April 21st, 2008
08:21 AM GMT
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.
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