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View Full Version : OT: Do we celebrate mediocrity? semi-Vent


eliza61
09-03-2008, 12:19 PM
All summer long, I have been getting hit with the most ridiculous (in my opinion) invitations celebrating events with really, really tacky request.
Unfortunately they've been coming from family members so I'm stuck with these boozos (sorry)

My cousin daughter (we are very close as my entire family grew up in the same borough-Manhattan) is turning 16 and is having a huge blowout. Not only that she sent out invites asking in lieu of a gift please give cash to help purchase a new car. EXCUSE ME!!! Of course what ticked me off, I told her mom (my cousin) I'd kick in to her college fund she said, I can't afford to send that girl to college? Nice. When did turning a year older become a reason for a national holiday?
Another relative had a "shower" for her college bound daughter, complete with registry at Bed, bath & beyond.

Let me say up front, I'm over 50. :rolleyes: so I'm not use to this. When I grew up.
No one had major celebrations 'cause a kid graduated from kindergarten.
Graduating from H.S. got you a party. It was considered the minimum that you had to do to be a functioning member of society. Not a reason for the pope to come over. No way were we going to ask for a car for a gift.
Going to college was the thing that actually made you special. After you graduate people expected you to get a job, not fund your 1 week trip to Mexico.

Help! :mad:

DMickey28
09-03-2008, 12:23 PM
This is honestly the first time I have heard of a 'going to college' shower. That's silly ... isn't that what the graduation party was for? At least in my experience in the past you usually got stuff for college at your graduation party. Everyone in my circle did that anway ... early/mid 90's.

It's just the everyone owes me something mentality everywhere. Sad but true ...

You know, even if I can't afford to send my child to college completely doesn't mean I won't help out the best I can. I would be thrilled if family wanted to contribute as a gift through my child's life.

sarahlovesmickey
09-03-2008, 12:27 PM
I am only 30 and have NEVER heard of a "going to college shower"! I did have a graduation party that my mom threw and at that party people gave me cash or a gift for my college dorm room. I didn't register anywhere! A couple people didn't give me gifts and that was fine too...I was just happy to be celebrating with them.

lovesmurfs
09-03-2008, 12:27 PM
Agree that a going to college shower is what the graduation party was for (and registering for one? Eww).

My grandmother threw a huge Sweet 16 surprise birthday party for me (I'm 40), and her parents did for her (back in the 1930's), so I don't suppose a 16th birthday party is uncalled for, to my mind. However, that said, I do have issues with the expectation of cash in lieu of gifts.

KristinU
09-03-2008, 12:31 PM
You know, I was in Kohl's the other day and their PA system advertising was talking about their registries - baby, wedding, or "all occasion" - which it said was great for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (it may even have said something about going off to college). Unbelievable...I can just see myself - "hey friends and family - I'm registered at Kohl's for my upcoming 30-somethingth birthday...I love me and I think you should too!" :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

50 years Too!
09-03-2008, 12:31 PM
I so agree, Eliza.
Especially that "can't afford to go to college, but we're sending our sweetie on a trip to Hawaii, she's working to not save for an education but a car, etc".
So short term in the thinking.
Ridiculous party requests are happening on the west coast too. A national epidemic, I'm afraid! :confused3

Deb

puffkin
09-03-2008, 12:35 PM
The trend around here is the HUGE, HUGE, HUGE 1st birthday parties. Where you invite every distant relative, co-worker, friend, business aquaintance etc. that you have. Mountains and mountains of toys are received and the child has no clue. And....since it is a 1st birthday, there usually isn't much going on for the kids in attendance so they get miserable watching a 1 year old smash cake and show no interest in the thousands of presents scattered around them. Commercialism at its best :confused3

I am all for the first birthday party, but I within reason. I can't stand the blatant gift grabbing and usually just send my regrets to those parties.

Karenj2
09-03-2008, 12:44 PM
You know, I was in Kohl's the other day and their PA system advertising was talking about their registries - baby, wedding, or "all occasion" - which it said was great for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (it may even have said something about going off to college). Unbelievable...I can just see myself - "hey friends and family - I'm registered at Kohl's for my upcoming 30-somethingth birthday...I love me and I think you should too!" :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:


My sister is registered at Target plus some other stores for just a general Wish List - so if anyone ever gets a wild idea to buy something for her, they know exactly where to look... :rolleyes: She has a link to it off of her website.

She's getting married, and my parents & sister are throwing a shower for her. She now lives in TX, but is coming up to PA for the shower. She asked me to let people know that she'd prefer gift cards. :eek: I didn't put ANYTHING on the invites, and I'll tell folks where she's registered, and if she gets items at the shower, we'll ship it down to her. I'm NOT telling folks to get her gift cards!!

