ASKING FOR A FRIEND: bday party etiquette

hi! Back again with another 'asking for a friend' feature. Today's subject, as you can tell by the title of the post is: birthday party etiquette.

What started as a request to get a sense of how you navigate gifts at one's own child's birthday party has turned into a (hopeful) deep dive on how you do birthdays.

For background, Mo's birthday is December 23rd, which is difficult for so many reasons. So I think I get a pass on a lot of the typical party planning conundrums and I am definitely not qualified to answer much of these questions. Our parties have been super duper simple with minimal guests and zero activities aside from the piñata.

Would love any and all thoughts on first birthdays, toddler parties and school age parties. A few thought starters:

  • What is your stance on gifts? For example, grandparents can go overboard so do you do family gifts separately? Or are you a strict 'no gifts please' household?
  • At what age did you introduce 'friends' to the parties? And what is your cap for invites? Feel like this applies best to older kids, pre-k and beyond.
  • Whats does birthday cake look like at your parties? Lots of folks in my circle seem to start with GF or vegan and healthy cakes at the first birthday but usually cave by number 2 or 3 to more traditional types.
  • Do you do party favors?
  • Favorite birthday traditions from your childhood that you have passed on down to your family?
  • What do you think a key factor is in throwing a successful party that you and your kid can enjoy?

Truly looking forward to your comments and ideas and might even throw out a recap post with the best stuff we collect.

xx Ly