Saturday, September 16, 2006

Joan steps on her Soap Box... 

My friend was lamenting the other day that things have gotten so out of hand as far as kid's birthdays go. These days if you aren't practically sending your kid and 100 of his closest friends for a trip to Disney World, you are a loser. Even if you do send him to Disney World, then there's the pressure on how to top that next year.

My family was very economically challenged when I was growing up. However I always had a birthday party if I wanted one and everyone had a great time. This however was back when kids played outside. One year we all slept out on the screened in porch. Another year, Dad set up the tent in the back yard and we roasted hotdogs and marshmallows. As we got older, we would ask to go to the skating rink and then have everyone back to the house for a sleep over. One year a girlfriend's Mom bought cans and cans of shaving cream and Silly String and told us to go at it in the garage. The only caveat was that we had to hose out the garage the next morning.

You'll notice that no one or nothing was entertaining us. (aside from the shaving cream and silly string) WE were entertaining ourselves. Yes, there was the occasional trip to Ft. Worth to go to the movie or go to Crystal's, but those were few and far between.

Why have things gotten so out of hand on birthdays? Why have people encouraged their kids to become even more materialistic by having such outlandish birthday parties thus making other kids and other parents feel inferior? It makes no sense to me whatsoever.

MTV has a show on called "My Super Sweet 16" that sometimes I stare at in utter horror. These unappreciative kids have birthday parties that cost more than most people's weddings! Granted - 16th birthday is a milestone birthday and should maybe be a nicer birthday party, but OH. MY. GOD. Not only does Mom and Dad shell out $50,000 to $100,000 for a party but buy them a top of the line luxury car that cost another $30,000 to $50,000!!! THEY'RE 16, FOR GOODNESS SAKES! GEEZ!

Aren't kids being done a HUGE disservice by being given SO MUCH SO EARLY in their lives? What do they have to look forward to if they've basically had it all by the time they are 16?

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