Friday, July 27, 2007

'Cuz There Ain't No Party Like a Birthday Party

We've been celebrating at a multitude of birthday parties recently.

And while the kiddos are always giddy when an invite arrives in the mail (or, more recently, via Evite), and we almost always have fun and make or renew friendships at the parties, I can't help but notice--

We are dropping some serious coin on birthday gifts.

In Michigan, The Opening of the Gifts was a crucial part of the party. The children gathered around, and everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed as the gifts were unveiled. Here, however, the gifts are whisked away for the birthday person to open in the privacy of their home, and I wonder why...
Perhaps it's so that all the guests don't do the quick comparison as the gifts are opened? (Who spent the most? Oh, that must have cost a fortune...). Perhaps it's so the star of the party doesn't have to go home with new toys which are now broken or lost due to the negligence of other party goers.

I'm sure there's a good reason for it.

But I also wonder if there is value in giving a child the opportunity to learn how to accept a gift graciously; to learn to be grateful and tell the giver to their face, "Thank You," and mean it (even if you already have two of those already or you stopped playing with these 2 years ago).

And frankly, I miss the Ooh-ing and Aah-ing.

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