Worfiedoodles
09-03-2008, 12:47 PM
My ds10 is already lamenting the fact that as a boy he won't be getting a Sweet 16 party. The girls he knows are already talking about and planning theirs! :scared1:

I also personally disagree with registering your child (not new infant, child) at a toy store. We get e-mails that so and so is registered at a store for Christmas/First Communion/Easter/Confirmation/Arbor Day, etc. I was raised to be grateful for anything I got from relatives, wish lists were for my parents, only. Now I see them from acquaintances and friends, which kind of takes away the fun of giving...

princessdaisy
09-03-2008, 12:53 PM
iAfter you graduate people expected you to get a job, not fund your 1 week trip to Mexico.

Oh my gosh, I spit up my coffee laughing at that line! it is so true! most people around my area are more concerned that their teen is "happy" now and college? "eh, they will get around to that later":confused: :confused3

So sad...

eliza61
09-03-2008, 12:54 PM
I am only 30 and have NEVER heard of a "going to college shower"! I did have a graduation party that my mom threw and at that party people gave me cash or a gift for my college dorm room. I didn't register anywhere! A couple people didn't give me gifts and that was fine too...I was just happy to be celebrating with them.

Agree that a going to college shower is what the graduation party was for (and registering for one? Eww).

.

Yepper,
Husbands niece had one 2 weeks ago. She's going to Villanova and had a college "shower". When my dh mentioned to his sister that she already had a graduation party she said "Oh that was mainly for ms. sunshines friends, this is more for the family". Once again we were royally pissed because Dh & his other 2 siblings chipped in and brought her a brand new, state of the art laptop & printer.

I'm probably overreacting because I've just opened the mail and got my cousins sweet 16 "commemoration" (that's exactly how the invitation is worded). What the heck are we commemorating, the child is 16. It's not the 'friggin day she discovered a cure for cancer. :sad2:

Worfiedoodles
09-03-2008, 12:57 PM
[/B]

Oh my gosh, I spit up my coffee laughing at that line! it is so true! most people around my area are more concerned that their teen is "happy" now and college? "eh, they will get around to that later":confused: :confused3

So sad...

I am so mean....you make your own happiness. I'm much more concerned that ds will be able to move out, buy a house, and pay for his own family's Disney vacations -- College is not optional in our house! Of course, he's only 10, I haven't been through the teen terrors yet...:confused3

DiznEeyore
09-03-2008, 01:04 PM
I am so mean....you make your own happiness. I'm much more concerned that ds will be able to move out, buy a house, and pay for his own family's Disney vacations -- College is not optional in our house! Of course, he's only 10, I haven't been through the teen terrors yet...:confused3

Trust me ... when he becomes a teenager, you will be even MORE concerned that he will be able to move out/go to college/fend for himself, LOL!! Ours is almost 16 and some days I ask my dh, "Tell me again when he's moving out?" :rotfl:

TheBeadPirate
09-03-2008, 01:11 PM
I'm sorry Eliza that you're dealing with this, but this is hysterical.:lmao:

When I was 16 I was happy to have a party where my grandmother didn't make the cake. It came from the store- like normal teenager cakes come from. I saved and bought my own car.

And for HS graduation in, on 1991 (yeah, ancient I know. Just ask DH he'll tell ya) I got a new set of luggage from my grandparents(this was after "borrowing" hideous luggage my sophmore year for a Europe trip- that I SAVED for) and my Aunt and Uncle gave me a laundry basket full of odds and ends for college dorm living. What I didn't get from them was hand me downs from family and older friends! Heck my first toaster only had one side that worked!

What money I got for graduation went into an "allowance" account to get me through books and my first couple semesters.


Now I sound like one of those oldsters walking 10 miles barefoot through the snow one way......but dang it, nowadays it seems like it!;) :rotfl:

dis75ney
09-03-2008, 01:26 PM
I have to admit, we are having a half-birthday party for our DS8 in February...not because he's spoiled or anything, but because we feel bad that he has an end-of-summer birthday and his birthday tends to get lost in the shuffle of the start of school, weddings, and other birthdays (I kid you not when I say that every day of August has a birthday of a friend or family member - I was determined to have DS born on the ONE day that did not have someone else's birthday). :blush:

However, we're doing things a little differently for the half-birthday party. We will be asking the kids to bring a toy or book (new or gently used) to be donated to our local children's hospital. DS was listening to a radiothon that takes place every year (right around his birthday), and he wanted to do something for the kids "that are sick and need toys and books so they won't hurt anymore." So we'll be collecting toys and books at the party and heading to the hospital the day after his party to give the items to the kids. I'm crying just thinking about it! :love: :hug:

But this whole "shower" for college is ridiculous, IMO. Yes, my cousins had two parties when they graduated high school - one for their friends and one for family (since I guess they didn't want us old farts ruining their happening bashes), but the friends didn't bring gifts - that was more of an occasion for all their friends to celebrate graduation from all of their respective schools. Us respectable family members got gifts for the girls...mostly gift cards or cash, but they also received some really neat things to help decorate their dorm rooms.

