no, i am not talking about some wild birthday parties and associated orgies! those happened in the distant past in the days of my youth... and no, i am not telling you anything here! (it would be injurious to my health, given the people who read my exploits here!)
i am talking about this strange phenomenon of birthday parties we organise for our kids... our kids who become completely involved in the game of one-upmanship (or one-up-womanship, if you prefer that) that gets blatantly passed off in the name of birthday celebrations!
my son recently attended a pool party... yes a birthday party celebrated in a swimming pool! i was very keen on accompanying him for this one... i put on my most innocent face and told the 'big boss' that i could lend her a helping by taking him to this party... but she always manages to see through my tricks and promptly informed me that none of the kids' mothers would be in the pool... it would only be the kids... that was when i suddenly remembered i had some other urgent work to be done! :P
birthday parties in malls and fancy restaurants are so passe! so what if it puts back the poor dad's (or mom's, before i forget!) finances by a significant number of rupees, the weakening notwithstanding!
i've heard of birthdays being celebrated where the kids are taken for a movie... you say what's the big deal? i'm talking about the entire hall being booked! and then there are birthdays where the kids are taken on a cruise...
gone are the days when a party meant a birthday cake being cut, playing passing the parcel, and then eating potato wafers, a samosa and the cake with a soft-drink to wash it down! this was only on those rare occasions when the birthday was actually celebrated! and there was no concept of return gifts!
these days our kids sometimes walk back home after a birthday with a return gift that is more expensive than the gift we gave the birthday boy/girl! :P
and talking about gifts! the kids get flooded with so many gifts that they don't even manage to open all the gifts before their next birthday arrives! therefore it is not surprising that some gifts make their way around a couple of times and sometimes come back at our own doorstep, like the proverbial bad penny!
and the 'gifting' problem reaches epidemic proportions when you are living in a complex like ours where you have at least 2-3 birthdays every month! with an average of 10-15 kids being invited for each birthday party the numbers of gifts and return gifts can become quite mind-boggling! and as you can imagine, a few local gift shops are doing thriving business! :)
p.s. the big boss and i are trying to organise a group of friends in our complex to get together and give a meaningful combined gift to the birthday boy/girl after consulting the parents.
do any of you have any more creative solutions?