Like Beth-Anne, we celebrated a child turning four this month. Unlike Beth-Anne, who very sensibly had one big pirate party, we did it four times.
There was the party with friends, which happened on a weekend day a few days before the actual birthday. So far, so good. Loot bags, alligator cake, balloons, kids playing and having fun for two hours.
Then there was the actual birthday day, which fell in the middle of the week. On the evening of an older brother’s Very Important Hockey Game. Restaurant meal at location of birthday boy’s choice, followed by a dash to the rink.
Then, because both sides of the family could not gather on the same day to celebrate four-dom, there were two separate family parties the weekend after the birthday day. Two more alligator cakes, two more sets of loot bags for the cousins, two more sets of kids playing and having fun for hours.
And one mother who is now suffering from alligator cake burn-out. (Carol, you may recognize these cupcakes….) Poor alligators look more and more washed out as I get to the third. I was pretty green, too, by the time we’d shared three of them.
“I got mail at school today!” by four-year-old exclaims as he thrusts yet another birthday party invitation in my hand. This marks the third invitation to come home in one week.
It’s pretty pathetic when my kindergartener has a more packed social calendar than I do but seriously, how do I manage all of these birthday presents without charging myself to the poor house?
That is why I love ECHOAge parties. My friend, Julie, first introduced me to ECHOAge when she threw a third birthday party for her oldest son.
ECHOAge is the brilliant idea of two mothers who love birthday parties but hate the waste – the waste of packaging, the waste of toys (that get discarded after a few weeks) and the waste of time/energy buying gifts for kids who need nothing.
Using ECHOAge, you send out your invites electronically and when your guests R.S.V.P. they make a donation on-line to the birthday party fund. After the party, the amount gets halved by ECHOAge – a portion of the money goes to you to purchase your child a dream gift and the other half goes toward a charity of your child’s choosing.
What a remarkable idea! Not only is it easy-peasy for your guests, but also your children learn about charity while still having the fun of opening a birthday present.
Tell this newbie to the bday scene mom, what is the going rate for a birthday gift for a school friend?