*Sigh* Things sure have changed since I was a teenager... :confused3

secretpantssam
09-03-2008, 01:52 PM
Yeah I hate when people expect certain gifts for non occasions. A girl my sister knew was having a house warming party and registered and told everyone they had to bring a gift. The worst part to me was that she was just moving into an apartment out of college, which to me isn't a huge step, and she had the party a week before she actually move in! So it was still at her parents house! I think she was just trying to rook everyone she knew...and it worked because my sister actually bought her something.

czycropper
09-03-2008, 02:02 PM
OK, now I have REALLY heard everything, a "shower" for college :scared1: PLEASE, use the $$ you got from the HS graduation party for college don't depend on family & friends to supply your college dorm!

When I went to college (bezillion years ago :) ) I saved all summer to get the bedding I wanted not the simple one that my parents wanted to get me :lmao:

Yes, Sweet 16 parties are getting out of control - here in Central Jersey I think it's because the girls are competiting with the girls that had bat mitzvah's. I'm 1/2 Hispanic and I had a small quinceanera - again nothing like some of the girls around here are having. A friend of mine's daugher had a Sweet 16th that cost an arm & a leg - she had 10 of her DD friends go to NYC to see a show in a limo, then go out to dinner, then slept over at the Helmsley, breakfast the next day & back home in a limo - it cost her almost $10,000. I told her I would have put that into a CD for my DD for after she graduated college! The funny part is that her DH agreed with me, yes, we're still friends she even admits that she went a little overboard :laughing: and is thankful that her son (my DDs age-10) won't be having a Sweet 16.

ExPirateShopGirl
09-03-2008, 02:05 PM
You hit the nail on the head, Eliza. The world is getting scarier and NO ONE seems to have a copy of (let alone bothered to read) an etiquette book. Gifts are not acknowledged with thank-you cards any longer. Kids (and in some cases their parents) have such senses of entitlement, it's no wonder people are deeper in consumer debt than ever. Should we applaud them for not going further into debt by asking for donations to every cause disguised as a family celebration?

My older daughter had a one day trip to Disneyland with 2 of her friends and a slumber party for her 16th birthday. We had no blow-out, we sent no invites other than to the two girls who joined her. She got no car and was, instead, afforded a full ride (courtesy of me) at a college in a big city with perfectly acceptable public transportation. A far better way to spend my (not my folks' or friends') money. My younger daughter will get the same thing.

When I receive invitations in the mail for events I have no intention of attending, I make sure to send a lovely card. Depending on the validity of the event in question (as in a real wedding shower or a made-up college shower) I may include a savings bond. I don't seem to get any more grief from family members than anyone else.. .then again, the invites haven't stopped arriving, so we'll see. I do often think of small gifts to get for my young nephews when we travel, I don't need to supply them with things their parents ought to be purchasing.

Sally
09-03-2008, 02:08 PM
I got an invitation for a post - wedding party, my niece said it was for the gifts they registered for but didn't get when they got married 3 months ago. I giggled and hung up the phone. I thought you were suppose to use the cash gifts you got for items you needed for your new home/ starting out.

WendyisDarling
09-03-2008, 02:08 PM
. We get e-mails that so and so is registered at a store for Christmas/First Communion/Easter/Confirmation/Arbor Day, etc. ...

:rotfl2: Arbor Day :rotfl2: So funny, but please don't give anyone the idea. ;)
I can see it now, "we are landscaping our new home and are registered at Home Depot for Arbor Day" It seriously wouldn't surprise me.

All of the gift giving is way out of control. The MTV sweet sixteen parties have really done a number on parents of some girls, I'm afraid.
OP--I believe I would give the precious dear a savings bond.

jnzimm
09-03-2008, 02:08 PM
Has everyone been watching too much mtv and there sweet 16 parties. I agree that things are getting out of control. A party for graduating into middle school? huh, I think by law you have to do that. Big elaborate parties to me are a waste of time, energy and money. I don't understand why a car is more important than saving for college. Maybe so they can drive themselves to social services after their money runs out and they can't find a decent paying job.

jax677
09-03-2008, 02:26 PM
Well, I will admit to having a small family gathering for both of my girls before they went off to college. We get together so rarely and it was nice to see everyone. Not everyone brought something and that was fine with me. It was the getting together that I enjoy.

Paul6725
09-03-2008, 02:33 PM
Parents do you and yours kids a favour and block MTV. That channel will rot their brains as they watch these shallow, vacuous worthless individuals get everything they ask for because their parents are too busy to actual parent and it's the easy way out.

Dismom55
09-03-2008, 02:34 PM
A slightly larger than normal birthday party is just fine for a 16 yr old, my daughter had a nice cook out in the backyard (then I promptly had my first stroke), my son not being a social butterfly had a more planned 16th with family only this year (no stroke this time).

When my daughter graduated from HS, she got things or money to help with her first year of college, but when invitations were sent out, gift not expected was added to the bottom.

When she started college, she did it one her own and is still saving for that first car, she is now 20.

I don't like this idea of people expecting you to help with the cost of their kids. Close family we exchange with, that is for birthdays, my two brothers and mother both give and receive gifts with my family. Other family nope, not expected and glad we don't. Christmas is the only other gift giving occasion and for that we add one more brother and his wife. That is it. Now when my kids do the marriage and having first kid thing well, gifts will be given from the heart, not from expectation.

