Social Question

longgone's avatar

Childhood parties - who did you invite?

Asked by longgone (12847points) June 13th, 2014

Just your best friends? 20 “best friends”? Family?

Bonus question: If you have kids, how do you celebrate their birthdays?

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15 Answers

longgone's avatar

In my family, birthdays meant two parties: A family gathering, and then a party with friends. I don’t think I ever invited more than ten to twelve children, very often it was a small group of about five. Occasionally, we’d have three parties: Family, school friends and “old friends”. After reaching a certain age, my classmates decided they were adults. I didn’t like that, but invited them anyway. Mixing these “grown up” girls with my down-to-earth friends wouldn’t have gone well, so my parents agreed to a separate party a few times.

ragingloli's avatar

Never had parties.

Seaofclouds's avatar

It really depends on the age. Never had two parties. When I was little, it was mostly just family. Once I was older and wanted my friends, I’d invite my friends (usually between 3–12 people) and my family would come as well.

talljasperman's avatar

My family ran the parties and never asked me if I could bring any friends… My birthday was during summer break so I had no one to ask.

non_omnis_moriar's avatar

I think my mother’s friend gave me a birthday party and invited the kids on HER block but I have only a faded memory of it. I just remember she’d painted her livingroom walls brown and I’d never seen that done before.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Oh sure. We always had a party for all three boys (born a year apart). I guess mom invited my friends, I don’t remember ever doing that kind of thing.

Judi's avatar

I was the 5th of six children and my family was poor, my dad was dying and my mom was exhausted. I didn’t get parties.

Adagio's avatar

My parents always hosted a children’s birthday party for my brother and I, separately as our birthdays are three months apart. I invited schoolfriends, always girls, handing out envelopes with a party invitation to my favoured friends at school, we had lots of food and games and prizes, that’s the way everyone did it back in the 1960s and early 70s, at least within my social circle, I can’t speak more widely than that.

I did the same for my daughter, same arrangement, invitations, food, games, prizes etc. When she was a little older she often had a sleepover, fewer kids, maybe four friends, as somebody who loves my sleep I found noisy sleepovers somewhat trying, but it was only once a year and as a parent you just have to hang in there : ^) When my daughter turned 14 or 15 she and her friends caught the train into the city and went to the movies on their own.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ragingloli . . . that explains sooo much.

stanleybmanly's avatar

My sister’s birthday is in July. She’s the only one of the siblings whose birthday fell in the summer. HERS was the spectacular party, because our parents would lease the outdoor municipal pool for her “splash” party. By the 3rd year, we 4 kids were very popular and WAY up on the social calendar. The pool would be closed to the public at 3pm, and the party would be from 4 to 9. Those parties are some of the best memories of my childhood. Things began to get out of hand by the 4th year. The invitation list expanded, and resentments and open hostility descended from the uninvited, though nearly anyone who showed up was let in if one of us could identify them. The fifth year was the final “show” when more people arrived than the lifeguard would tolerate. By then my father was swearing that the birthday cake and ice cream expense alone was certain to bankrupt the family. The one great irritant for my brother and I was that my sister would come home with literally a truckload of loot in birthday presents. My sister is a very generous and giving soul, so the other sister was quite delighted. My brother and I were also welcomed to share in the incredible bonanza, but were repelled at the mere sight of mountains of dolls and girlie crap.

FlyingWolf's avatar

As a kid I never had parties.

For my kids I always let them pick a small circle of their closest friends, usually five or six kids. As they have gotten older the birthday celebrations have morphed into a trip to the movies or a spendy with just one or two friends. I have never been an “invite the whole class” kind of mom (but I always mailed invitations rather than giving them out at school to avoid hurt feelings).

My youngest has never wanted a birthday party so he has never had one, though the past couple of years he has had a few friends over to spend the night. The other two had one or two blow out parties, at a bowling alley or arcade, but most years it was just an at home cake and ice cream affair. All of them have cake with the family whether they have a party or not.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I had parties, but the attendants were always my family. I never invited anyone.

Seek's avatar

My birthday is 2 days after Christmas and I was never particularly popular.

One year, when I was living with my grandmother, there was an attempt to throw a birthday party. Invited the whole class (about 20 kids). No one showed up. I was turning nine. Never tried again.

My son is five now; he’ll be six in August. First birthday we threw a kegger. That was a blast. Then some smaller birthday parties with kids from the neighborhood and our friends’ kids. This year I think we’re planning on going to the beach for a weekend, at E’s request.

Berserker's avatar

Invited close friends. All my friends loved my birthday parties, because since my dad didn’t give a shit what I watched on TV, we always rented horror movies at my parties and all my friends were traumatized and had a blast, since their uppity middle class parents never let them watch anything, ever haha.

jca's avatar

When I was little, back in the mid-70’s, a typical birthday party was at the home of the party person, and the parents had some games and some lunch and cake, and then gave out goody bags, and after 2 hours, everyone went home.

Now, where I live (not sure if it’s like this around the country) everyone has parties at a place. Mini golf, pool, ice skating, gymnastics, pottery, jumpy house, you name it. I bet by the time my kid graduates from high school I will have been to every type of party place imaginable. It’s 1½ to 2 hours, the place does the whole thing, the parents may bring the food and cake or it may be supplied by the place, and then everyone goes home. Nobody sees the home of the party person, which is great because nobody has to deal with a bunch of kids in their house.

For my daughter who just turned 7, the first party for 4th birthday was at a food place where they had a room to rent. The attendants did crafts, food, activities, and then the food and cake was supplied by the store. Classmates were invited. Age 5 was at the nursery school and we hired a magician and had ice cream and cake. Since it was at school, it was classmates. The past two years I rent a building near my house with a full kitchen, and we hire entertainment (about $350) and have pizza and cake and food for the parents. This year it probably cost close to $1000 with everything (entertainment, crafts, food, pinatas, the facility, etc.). The class was invited plus a few extra kids. In addition to the above, the family has a dinner for her where it’s a more intimate gathering.

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