatives and friends I may not get to see very often in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating outside the home. Many parents may not have the space or the time to prepare food and decorate. As long as the birthday boy or girl is happy, that’s all that really matters.
Written for The Country Register published across the U.S. and Canada.