Things have gotten out of hand!!!:confused:

budbeerlady
09-03-2008, 02:40 PM
I have to agree with the OP!
What happened to the day you were excited that you were 16 and allowed to drive the family car once in a while to school? I am only 31 so it wasnt ages ago that I was in high school and college. My parents bought me an old reliable car and paid the insurance while I was in school, if I got a ticket I had to pay the insurance. I would never had dreamed of getting a new car!

DD knows she wont be getting one either and she is only 7! She has been saving and she has a 529 plan for college that we started for her when she was born. I am trying to instill in her that an education is the best thing she can give herself for her future!


And dont get me started on Christmas w/ Dh's side. (My side its a name exchange $10 limit so we get creative!) Dh's sister and sister in law had a fit when we told them we were NOT going to spend the $50 PER PERSON! It was costing us $400 alone on his family. There is nothing that we couldnt buy for ourselves that we needed and its insane to spend that kind of money. We gift to his parents and the 2 nephews I spend $20ish each. The one sister wanted $ to buy a purse she wanted, that is when I said never again to Dh.

Wendaeh
09-03-2008, 02:43 PM
What the heck are we commemorating, the child is 16. It's not the 'friggin day she discovered a cure for cancer. :sad2:

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

jax677
09-03-2008, 03:03 PM
We never did many birthday parties, usually just a few in elementary school. I have never understood the big blow out,break the budget kind of party. We didn't even do a party for 8th grade, something everyone does here. I always told my kids that it was a given to move onto high school, not a suprise to celebrate.

dnoyes
09-03-2008, 03:30 PM
Yep, just went to a "college shower" three weeks ago. Turned into the fight of the century when my SIL walked up to my wife and asked if we would be able to help pay her daughters housing because they just found out it was going to cost $300 more a month then they were thinking:confused: When my wife suggested her daughter go to a local university like OUR daughters do she started yelling at my wife saying our kids were privileged their whole lives (not true) and that we should be glad to help them out:lmao:
Best part of this was it was also my wifes 41st birthday that day and not one of her three sisters or brother remembered .... I reminded them as we walked out.

No more college showers for us:thumbsup2

cseca
09-03-2008, 03:46 PM
Yep, just went to a "college shower" three weeks ago. Turned into the fight of the century when my SIL walked up to my wife and asked if we would be able to help pay her daughters housing because they just found out it was going to cost $300 more a month then they were thinking:confused: When my wife suggested her daughter go to a local university like OUR daughters do she started yelling at my wife saying our kids were privileged their whole lives (not true) and that we should be glad to help them out:lmao:
Best part of this was it was also my wifes 41st birthday that day and not one of her three sisters or brother remembered .... I reminded them as we walked out.

No more college showers for us:thumbsup2

:scared1: Good gracious!
Don't you sometimes wish you can pick your family?
wow... :sad2:

Goofy'slady
09-03-2008, 04:10 PM
Well, personally I'm not a huge fan of big birthday parties. Each and every one of my girls birthday's have been an family affair and when I mean family I mean me, DH, DD#1, DD#2 and grandparents and not every year do the grandparents join us. We have a special meal-usually the b-day girls favorite (sometimes we may go out to eat but nothing fancy) and birthday cake at home with a few gifts.

With that said we are planning on encorporating our oldest daughter's 5th grade graduation present in with our family vaca to Disney next May. Which means it's half family vaca and half London's gift; so we've planned a few extra special things like doing a split first time family stay on property and a few more character meals then usual. We're not expecting folks to give her huge presents for moving onto Jr. high but we just wanted this to be our little way of saying "yeah for completing one phase of your life and moving on with the next phase". Since her actual graduation won't be until June we'll probably either go out to dinner with a few family members to celebrate or we'll have a small get together at our home and if family members chose to bring something small that's fine, if not that's fine too. It's not about us trying to milk our family.

I was alway taught that you don't burn your bridges- meaning if you constantly try to get things out of your family and friends for mediocore things then if and when you truely need them be it money-wise or anything else they may think twice about helping out because you've used up all of your chances on silly celebrations.

T.

dnoyes
09-03-2008, 04:15 PM
:scared1: Good gracious!
Don't you sometimes wish you can pick your family?
wow... :sad2:

For the most part they are all good people on my wifes side. It's just that one sister that we always seem to have problems with. She has a party for any reason she can come up with and is insulted when people don't show up.
She's like, I mowed the lawn today bring me a gift or it's trash day lets have a party .... it just drives me crazy.

If she knew we bought DVC I'm sure we would see her at the airport on our next trip.

Jordans_Mommie
09-03-2008, 04:48 PM
"College Showers" are pretty common around here, except they are called "Trunk parties". I do not have a problem with them and I always take a gift. I consider it a celebration of their accomplishment and to me it IS a big deal. Graduation parties are usually for friends and classmates, I cannot remember the last graduation party I was invited to.

