Birthday stress. It’s a thing.
In a world of idyllic Pinterest images and perfectly-curated Instagram feeds, it’s hard to keep up with the virtual Joneses. But the fact is we’ve been stressing about birthdays since way before social media.
I’m hardly one to pass judgement since I have a whole other site dedicated to cakes and party planning ideas. However, I’ve also been to enough birthday parties to know when too much is too much — even for kids. Too many planned activities, too much cake, too much candy. And we, the parents, stress out over ALL of it, to the point we just look forward to getting it overwith.
In fact, in a recent Netflix survey, 82% of parents polled said they want their kids to feel special on their birthday and two-thirds agree planning kids’ birthday parties is stressful. I wish I could say I’m shocked but I’m not.
We joke that our teen is a font of useless knowledge. (She retains the weirdest stuff.) But even she did not know that the world’s most common birthday is September 16th. Which, if you do the math, means there are a lot of New Year’s shenanigans going on. *wink, wink*
We happen not to have any September birthdays. Instead, ours span two six-week periods: one in summer and the other in winter — and one of those is a two-for-one special, because twins.
I once was in the business of birthday cakes, so birthday parties are kind of my jam. But, I admit having birthday celebrations clustered closely together, coupled with my insane desire to make everything “just so”, can make for a stressful celebration. So what if there was an easier way?
5 Ways to Party Like It’s 1987
Thirty years ago, there were no themes. A party was a party. Guests arrived, played games, ate cake, and…wait for it…watched while we opened our gifts. Here’s how to get rid of that birthday stress bring back some of that old-school party charm.
1. Party games and piñatas.
Give kids a sharp tack or a stick, blindfold them, spin them around three times and ask them to nail their target. Fun for all ages — not to mention, a fabulous way to get rid of any residual birthday stress.
2. Easy decorations.
Does one ever really outgrow a good paper hat with the stapled elastic chin strap that snaps, nearly taking out your eye? And what about the timeless quality of balloons — the decoration that doubles as a toy? If you’re feeling all DIY, check out 3 Easy Birthday Party Hacks with Netflix to add a little pizzazz to your decorations with supplies you already have in your craft cupboard.
3. Scrap the loot.
No, really. Scrap the loot. I don’t know about you but I don’t remember getting bags of junk on my way out of a friend’s party. You know what kids love? Balloons. Pass them out as the guests are leaving and not only have you made a kid ecstatic, but there’s less party clean-up for you. Win-win!
4. Homemade cake.
I take my birthday cakes very seriously — in a fun, sleepless-nights kind of way. But it’s not so much what the cake looks like that matters, it’s that you baked it for your child. I have a fond recollection of a cake my mom made me in the shape of the number “7” . It still makes me smile.
5. Simple entertainment.
If Santa and the Tooth Fairy are still held in high regard in your home, then imagine your child getting a special birthday message from their favourite Netflix characters. In our day, we were lucky if we were invited to a party with a boozy clown for entertainment. Kids these days get all the cool stuff.
I am a member of Netflix Canada’s #StreamTeam which means that I enjoy special incentives in return for sharing with you my totally biased views on what you should be watching on Netflix. All opinions are my own. Be sure to subscribe to my email updates so you don’t miss a post and stay tuned for what’s coming up in October!