Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Birthday parties - big or intimate affair?


By SHAMALA VELU
Every year, parents are invited to all kinds of birthday bashes - from grand events to small, private ones. Many parents take the trouble to plan exciting activities and make it fun and enjoyable for children. However, there are many parents who believe that birthdays are a private affair that should be celebrated among family and close friends. No matter what type of birthday party one holds for their child, there’s no denying that it is done with lots of love and enthusiasm.
Two parents share their opinion on holding birthday parties.

Mazwin Abdul Muin

Mazwin Abdul Muin, mother to Ahmad Najmi Haziq, six, and Nur Afiqah, 12:
“A lot of work goes into planning a birthday party, whether it's going to be big or small. I think nowadays parents have a budget to organise big birthday functions. It also depends on the family's lifestyle. Some engage a party planner but there are many mothers who take the trouble to plan weeks ahead of the party, finding the theme, decorations and more importantly, choosing the cake.
Children also look forward to receiving gifts during birthdays. Parents need to cautious as kids can get carried away with their presents. Children need to be reminded that it is not only about receiving, but giving as well.
I'm fortunate that my children are not demanding or want big parties. They are comfortable with having a cake and celebrating their birthdays at home with family members. Sometimes we go out for dinner to make the birthday child feel special. That's what birthday celebrations are about.
I think that having parties at home is good because you get to spend the time with your loved ones and there's more family bonding.
If we plan to have a big party, I plan a month earlier and settle all details two weeks prior to the party. My son usually prefers to celebrate his birthdays with his classmates in school. My daughter sometimes invites her friends home. It's nothing fancy. I usually bake and decorate the cake myself as I have my own cake business and work from home.
When I was growing up, my parents would greet me on my birthday and give me my gift. Mum would cook a family dinner and that made me feel good. My kids are the same way.
However, times have changed. I realise that many people celebrate birthdays in a big way.
I think celebrating birthdays in a big way is good if one can afford it. It's nice to see the smiles on children's faces when they are being entertained with clowns, a magician and other activities but we must be also careful that we don't spoil them.”

Serina Redzuawan


TV host Serina Redzuawan, mother to Isabella Saffiya, 11 months, and Tristan Tareff, one:
“This is the second birthday for my son and this year I want to make sure that there are fun activities for the children attending the party. I'm planning a month in advance to be sure that everything goes well. We have chosen an indoor play centre for his big birthday bash this year.
I believe that birthdays for children should be celebrated in a big way because it is important to them. Celebrating birthdays in a big way is important because it comes only once a year, and it is to celebrate our loved ones. I feel blessed seeing our kids happy and feeling special on that day. Of course it's important to have a budget if one is having a big bash.
Holding big parties also teaches children to socialise and be respectful towards others. It teaches them about giving and spreading good cheer as well.
The first party we had for Tristan was a pool party at home. It was simple but lots of fun. We intend to have a big celebration with about 100 guests when he turns two. I want my children to have good memories of their birthdays. They may not remember their party but they will always remember that we love and did the best for them. Money cannot buy happiness and strong family ties. This is what I want my children will see years from now.”
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