I am 33 and my Mom had a trunk party for me when I went to college. I don't even remember if I got any gifts, but I do remember the great time that I had and the support and well wishes I received from the "adults" in my life. I still have the leather journal with the inspirational messages from those who attended the party.

tonilea
09-03-2008, 04:59 PM
I have to agree with the OP, it has gotten way out of hand. This is my personal observation - take it for what it is worth - it seems that the "honoree" of the party is usually so over-indulged they don't really appreciate it anyway. :confused3

I guess I am just odd. I didn't want a baby shower - it feels like I am asking for gifts (even though I don't feel that way about shower invites). DS will get his first non-family birthday party next year - because he is finally old enough to ask for a party and it won't be an over the top party either.

Nie0214
09-03-2008, 05:04 PM
I had a graduation party when I finished High School as valedictorian. I invited friends and we had a barbeque at the local park. I received cards from a few family members but that was it, none of my friends were expected to bring anything, and I didn't invite family members that I hadn't talked to. (A few friends brought my favorite candy as a gift. :))

After I finished college, I went out to dinner with my uncle, grandma, and my parents. Big hoopla right there! TGIFridays! haha. (Keep in mind, this was only a few months ago, not years.)

I have heard of people having 8th grade graduation parties, etc.? It boggles my mind, and I think it's tacky.

Worfiedoodles
09-03-2008, 05:42 PM
My niece graduated from high school in May. My SIL and BIL threw her a party that included entertainment by an American Idol wannabe -- good enough for Hollywood but not top 10. I was stunned. They have two younger daughters who are going to expect the same, I'm sure.

Then, DN decides she's not going to do what she need to to get into college (not even her SATs, or completing the forms for ridiculously reduced tuition -- they're in FL). She says she's going in January -- we'll see. She blew all the money she received at her party, including a good amount from us -- so much so that her sister who is now a Junior wrote in her Thank you to us for her birthday $, "I will use this wisely". I'm still waiting on the Thank You from DN who graduated...

patsal
09-03-2008, 05:50 PM
Wow, I must be really old fashioned. i stopped letting m kids have Birthday parties when they were 10. We still celebrate as a family and everyone is welcome for cake--no one is to bring gifts. We did not have parties for the graduations from pre k, k or 5th and 8th grade although we did take the children to dinner or lunch or add an extra day at a deluxe resort o rhte last day of that summer vacation. I did not allow them to have Communion or soon to happen Confirmation parties--we do however have the grands, my sisters and their families (DH is an only) join us to go out to dinner at my expense--again "no gifts please" is written on the invite.

I'm thinking though that since I've been married for 18 years, never had a bridal or baby shower that it might be nice to throw myself a 20th anniversay bridal shower since I need all new towels, pots and pans and well, the decor in the house is looking a tad old:lmao: :lmao:

Since I teach high School I can tell you the "entitled to" mentality is very out there. The car for your 16th bday totally a for real thing--and these are kids who are always in trouble and don't have a prayer to get into college if they don't make some serious life changes. :sad2:

newtodis
09-03-2008, 07:22 PM
First off, where the heck is the tag fairy? There are some great one liners on here! :rotfl:

I must say that I agree that things are out of control-we do have a family member like this but now we live about 1,000 away so oops "it must have gotten lost in the mail...we didn't get that invite". :thumbsup2

As for my graduation, I only graduated 8 years ago. My mom was too busy going on a trip with her new husband (that I knew nothing about!) to come to my open house after the graduation at the school. My gift from my step mom? Boxes to move out! :rotfl2: (she's the true example of a wicked witch in all ways possible so I expect nothing less-the woman accused me of sleeping with the husband of a family I babysat for!) Anywho, my open house after the ceremony, it was very quiet and honestly, more a party for my parents to get togethe with their friends. I left shortly into the party and no one noticed I was gone. :eek: (this had always been the plan as I had committed to going to others parties on the same day that had been planned before mine)

As for a college shower-that's craziness. I think that's what your open house is for and you should have an after school job to buy the things you want-not wait for someone to give it to you...it's going to be a long wait!

All of those other crazy parties, I just don't have a clue. Some of the parties I go to people bring hostess giftsto jewelry parties. I'm all for bringing a bottle of wine or something if it's a dinner, but let's not get over the top!

I'm planning (finally got DH's approval-if I needed it) for a Disney vow renewal in two years. Will I ask my family or DH's to pay for it?? Of course not. We're going to start saving now for it to be paid off prior to the event. Will I ask our guests to bring gifts? Of couse not-I know that it will be enough for everyone to get to Disney and enjoy their vacation there. I'm totally ok with this. We actually decided to have it at Disney so people would show up instead of just having it at our house! DH and I paid for the majority of our wedding and will do the same for this.

I cannot believe some things people expect. It blows me away. I'm always very quick to explain to my DS4 (who I'm sure doesn't get it all) that's not how it's going to work here. As DMIL did for DH, we'll set up (already have) accounts for the boys to get at certain conditions (graduating college, buying a home, etc). Thankfully DH's parents didn't set his up specifically for college as DH's job (fire department) paid for his schooling so it would have been money lost.

