April 21st, 2008
08:21 AM GMT
Share this on:

LONDON, England – Don't know if you caught the article on CNN.com/living about what some parents spend on children's birthday parties, but it speaks volumes about what's gone wrong in our society.

Just to recap, one woman from Manhattan spent $5,000 on a birthday party for her daughter. She booked a fondue restaurant, hired a musical troupe to perform as the Wiggles (her daughter's favorite group) and ordered a four-layer cake. Each guest took home a Fisher Price guitar and custom CD. Her daughter's age, 3. I didn't even know that 3 year olds like fondue.

And apparently it's not just in Manhattan. There's a children's birthday party planning company in Southern California where parties can take six weeks to plan and cost as much as $10,000 dollars. The parties can range from former Marines running military themed parties to tea parties with expensive china.

The owner of the party service says: "We really promote a healthy balance of living year round, but it's OK to indulge your child once a year, because it's about making a memory."

Making a memory, give me a break. It's making a statement, which is about skewed values and bragging rights to your friends. What child of 3, let alone 10, needs to have $5,000, let alone $10,000 spent on a birthday party? She gives the word indulgence new meaning. The one thing she has right is calling her party planning service Over the Top Productions.

When I was growing up it was about getting some other children to come to your house, having a cake with candles, playing a few games, and that was enough.

I realize the world has moved on, but now it's gone mad, and it sends the wrong signal.

Most people of course, don't have $5,000 to $10,000 to blow on a child's birthday party, let alone $1,000, or even $500. Want to create a memory for your child? How about lots of love and laughter. Looking back, your child will remember that much more than fondue and fine china.



About Business 360

CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP