Friday, October 24, 2008

Birthday Etiquitte

This year, M's birthday falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving. We'll be traveling the weekend before, and already have two birthday parties to attend the following weekend. So instead of a big weekend birthday party, I'd planned to do a small dinner on M's birthday, inviting only my in-laws and the four friends M plays with the most. I hadn't planned on inviting all of M's friends (basically, the whole playgroup), because for the third year in a row, we're doing a group party later on for all of the kids. Frankly, the dinner is just because I can't bear not to have any party for M at all, seeing as we skipped the parties for her first two birthdays.

But now we're starting to receive birthday invitations from the other kids in playgroup, some of whom we hadn't planned on inviting to M's party. It's nothing personal, I just wanted to keep M's party small. But I'm left wondering -- am I wrong not to be inviting all of the playgroup kids to M's party? Is there some kind of rule of inclusion or reciprocity? I know that I wouldn't be insulted if I learned someone else in the group had had a party and hadn't invited M, but given the events of the past two weeks, I'm feeling pretty sensitive about being a good friend. I really don't want anyone feeling left out or insulted.

So, should I rethink things? I still don't think a traditional weekend party is a realistic option, given the timing constraints. I could make M's weekday party bigger than I'd planned, do it during the day and order pizza instead of cooking a dinner, but then The Boy would miss out on M's very first "real" birthday party. Or I could just make the dinner party bigger and find a way to feed (and seat) up to 38 people (eek!). Or, I guess, I could skip doing a party for M again, and hope that next year things will be simpler. But I really hate to do that, especially since she'll be attending so many parties for other kids in the next month and she's already excited to have her own party.


Ivanna at said...

I think its perfectly fine for you to just invite M's 4 friends. You mentioned 38 people otherwise, does that include your in-laws? How big is the play group. If the play group has over 10 children, I think its fine to invite only 4 of them. I think parent's would realize that the size of inviting everyone might be a problem. I would rather see M have a party then not because of it being too overwhelming.

The Girl Next Door said...

I think it being a monday night party, the rest of the playgroup will "get" the idea of a smaller party. If you think others have gotten wind of it and might be offended, maybe you could drop a bug in the ear of one trusted "not invited" friend about the very dilemmas you explained here. By all means give M her day and the hell with parents who can't understand! Those little ones sure won't care.....