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Family Life . . . Simple

Ah yes, my oldest son just turned 5 yesterday. He really wanted a friend party this year and I thought now would be the perfect time for him to have one. In a day and age when people spend more money on a child's party than my husband makes in one week, throwing a party can be daunting. What theme do you have? What games do you plan for the kids? What kind of food do you have" What favors do you give? How much will all of this cost??????

I asked Joshua what "theme" he wanted and each day I asked, he gave a different response, but the one that stuck was a "space/astronaut" theme. Online I went to Oriental Trading Company . . . they had a great space theme package with everything in it (plates, napkins, decorations, even favors) and for $35!!! Great deal! But, as fate would have it, it was sold out. Then I was left with . . . what do I do????

Off we went to the Dollar Store for decorations and favors. We got balloons, plates, napkins, signs, and favors for around $30 . . . did anyone notice that nothing matched????

When it came to the guest list, we decided to keep it simple. A few friends, allow siblings and moms to come (well, this is not so simple, the average size of the families invited was approx 5 kids per family). When all was said and done, there were about 20 kids at the house. We had pizza and cheese curls (boy, kids can eat cheese curls), cake (that I made and decorated with cars I got free out of a cereal box), and ice cream. We had no planned activities, other than eating and opening presents. And you know what, it was a great afternoon. I had fun, the guests had fun, and, most importantly, the birthday boy had fun. An essential lesson in raising children was reinforced again . . . Kids do not need or want the big parties, the fancy gifts, the amazing themes, or the expensive favors . . . all they want is to have some friends over, play and have fun (and they really like it when everyone sings happy birthday!!).

There is no need to impress your kids with throwing money into their birthday party, that is not what they want. And there is no need to impress you friends with how much money you spend on your kid's birthday, because, in the end, what does it matter anyway? We are here to teach our kids and help them grow in virtue and in love. We are here to help them strive for heaven and to teach them enjoy the simple things in life. I hope that my son's party taught him about what is most important in life . . . it taught me that.

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