9.10.2013

COMBINED BIRTHDAY PARTIES: YES OR NO?

See how well they get along? Maybe they would think a joint birthday party was cool.

Lately, life has seemed extra busy. So busy, that I completely forgot Jonah's birthday is less than a month away and I have no plans for the little guy. Emma's birthday is also coming up, just a month apart from Jonah's. Ugh, I don't mean to sound like a party pooper, who doesn't want to celebrate my children's birthdays because I do... but two birthday parties in two months just feels like a lot. It hasn't been a problem in the past because both kids were still young and we mostly just had separate family birthday parties for each. The problem now is that both Jonah and Emma want a party. Both are old enough to have friends (well sort of) and both are old enough to understand, whine, and complain if one kid gets a party, a fun friend  kind of party that is, and one doesn't. 

Since Jonah and Emma also have a lot of the same friends, I thought if I were to send out a party invite in October and another invite for Emma in November it would be a bit much for the parents of their friends to take time out of two months in a row for Nalder birthday parties. So after some thought, it seemed much more reasonable to throw one combined birthday party with friends. I asked what some of my family thought of the idea and I was surprised at the opinions the topic generated. 

My sister Cristin, so far, is the only one who has advised me against a joint party. She says that if I throw them one party, no one will want to come, and no one will want to bring two gifts for two kids. Which leads me to another question: How do you go about gifts at a combined sibling party?

Unless the invitation specifies no gifts, will the parents be self-conscious about spending less on each child then they might if it were a party for one kid? Or feel as though they are required to spend more, or bring one gift for both siblings? Wich doesn't bother me at all, I even thought of saying no gifts please, but my other sister Kelley shot that down and said that it's a little kids party and you want people to be able to give them gifts. She also said I need to make two cakes. Really!? Oh so many choices!

So many questions are running through my head. Do we sing the Happy Birthday Song twice? Do we light the candles twice? What will the theme of the party be? Do I make pink and blue cupcakes? After pondering on this topic I thought I would  try and Google  "combined sibling birthday party" and see what inspiration I would get. 

I found the following images: 

The first picture I found was this card, which is very cute. Makes me excited for so many cute invite ideas I could come up with for Jonah and Emma. 

photo credit here

Then I saw this next picture and thought it was interesting how the parents stuck candles on each end of the cake. I just can't tell if these siblings are happy or disappointed. They both look a bit confused. 

photo credit here. 

Oh what to do, what to do. So what do you guys think? Do you think this is a good idea, or each child deserves their own celebration? Should I give it a try? Have any of you ever attended one? Ever had one? Plan to have one? 

9 comments:

  1. You forgot to mention my idea of alternating between a family party or a friend party each year for each kid. My number one reason for thinking it is a bad idea is because I think the kids will feel shortchanged. Kids love attention and I think it means a lot to them to have their own party.

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  2. You also forgot to ask me. I really don't think it's a big deal. If you were to combine a party I would make sure it's a "Big" party, with lots of decorations, food, etc, to make sure they know they are each special.

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  3. You're forgetting what else I said- that you're going to have to make it a really amazing big party to make up for the fact you aren't giving each child their own.

    FYI only your sisters comment on this blog!

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  4. I know I'm not related, so maybe I shouldn't comment :). I have two daughters whose birthdays are only six days apart. We've always given them each their own special day, which isn't always amazing when you're baking a new cake while the remnants of the first are still around. But I think it's important for them to have their own day when they feel like they are the most important person for that day. That being said, we also don't give them a big friend party every year, so that's cleared up most of the hard feelings of one child getting something another doesn't. We do them at 5, 8, 12, and 16. They know not to expect a big friend party if they're not turning the right age.

    As a parent whose kids have been invited to a dual party, I know I spent less on each gift, simply because it's a larger purchase to make all at once. Just my two cents!

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  5. My older sister and my younger sister share a birthday (I know, right?) and when they were old enough to want to have a friend party, they each had their own, usually one week apart. My older sister would have died if she had had to share a party with her younger sister. However, given the young ages of your children, I would totally do a dual party and have no guilt about it whatsoever. On their individual birthdays you could always do a special dinner and treat to honor their own special day. Combine the parties! Do it!

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  6. I agree with Jennifer Lee. If they don't have a problem with it when you talk about it, then you should do it. Especially considering their young ages and the fact that they have a lot of the same friends!

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  7. First of all, I can't stop laughing at your sisters and the commentary. Makes me wish I had a bunch of sisters, surprisingly enough! Ha! I say do whatever works for you and makes the kids happy. What works this year may not next year. So if the thought of a combined birthday party doesn't bum either Jonah or Emma out, go for it! Chances are they aren't going to care because there will still be cake and ice cream and friends and presents there. And next year they may feel differently and want their own parties, so take the easier road while you still can! As for the decor and theme, I'm sure you will figure out something that will be darling, as always. Good luck! -Devin

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  8. I am a proponent of kids having their own, celebrating each individual. My children's birthdays are April 21, April 22, and May 21, so it would be easy to combine, but I feel it is important to focus on them individually. I even do different cakes and decorations for the two whose birthdays are one day apart. Others may combine them (my in-laws send a combined card/email), but you don't have to. I love the idea of friend parties only for certain ages. It allows you to not feel over spent and them to really get their own party. I have been asked if I would do the same if I had twins. Yes, I would. I wouldn't combine unless they asked me specifically to combine.

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  9. I think I'm visiting here far too late to comment but I will anyway-I have a son and daughter that are 3 years apart. We combined for their 7/10 year-old birthday party. A local rec center let us have the rock-climbing wall for an hour and then a party room with pizza games, cake, etc. It was gender-neutral & they both seemed to really enjoy it. We celebrated them individually with family parties on their actual birth dates but I felt like it couldn't have gone better.

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