Daughter

Kids party

12:07 PM

Yesterday Ishita has been invited to her first kid’s birthday party from one of her playground friend from our building.
I haven’t been to a kiddie party in ages, and I actually was wondering how to work the whole different age group of guest thing as Ishita’s birthday is coming and I thought it would be nice to get something fun organized.

There are fundamental difference in how kids birthday parties I had in Switzerland and how things work in India. The first thing is that back in the days in Switzerland, a child’s birthday bash is a STRICTLY kid affair, parents drop the kids to your place along with a gift, and come at the pick up time you wrote on the invite to pick their kid back. In India this is an “all welcome thing” of course those invited are the birthday boy/girl’s play buddy, but parents are most welcome to stay and are in fact included in the food/cake count, there are of course still fun games for the kids and all.
Gifts are NEVER EVER opened in front of your guests in India, in Switzerland it is considered a bit rude not to immediately open the gift and thank the person who gifted it to you profusely, but in India it’s the opposite, opening your presents in front of an audience is a no no, I knew that from the engagement ceremony when we had brought gifts for my in-laws, the same scenario repeated at the wedding, and even DH feels a bit awkward opening presents my mom gave him in her presence.
Personally, I much much much prefer the Indian way, there is less pressure to fake liking the gift and openly thank the person in front of a crowd for something that is well umm clearly crap (Like the horrid candy floss pink nylon cheapo floor length satin night gown and matching net robe I got at my wedding). there is also the fact that in an even such as a birthday celebration there is none of your guests feeling bad for not giving as much as a great gift as someone else. And in the case of a kid, far less urge to just play with the new toys right away when they should be playing with their guests.

And for like every party in India, food is always served last, as it signals that the party is drawing to an end, in Switzerland pretty much like any party, food is the main event with a few potato chips and pop corn while guests arrive, a game or two just before cake, then cake time, which again is a formal sit down affair with a big table all dressed up, kids eat, then there is a few more games, and parents start coming picking up their kids around the “end of party time” printed on the invite.
Again, I like the Indian way much better, no worrying about place setting at the table, in fact dinning tables turn into kind of buffet in most house parties I have been to, guest eat food from their lap on a chair, or sofa or coffee table, and when it comes to kids, I can see how convenient that is, kids have a low tolerance for long sit downs, and just going about eating a little and playing some more works much better, back in my child days, birthday party meant the Birthday kid at the end of the table, all the guest sitting down around the table and no one standing up until the cake time was finished…leaving the table in the middle of any meal is considered really rude in Switzerland, but hey I think kiddie parties should be fun, not mega formal.

I know older kids tend to have bigger parties, often in malls in the arcade zone the food court or Mc D (and yes I had a Mc D birthday when I was a kid too), but when you have a toddler, less is more, the bigger kids will enjoy the food just the same, games such as “pin the donkey’s tail” are fortunately still big hit and work very well for school age kids, and younger guests like Ishita yesterday got a blast from the nursery rhyme CD and stuffed animals in the Birthday Boy’s bedroom and playing with other tots.
Ishita liked the party, her best friends were all there, there were lots of new toys to play with, but she didn’t particularly care about the party hat (which could have had teeth and chewed out her head for all she cared) and preferred the hakka noodles and sweet corn to the cake.

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