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Thursday, September 17, 2009

To have or not to have

As Kyra is nearing her first birthday, the debate about the celebrations play out in my head more often. I thought it would be apt to go over the no 1st birthday party rule that I made and ask of your opinion.

A baby's first birthday is always something special for the parents, grandparents, close friends and family. The baby probably doesn't even understand what the fuss is all about. It is also potentially costly as people spend a hefty amount in organizing a lavish birthday party and on birthday gifts, return gifts, the food and the decoration etc. However, I think that the birthday baby won't appreciate such extravagance and small is definitely beautiful at this age!

A one-year-old may be fearful of strangers, and strange or new places. Despite liking other babies, she won't understand how to play with them yet. Kyra enjoys individual attention and likes to make us laugh. At this closely-attached-to-mum stage, the best way I fell I can make this a special day for her is by offering her loads of undiluted attention. Her social network is small and intimate and that's how she likes it.

I have seen babies cry on the special day, or just too cranky and clingy. That defeats the whole purpose - the one who should be the happiest is not happy at all. And the people whose attention she craves for the most are busy organizing the party and looking after the guests. Kinda makes me question the whole point of the party.

I had planed to bake a cake for her. Buy her new clothes and toys. Take her out to a park or something. Make the day special by these small gestures. But of late worried - Just hope that Kyra doesn't grow up and ask me why I never celebrated her first birthday, was it not important to me? The 'All in your best interest my precious little one' concept maybe lost to her.

What do you guys think?

12 comments:

  1. Ok. Here is my take on it. I think its a very personal decision really. Of course, all the things you have mentioned are very true (baby not enjoying, getting cranky, huge expenses etc.) But then again, if you think that its a day you want to celebrate with everyone you know in town it IS going to be a big affair. But since you want to keep it low profile that's good too. For all you know she will enjoy it better than a party.

    Since you are debating between the two then I have a suggestion. Combine both. Only thing, make sure its not a long drawn affair. Since Kyra is nearly a year now, you should be aware of her sleep schedules and how long she can stay "active". May be your family and a few close friends can drive down to a nearby park with a the cake that you personally plan to bake, cut it there, have some snacks and close the whole thing in say a time-span of 1.5/2 hours? Most kids that age agree with that much "activity" time. This way you strike a balance between over-doing it and not-doing it at all. And what's more ...You need'nt have to be worried of being caught by her umpteen number of questions about her first birthday when she gets to that stage!!

    Hope this helps :)

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  2. I have been in the same situation when nainika's first birthday was approaching..with the same questions to debate.
    Attending so many first birthday parties, i had realized one thing for sure everyone enjoys except the birthday baby no matter however u plan/manage,new faces around make them fussy and cranky and specially those video shoots irritate the kids even more and we as mothers neither can manage the baby nor attend to the guests..
    So after long debate we and my hubby decided that we will celebrate the birthday only with close family members and her 3 cousins around.
    Therefore we planned keeping only these few people in mind. Believe me she enjoyed the most on that day, we took her to a temple,bought her new dresses, toys, dolls,candies etc etc.
    She was made to cut the cake(of course i did that bit), she danced with her cousins, played , played till she was tired and went to sleep.
    Since we were not spending huge amount in throwing a lavish party itself we bought an insurance policy in her name(for her education) and donated some money to an orphanage where they will feed all the kids there on the birthday in the name of nainika. what more do we need other than those blessings for our baby on that day.
    Regarding he birthday party we will do that in future when she grow up and gets familiar with these things and will have no complaints and i am sure when we explain the reason for us not celebrating her first birthday in the big party manner she will understand.

    Rest as deepti said its a personal choice, If u wanna throw a big party,try to keep the guest list as minimal as possible and plan the activities accordingly so that both kyra and u enjoy the special day to make it memorable.

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  3. Totally agree with both of you. I would keep it a mom-dad-grandparents only affair, maybe her fave aunt/uncle thrown in for good measure!

    Smitha, I LOVE the thought behind your investing in her future and in other kids' futures through insurance/donations on her birthday. Will definitely want to do something like that too!

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  4. Thanks for all your comments - made my decision not to celebrate with a big bday bash even more stronger.

    Kyra's insurance was taken in the first few months of her birth. Also opened her bank account. Plan to make an FD for her on her bday, that in addition to donating some money to an orphanage.

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  5. I think that's the best gift we can give our children by securing their future..even nainika has a bank account in her name already..these days everything starts early for kids..and btw thanks for deciding to make some charity for others too..

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  6. yeah i agree with everyone.. too many people.. too much hassle. We had an experience with Jaiden for his baptism. He was only 4 months old and we had his baptism at my in-laws place and we had around 150 people and out of which 5 where from my side of the family. After the church function,we arranged for dinner at a restaurant and it was a nightmare for him. Was hot, crowded, and everyone wanted to hold him.. got cranky and exhausted and just too much. Decided never again will we have it with that many people.

    problem is if you call one person, have to call another who they know, and then who they know and then who they know...and goes on and on and before you know it.. itz like a wedding.

    A first bday is special. I think what deepti and smitha suggested are good ideas. If kyra's grandparents insist on having relatives over.. what you can do is.. on her bday , just the three of you can do something special that is not overwhelming for her. . and then have a party for her on another day with everyone close and dear to you. That way you satisfy yourself by having quality time with her and also for others on another day.

    We did that this yr with Jaiden..took him to the zoo for his bday (just the 3 of us) and when my parents came for a visit, we planned a party with friends and relatives(had like 30 people and celebrated it in a park).

    Hope things work out !!

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  7. ya komal..i agree with all our frnds..we did a fd too for Anish.His first bday was a 2 day affair.COz it was a weekday,only three of us celebrated with the webcam on..so tht his grandparents and my cousins can be a part of it.It was so much fun.Then on the weekend we had a small celebration for frnds in the park which was a disaster.All new faces and anish was crying and fell sick and slept thru in his stroller.I feel he enjoyed much when they were few people around.
    But 2nd bday we celebrated in india and so many people ..so much money..but i felt it was worth it bcoz he cud understand more and he enjoyed all the attention.
    Now tht he going to be three he has decide he needs a thomas train cake!

    So i feel tht kids enjoy with age.
    and also as all said it can just a get together with the people close to kyra.
    And loved the idea of donations smitha.

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  8. Here's what we did on Kyra's bday.
    1. Got her loads of clothes to wear through saturday and sunday.
    2. Took Kyra to a toy store and bought her a birthday gift from our side.
    3. Made a donation to the temple and organised special prasad to be distributed. Visited the temple.
    4. I baked two cakes (why two is a long story) and cooked up a storm - hosted a dinner birthday bash with very close friends on Saturday.
    5. On sunday cut another cake at my parents place and spent the day at my parents place.
    6. Sunday evening bought some fruits and drove up to a slum area, so that kyra could give the slum children some fruits to eat.
    7. Ended the celebrations with bursting some crackers that were preserved for the occasion.

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  9. What more can you add!!! Two days well spent!!!!

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  10. Thanks Anitha, just hope Kyra doesnt grow up and frown on the fact that we didnt celebrate her bday with a big bash.

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  11. Surely, She will understand your reasoning when she is of age...also you can always reason out to her that she would not remember...and you wanted her to remember all her birthdays ;-)

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