Thanks for showing me that some people still have common sense!

englishteacha
09-03-2008, 07:45 PM
I can't believe the parties that my (low income) students have! They can't afford pencils but they can have a catered birthday? Hmmmm....

My b-day parties were small, usually with a homecooked dinner, and a homemade cake. My HS graduation party had a lot of people there, but I have a huge family. I got trinkets for college and some money. When I graduated college, my siblings gathered at my parents' camp and we had cake and I modeled my cap and gown. It poured on graduation day, yet it was still held outdoors, so no one came to the graduation. That's OK by me. Our wedding was 3 weeks after graduation, so I was thrilled to see everyone and eat cake, and wasn't expecting a party. I bought my first car at 22, so I think it's possible to survive the teen years and college without a car!

In 2012, I will have my master's degree and it'll be our 10 year anniversary. I think we'll throw ourselves a party and eat lots of food and dance. I don't want gifts. I want fun! :) That's not being selfish, is it?

chefkellyb
09-03-2008, 09:47 PM
I've turned over a new leaf after my DD7 and DS5's combined summer bday party last month that DH and I had for them. I told DH I think this is the last "big bash" for the kids. For the past few years, we didn't go too overboard for the kids IMO at the time. We did a traditional bday party for the kids' friends and their families with traditional picnic food, cake, ice cream and then rented a moon bounce (or waterslide) and a snowball machine.

What made me change my ways? 1. It's starting to be a lot of work and I certainly feel like I don't enjoy myself anymore. 2. The guest list has grown to over 30 friends and families (equals about 80-90 people). 3. With the expenses this year, we could have gone on a nice little family trip (not DW) - granted it is a combined bday party, so there is some money savings there. 4. Most importantly: the kids started to focus on getting gifts. Although they were appreciative and thanked everyone as they opened, IMO to them is started to be about the gifts and not about spending time with family and friends. Thanks to this thread, my gut is telling me that this is the right thing to do. Sad, but I betcha people will be asking us like usual at the beginning of the summer "when is the kids' bday party?" because everyone (except me) usually has a great time.

Not to change the subject... here's what irks me! Getting invitations to important events like real wedding showers or baby showers thru an email service like "evite." Just my opinion, but I think that is tacky. Or even getting "virtual" bday cards from family. I understand the reasoning and all that, but come on - spend $.50 on a card from the dollar store and another $.42 on me for my bday! I think I'm worth it!!!! :rotfl2: Again, just my opinion.

alliedogsmom
09-03-2008, 10:15 PM
It amazes me the lengths people go to for parties. My daughter, who is now 25 and married, had a small 16th b-day party in our backyard with some friends, we bbq'd and taped white paper to the back of the house and showed movies. As for graduation, no party-I am a firm believer in not rewarding for good grades and such, I expect you to go to school and get good grades, then graduate. Why should you be rewarded for something that you should do? Then when she graduated nursing school and got her RN, we went out to dinner. I just think this stuff has all gotten way out of hand, and it's all just for show, to see who can spend more money, out do another person, etc. In my mind, there is no real celebration going on. It's more like a "what are you going to give me" fest....:mad: :rolleyes2

Siouxstone
09-04-2008, 12:19 AM
You know, this really strikes home with me this week. Myself and the other managers I work with all just received baby shower invitations. The honoree? We FIRED HER TWO YEARS AGO! Can you say fishing for gifts?:mad:

As for DS, his birthday falls during free dining! We would've gone anyway!:lmao: I'm a big fan of the two birds thing.

bzkds
09-04-2008, 12:44 AM
I just sent my first born off to college. For graduation, we only had my cousin and her kids over for dinner/cake. We didn't even fill the back of the car with the things he took to college, I can't imagine what he would have ever needed to register for!

My oldest daughter will be 16 in 6 months. No party planning going on here either.

We've had a lot of "backyard" parties with a jump house, and a few at Chuck E Cheese or the skating rink. But that's maybe every 3 or 4 years. The rest of the time it's a sleepover with pizza or something similar.


I have always taught my kids that no one OWES them a gift.. ever, for any reason. So be happy and thankful if you do receive one, but don't expect it! (not that they don't expect it, of course, they're normal kids..) I may be considered a mean mom, but I don't try to keep up with anyone when it comes to parties.

Beth

natnelliesmom
09-04-2008, 12:44 AM
I'm sorry Eliza that you're dealing with this, but this is hysterical.:lmao:

When I was 16 I was happy to have a party where my grandmother didn't make the cake. It came from the store- like normal teenager cakes come from. I saved and bought my own car.

And for HS graduation in, on 1991 (yeah, ancient I know. Just ask DH he'll tell ya) I got a new set of luggage from my grandparents(this was after "borrowing" hideous luggage my sophmore year for a Europe trip- that I SAVED for) and my Aunt and Uncle gave me a laundry basket full of odds and ends for college dorm living. What I didn't get from them was hand me downs from family and older friends! Heck my first toaster only had one side that worked!

