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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Should we celebrate first birthday parties? 

Araoluwas+first+birthday+photo+shoot.+Smiling+as+her+family+tries+to+get+her+attention+on+the+camera.
Photo Credit: Laolu
Araoluwa’s first birthday photo shoot. Smiling as her family tries to get her attention on the camera.

People celebrate birthdays every day, acknowledging life’s milestones and bringing loved ones together to enjoy the occasion. They provide an opportunity to reflect on the past year, accomplishments, and gratitude. But how much is too much for a birthday a child won’t remember?

Danielle Allen explained, “It is worth it and a right of passage. I think every birthday should be celebrated. It’s your day and the only time you get to celebrate you!”

Each birthday signifies a milestone in life, marking progress and growth regardless of a big celebration or not. Birthday celebrations often involve meaningful traditions and rituals, such as a child’s first birthday. But is the celebration for the baby or the parents and family?

Who’s invited to the first birthday?

Parents, siblings, grandparents, and sometimes aunts, uncles, and cousins, along with other close relatives typically attend most children’s first birthday parties. Families also invite close friends. The guest list might vary depending on the size and preferences of the family.

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Janice Carnevale of  Bellwether Events, notes, “You don’t have to invite ‘friends’ from daycare or preschool until the second or third birthday party — unless you really want to.”

When you have twins and it is their first birthday, does the party get even bigger? English Teacher, Danielle Allen tried to keep the party under a budget so she handmade decor for the party. (Photo Credit: Danielle Allen)

Memory making

At a child’s first birthday party, creating memories is crucial for the child and the family. Susan Newman, PH.D. social psychologist, parenting expert, and bestselling author advises “The first few birthdays are really more for the parents, because children won’t remember them, so just try to have fun and make memories.” The celebration represents a turning point in the child’s life and in the parent-child journey. By documenting this special occasion with pictures and movies, the family may appreciate the memories for years to come. When the child becomes older and is curious about their first birthday, parents can use these mementos as a time capsule to share with them.

Journalism teacher and mother of twins, Danielle Allen said, “Because my boys were born during a pandemic, I felt it was extremely important to celebrate their first birthday. No one was allowed to come to the hospital when they were born and then during that first year we were so nervous about the boys getting Covid that very few people got to meet them. The first birthday party was a time for family and friends to meet them, celebrate them and start building connections.”

Do the small details matter?

A successful party involves careful planning, including selecting invitations, decorating, games, and catering. People choose themes to generate anticipation and excitement. Between balloon arches, backdrops, and centerpieces, parents can easily go overboard with decorations. 

Darragh Speiwak, mother of three boys explained, “I had a collage of all the pictures from month one to twelve and some bags filled with treats.”

Children always look forward to activities and games like face painting, bouncy houses, clowns, balloon animals, face painting, and musical chairs. Allen said, “I made little race cars out of cardboard for the older kids to race in. I used my Cricut to cut out centerpieces and make matching shirts for the family. After the boys went to bed, I’d be up until midnight sewing crowns and making highchair garlands that matched the theme.”

A DJ or speaker is essential. To set the mood and keep the energy alive music overall is important to dictate the vibe of the event. It ensures that everyone stays entertained and engaged throughout the event. The atmosphere is overall changed when music is playing. 

Stress in party planning

Stress is a factor that is inevitable due to time management issues, financial limitations, logistical difficulties, and the need to live up to guest expectations, party planning is always a stressful undertaking. It’s possible for hosts to feel under pressure to make the event entertaining. But unforeseen events like inclement weather or last-minute cancellations might throw plans off. Darragh Spiewak “When it comes to hosting I want everything to be perfect and I still care about size regardless of size.” With the help of family and friends, the stress is lifted off the shoulders of parents. For nursing mothers during this stage of life hosting a party can become overwhelming. The financial aspect is also overlooked in the process. Mother of three, English teacher, Darragh Spiewak “We celebrated with just immediate family, I can’t rationalize spending thousands of dollars more for me than them.” 

Though the child won’t remember the event, photos taken that day will be available regardless of how the day is celebrated. Spiewak stated, “I will say that as they got older the birthday parties got bigger. A family party, a kids/friend party, and a celebration on that day.” The first birthday of a child is a huge milestone worth celebrating. As said in the Poppy Therapy Blog “However you celebrate baby’s first birthday, it’s going to be a special and meaningful day together.”

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Oreofeoluwa I. Gidado
Oreofeoluwa Isabel Gidado is a sixteen-year-old Colonia High School student. She participates in a variety of sports and hobbies. The sports she plays include basketball, track and volleyball. Gidado is active is the following clubs: Student Council, FCA, and SPTS. Gidado has played varsity basketball for three years. It is her favorite sport because it combines sports with faith, which is very important to her. FCA is her favorite club. Despite being the eldest of three children, Gidado comes from a huge Nigerian family. Since it's easier for people to pronounce, she goes by "Izzy" instead of her first name.  She enjoys volunteering at recreational games, church, food banks, and sports camps in her free time. Gidado's passions include traveling, exploring, taking pictures, experiencing life with her loved ones and giving back to the community. As she gets older, she hopes to visit London, Brazil, Jamaica and many more to add to her list.

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