This afternoon, we celebrated my niece Gabi’s 11th birthday. It was one of those days that reminds me that it really is the little things that count. My sister Kathi and her husband Matt kept her party very low key this year. Gabi invited a few of her friends and cousins over to the pool where they live and they had a swim party. The kids swam for hours. Chips, cake and drinks were served. That’s it. Simple, yet the kids had a blast!
In a time where it seems that each party we go to has to “outdo” the next, it was really great to see how much fun the kids had without going to huge extremes. I have done the “big parties” for my kids. My sister has too. We have been to numerous parties with our kids that have been spectacular and fun and I don’t begrudge people who have these parties. I loved being able to provide my kids with that kind of party and my kids love going to those parties but at a time where my sister and I are trying to be more frugal, I truly enjoyed seeing how much fun the kids, (and the parents) had today just celebrating Gabi and being together. The kids enjoyed each others company and played for hours together. No “bells and whistles”, no expensive dressed up characters, no extravagant party favors… just a bunch of kids playing with each other for a few hours with no arguments and disagreements.
Growing up, we never had big, elaborate parties. It was always a party at home with all of our friends and family. We would play games, eat cake and ice cream and even open presents in front of our friends so that they could see our pleasure as we opened up their gift. Today was a party that was focused on Gabi and her friends. Kathi took lots of photos today. She called to tell me that Gabi has been going through all of them laughing and smiling as she recalls the day’s events. Birthday parties should leave memories that we can treasure and today provided many memories for the kids and it didn’t take a lot of money and extravagance to create them.
I’d call that a success.