Skip to comments.The Celebration Generation
Posted on 12/12/2012 4:07:00 PM PST by Kenny
Christmas is right around the corner and you know what that means, get the decorations up, shop around the clock, and use every spare moment to wrap and plan. Millions of dollars and thousands of hours will go into preparations for this single day.
But is all this hubbub really necessary for a birthday? Granted its for the King of Kings but didnt they used to celebrate His birth with far less fanfare? Well, birthday parties arent what they used to be, thats for sure. And Jesus isnt the only one honored with a dazzling over-the-top extravaganza. Today, parties are a cottage industry that promotes the obscene. Whether its the local game center, bounce place, princess makeovers, or a laser tag facility it has to be someplace grandiose, someplace with an astronomical price tag like $500 to $1,000 on average; so different from just a generation past.
When I was a kid we had cake and ice cream, a few friends, and games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey. That was the norm for most kids but even the rich kids didnt fare much better. They had grander decorations, more presents, and maybe a clown or magician. But it was nothing that sent kids home in a jealous rage, still just a party.
The difference was, the party wasnt everything. At my house, our birthday was a big deal all day long. We didnt have to do any chores on our birthday because; well because it was our birthday. We got to pick the TV shows we wanted to watch and Mom fixed our favorite dinner. The parties werent comparable to today but it was a special day filled with reminders of how special we were and we reveled in the attention.
I’ve run into this with elementary aged kids. They want to go to the indoor bounce house place or Summit indoor climbing; 15-20 kids = $300. Or kids expect to go to Putt Putt golf for their birthday; not the kid and family but kid and his/her whole class. Costly, excessive, and the fact that many others do something similar puts pressure on parents to imitate.
It is like the destination weddings where the lazy couple expects everyone to fly to the location so they don’t have to travel to the honeymoon location after the ceremony, and often expecting a gift on top of the cost of airfare.