'Half-Birthday' Parties Are One More Example of Parents Going Overboard

birthday presentLast year, when my then 11-year-old daughter came home from school and told me about how her friend got a Tiffany necklace from her parents as a "half-birthday" gift, I rolled my eyes and dismissed the occurrence as one extremely affluent family's odd, overblown tradition. Half-birthday?! Who celebrates half-birthdays?!

As it turns out, quite a lot of people do -- in fact, the practice of partying it up on the midway mark between one birthday and the next is now a bonafide trend. There's even a website, halfbirthday.com, offering tips and "half birthday party supplies"; Pinterest is getting increasingly populated with "half birthday cake" images and ideas.



Before I go any further, let me make one thing clear: I'm not trying to be the Half-Birthday Grinch here, okay? Lots of the cakes people make are super adorable, and any excuse to eat cake is a-ok with me. Plus, there are actually times when it sort of makes sense to do the half-birthday thing, I guess, such as when your kid's birthday falls over summer break and you don't want him to be deprived of the experience of bringing cupcakes to school: Bam! Half-birthday party in the classroom! Or when your kid shares his birthday with a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas and you don't want him to be deprived of the experience of having a special day all to himself: Bam! Half-birthday party (anywhere you want)!

But to engineer an entire full-scale celebration for a kid who had another full-scale celebration only six months prior just because? Including pricey presents like a Tiffany necklace?? To be fair, most parents probably stick to gifts like video games and Rainbow looms, but still. The very concept seems excessive -- yet another example of the YOU ARE SO VERY VERY SPECIAL, YES YOU ARE mentality that's supposed to be boosting kids' self-confidence but is, instead, setting them up for disappointment and failure. I mean, come on -- how is this preparing children for the harsh realities of adulthood?? Look, ain't nobody gonna bring cupcakes to your cubicle on your "half-birthday," I can tell you that right now. Unless your boss is AWESOME. And really into cupcakes, presumably.

Do you think celebrating kids' half-birthdays is excessive?


Image via Gabriele Diwald/Flickr

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