What money I got for graduation went into an "allowance" account to get me through books and my first couple semesters.


Now I sound like one of those oldsters walking 10 miles barefoot through the snow one way......but dang it, nowadays it seems like it!;) :rotfl:


This sounds like my life! My mother provided for me what she could- but whatever I wanted I had to work for it! Save my money if I needed something. So many kids now have a sense of entitlement when it comes to anything they "need" or want.
The problem is that they don't appreciate anything they have because it's just been handed to them. If something breaks- they get a new one. If they want something- someone gives it to them. It's so bad that they have to keep running lists at stores so that at any given moment they know what you can buy for them!! It's so scary!
My DDs won't have registries until they get married. It's just sick. If someone wants to buy them a gift- go ahead. But we won't ask you to. Gifts are just that.... gifts! Not obligations. I like to know that the person giving the gift did so because they cared. If they want to give a gift but don't know what to give- I can offer ideas- but I would never give someone a list. It's just bad form.
There should only be two kinds of registries- weddings and babies. And even then they should be ideas- not demands!
Ugh- It's just sad.
-Sarah

cats mom
09-04-2008, 02:35 AM
Yep, just went to a "college shower" three weeks ago. Turned into the fight of the century when my SIL walked up to my wife and asked if we would be able to help pay her daughters housing because they just found out it was going to cost $300 more a month then they were thinking:confused: When my wife suggested her daughter go to a local university like OUR daughters do she started yelling at my wife saying our kids were privileged their whole lives (not true) and that we should be glad to help them out:lmao:



Reminds me of a letter we got from casual family friends last year.

Their DD had accepted an invitation to play on a club volleyball team (even though mom told me months before tryouts started that they could never afford to pay the fees associated with being on that team)

But heaven forbid they tell the girl no, after all... she really wanted to play club ball.
Even worse, she had already earned a spot on the HS varsity team; where she could have played at much the same level, and for far less $$$.
But that wasn't good enough. In fact when she made the club team, she quit the HS team, leaving them hanging.
:sad2:

So what do mom and dad do?
They have her send out a letter to family, friends (and apparently even casual aquaintances... since we got one) asking for financial help.

Any donation would get you a thank you note and a picture.
I wonder if it was autographed? :rolleyes1
And if you donated enough (over $500 IIRC) you would also get monthly updates on all the happenings in volleyball land.
Any bets on whether it was a photocopied form letter, or just a mass e-mail? :rotfl:
The solicitation letter even mentioned the fact that she planned to continue with volleyball for the next two years of HS and hopefully into college as well.
maybe so folks could budget to keep the donations rolling in for years to come? ;)

I agree OP,
Some crazy expectations out there.

twooley2
09-04-2008, 03:40 AM
Well I have to agree. For the past couple of years I was thinking I must be old fashioned because these birthdays are insane. We are having a party at our home with 10 girls and they are going swimming in our intex pool in the backyard. No built in pool. My daughter was concerned if 10 girls would fit. I said "oh well thats what it is." We did buy her a 19 inch tv for her room that is a flat screen. That was it for us and I think Im over generous this year.

twooley2
09-04-2008, 03:43 AM
Reminds me of a letter we got from casual family friends last year.

Their DD had accepted an invitation to play on a club volleyball team (even though mom told me months before tryouts started that they could never afford to pay the fees associated with being on that team)

But heaven forbid they tell the girl no, after all... she really wanted to play club ball.
Even worse, she had already earned a spot on the HS varsity team; where she could have played at much the same level, and for far less $$$.
But that wasn't good enough. In fact when she made the club team, she quit the HS team, leaving them hanging.
:sad2:

So what do mom and dad do?
They have her send out a letter to family, friends (and apparently even casual aquaintances... since we got one) asking for financial help.




Oh my we heard of a similar situation and the family is choosing to move to an apartment to afford for their kids to do school activities. What in the world. Who runs that show?

powellrj
09-04-2008, 06:01 AM
we have gotten a couple of letters this year and DS was encouraged to send them out for show choir, (we didn't send them).

I can't believe reading here what 1st birthdays have become. Unless its a close friend or relative, I don't want to attend a party for a baby. Sorry, but if you throw a 1st birthday party for 100 of your close friends, whats left?

bdcp
09-04-2008, 06:15 AM
I have a neighbor whose daughter is already planning her sweet 16 and she's 14. She has decided with mom's approval to use a local hotel/resort that isn't cheap. They can afford it, but my feeling is it sets up kids to expect so much from life and when they are on their own, they can't figure out how to live on what they have. Something else I've seen is girls wanting to find a husband who can afford to buy them everything and are disappointed and even break up with guys who won't/can't. Spoiled, entitled, are the first words that come to mind. What happened to just having a few friends over to your house, or even what a friend of mine did, use the local neighborhood community building and provide food and soda and music by cd? My boys got a high school small party and a college graduation party held in our home. There is no way I would have a "college shower" or go to one. Why should I fund everyone else's child when I have my own kids to pay for? Sometimes the answer has to be NO to your kids.

