makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Sunday, November 13, 2011

There has been a flurry of birthday parties of late (7 in 3 weeks, although we only made it to 5 because of a horrible cold). This has been fun, if a little intense. I am so impressed by how much creativity and hard work parents put into organising and hosting these parties, and I feel quite daunted by the prospect of measuring up. I've been trying to work out what to do for my daughter's birthday, which falls in that rather awkward stretch of time between Christmas and New Year. I've also been thinking about what precedents we're setting and how her expectations of what constitutes a party are already being formed. I read an interesting blog a few months back about a mother of four, who had decided that she wasn't going to have parties for all her children every year, and that instead, some years, they would have a quieter, smaller celebration with a special meal and a cake. I liked the idea of this, although I have to say I also like a party, and I'm not sure whether it has to be a question of party or no party. It seems to me that the important thing is for our children to realise that there are many ways of celebrating and that parties can come in all shapes and sizes. I've noticed that my daughter has started to expect certain things from a birthday party: balloons, party bags with bubbles, stickers, and sweets, particular games and food. I know that there is an element of tradition to kids' parties and that's cool, but I also want things to be more open that that. Parties can be big, or small, they can be lavish or simple, they can have lots of decorations or none at all, there can be games and activities or just plain delight in the company of others. At its most basic, a party is about sharing food and drink, being with those we value, and joining in celebration. Everything else should be a matter of choice and not obligation. Please, don't even get me started on Christmas...

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