Now that the fuss has died down over whether it’s ever appropriate to invoice the parents of a child who fails to turn up to your little darling’s birthday party (it’s not, EVER), we thought we’d share five helpful tips for what not to do when it comes to little ones and their big days. So if you’re throwing a birthday bash any time soon, listen up…
1. Don’t ever send an invoice to those kids whose parents said they were coming but then failed to turn up. In fact don’t send an invoice to anyone EVER when it comes to a child’s party, unless you’ve made yourself available for hire as a party clown / Peppa Pig impersonator / balloon modeller - in which case invoices are ok. Always best to send them direct to the person who owes you the readies, though - never via an innocent third party. Like a classroom teacher. #Awkward
2. Don’t be surprised if some parents are conscientious objectors when it comes to your lovingly-prepared party food, on the grounds that their little darlings don’t 'do' sugar.
I’m looking at you, Alicia Duvall. Yes, you may have hand-whipped your home-made meringues for hours, seasoned them with pink Himalayan salt and sprinkled them with edible glitter to ensure that they*exactly* resemble the snowflakes on Elsa’s dress but no, that won’t win over those hipster parents who think sugar is basically granulated evil. Invariably the parents of those kids will merrily tuck into a huge slice of birthday cake while their deprived offspring is salivating mournfully in the corner, but don’t question them on it. Unless you’ve got a death wish. Those who would deprive children of sugar at parties are simply not to be reckoned with.
3. Don’t scrimp on the party bags
Woe betide the parent who decides that splitting a bag of Haribo and sharing out some balloons and pencils is all it takes to fill a party bag these days. How very foolish. Unless you’ve lovingly hand-crafted the contents (after weeks spent studying Pinterest, natch) or stuffed those infuriatingly small plastic bags with some really decent-grade loot, then you’re going to be talked about for weeks to come. Oh yes, the kids are all polite enough to pretend not to mind that you’ve fobbed them off with a tiny little plastic bag of rubbish, but they won’t forget. And as for the mums? Well, just don’t be surprised if the quality of the gifts your child gets at their next birthday party drops off dramatically.
4. Don’t send a thank you note for gifts received from birthday party attendees.
Oh please, need I say more? Yes it’s polite and demonstrates excellent manners but it also just makes the rest of us look bad. None of the other mothers will be impressed; they’ll all just quietly hate you. The fact that you actually paid attention to the part where your child opened his presents, not to mention were tenacious enough to actually make a note of who gave what gift for the purposes of writing thank you notes later just makes us think we probably don’t have anything in common.
5. Don’t assume that your child is invited to the parties of all the kids who came to his.
There’s a dude in my kid’s class who routinely begs for an invite to every party going and yet not a single child in the class has ever been invited to his birthday bash, to my knowledge. He’s like a pint-sized birthday-themed version of a wedding crasher, and even the other kids have sussed that there's something of an imbalance here . It’s not cool, but it's what it is. So if you’re allowing your child to invite someone to his party, do it cos your kid likes that kid’s company, not cos you’re trying to even a score, buy some affection, or make a point. Parties with politics are just never any fun.