Social media has changed the way we do things for our kids. Birthday parties, especially, have become a bit over the top, as we parents try to mimic those beautiful pictures we see on Pinterest.
It’s hard to remember a time when parties were simpler, and nobody was making 5000 Moana statues for a two-year-old’s birthday party. Not that I’m dogging on anyone who does that, because, seriously, that is impressive.
Before the Internet, the only people you had to impress were the people at your party, and you probably only saw them once in awhile anyway, so you didn’t care too much about what they thought.
My mom was a bit ahead of her time, when it came to birthday parties. We always had them in our house, complete with homemade desserts, craft projects and entertainment provided by friends and family.
If she had Pinterest back then, I imagine this is what it would look something like this:
My mom was/is very crafty and resourceful. She managed to make use out of the same princess cake mold for all of my and my sister’s parties. Back then we weren’t too hung up on specifics, so “princess” theme worked just fine. In fact that mold lasted so long, it even made an appearance at my bridal shower.
As for my brother, well, he got a pumpkin centerpiece, because he’s a fall baby. Sorry, bro.
Our craft projects always seemed to serve a dual purpose, although I doubt I realized that at the time. We decorated our own cupcakes (smart move, mom!) and crafted and assembled our own goodie bags. We were five, I don’t think we were catching on too quick.
No matter the party, my aunt (may she rest in peace) was always on hand to entertain us with dancing and costumes. We might have been the only family who did anything like that, but everyone always had a good time. Following in her tradition, my sister helped lead the dancing at my son’s party.
My mom threw simple, fun, creative parties without breaking the bank. Back then, there wasn’t the pressure to live up to what you see on social media, but honestly, I doubt my mom would have cared too much about that.
My mom never lost her party planning savvy. For my five-year-old’s birthday party, she along with my dad and sister, put together a wonderful superhero event. We made masks and shields, ran an obstacle course and had lots of fun.
While I never quite got the crafty party skills, I would like to think I inherited a small appreciation for keeping things simple. If there’s anything I’ve learned from looking back on photos and videos from old parties, its that we were happy and kids really don’t need much to be impressed.