christa112
09-04-2008, 06:23 AM
I would do a going away to college shower in place of a graduation party, but I would not do both.

eeyorethegreat
09-04-2008, 07:38 AM
It always amazes me when I read these threads the expectations people have and how they feel inclined to ask for handouts for random events. Birthday parties here are: Child or adult (if it is DH or my b day) picks what they want for supper. I make a cake or dessert of choice. We sing Happy Birthday and eat the cake then we present the gifts and cards that the siblings(or children which ever the case my be) have made for the birthday kid (or parent) gifts rarely total over $50 maybe $75 if it was something long asked for (usually they never have a gift list the kids rarely ask for anything which I hear is pretty odd these days & makes the gift giving we do do difficult ). That's it- no big fan fare no renting of a hall. And know what? The kids feel special on their birthday with just that, a special dinner and dessert that they chose and one gift.

DawnM
09-04-2008, 07:42 AM
I have a friend who firmly believes that if you aren't married by 40 you should be entiteled to have a "not" bridal shower and be able to register and get gifts for your home. She doesn't think it is fair that only married folks get gifts to help with their new home.

I see her point!

But back to the OP......it is getting so over the top.

I was invited to a housewarming party for a college student, which included a gift registry. I thought it was very odd.

Dawn

Lisa_M
09-04-2008, 08:34 AM
The trend around here is the HUGE, HUGE, HUGE 1st birthday parties. Where you invite every distant relative, co-worker, friend, business aquaintance etc. that you have. Mountains and mountains of toys are received and the child has no clue. And....since it is a 1st birthday, there usually isn't much going on for the kids in attendance so they get miserable watching a 1 year old smash cake and show no interest in the thousands of presents scattered around them. Commercialism at its best :confused3

I am all for the first birthday party, but I within reason. I can't stand the blatant gift grabbing and usually just send my regrets to those parties.


really? I live in this area and I'm going to be the social outcast at work when people find out I'm making my lo a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake and there is no big thing. We don't have any relatives nearby and I won't be inviting co-workers and we don't have any friends or acquaintances here. Unless my parents and inlaws come down it will be just us and the kitties.

OP, yes we celebrate mediocrity. I had a 16th birthday party, but I think they are so over the top now it's ridiculous. Your niece should be saving that money for college, not a car, but some people don't understand delayed gratification. Registering for college, give me a break. Didn't you know every child is gifted and will get loads of scholarships for college and a subsidized life (or at least they wish...) :lmao:

dnoyes
09-04-2008, 10:54 AM
Reminds me of a letter we got from casual family friends last year.

Their DD had accepted an invitation to play on a club volleyball team (even though mom told me months before tryouts started that they could never afford to pay the fees associated with being on that team)

But heaven forbid they tell the girl no, after all... she really wanted to play club ball.
Even worse, she had already earned a spot on the HS varsity team; where she could have played at much the same level, and for far less $$$.
But that wasn't good enough. In fact when she made the club team, she quit the HS team, leaving them hanging.
:sad2:

So what do mom and dad do?
They have her send out a letter to family, friends (and apparently even casual aquaintances... since we got one) asking for financial help.

Any donation would get you a thank you note and a picture.
I wonder if it was autographed? :rolleyes1
And if you donated enough (over $500 IIRC) you would also get monthly updates on all the happenings in volleyball land.
Any bets on whether it was a photocopied form letter, or just a mass e-mail? :rotfl:
The solicitation letter even mentioned the fact that she planned to continue with volleyball for the next two years of HS and hopefully into college as well.
maybe so folks could budget to keep the donations rolling in for years to come? ;)

I agree OP,
Some crazy expectations out there.

WOW, maybe for a $1000 you could go to a game :lmao:

You win this one cats mom, at least mine is my fruit cake SIL

rottiemom
09-04-2008, 12:22 PM
I totally agree with the OP and am equally as baffled. Cats mom- that letter just leaves me speechless.

But on a lighthearted note I did want to share this:

I have a friend who firmly believes that if you aren't married by 40 you should be entiteled to have a "not" bridal shower and be able to register and get gifts for your home. She doesn't think it is fair that only married folks get gifts to help with their new home.

I see her point!


When a good friend ended a 15 year relationship we threw her a "breakup shower". Now this was a total surprise and certainly nothing that she asked for, expected or even wanted. I was just chatting with another GF who basically said the same thing that DawnM's friend did. Why did the engaged & the pregnant get all of the showers? Why couldn't you have a shower if you were feeling blue, or had just had a car accident? Of course we were joking but then we had the breakup shower idea & it just snowballed.

We surprised the friend at a local restaurant (everybody paid for their own meal just like any other girl's night out) and the gifts were silly, small, self indulgent things like chocolate, bubblebath, GCs for a pedicure. Everything was wrapped in black with black ribbons & we even made the goofy shower hat out of them & took pictures of the honoree wearing the hat & pretending to sob uncontrolably. Any onlookers would just have thought that it was some sort of slightly odd birthday outing :rotfl: .