Excessive Extravagance Explained?

Have you heard yet about these birthday party and present extravagances?

  • Suri Cruise and her kid pals noshing on a $5000 birthday cake.
  • Jay-Z and Beyonce spent US$200,000 on the first birthday party of their daughter, Blue Ivy.
  • David and Victoria Beckham once had a playhouse custom-built for son Brooklyn’s birthday. They spent US$187,000 on a gift for a six year old!
  • P-Diddy’s $3 Million birthday apparently included $28K in orchids.

Other examples include:

  • Hiring a yacht for a 10-year-old’s party
  • Hosting 50 youngsters at Disneyland
  • Tiffany gift bags (for little girls!)


In “Confessions of a Party Pauper,” Kylie Knott interviewed a child psychologist about these kind of excesses. Lora Lee suggested, “Parents see lavish parties as a way to compensate for a lack of parenting time.”

Another family psychologist, Laurene Man, noted lavish parties have “no direct bearing on the children’s happiness.” In fact, she suggested that large parties overhelm a child. “They can’t relate to so many children at one time, not to mention so many adults. Kids enjoy small simple parties – playing with a few children on one or two simple games.”

Man recommended parents think back to their own birthday parties to gain insight about what’s truly memorable about birthdays. I remember:

  • My mother making really creative sheet cakes decorated with M&Ms or Smarties.
  • Getting to go to Baskin & Robbin’s every year for a free cone.
  • Loving the present game where you sit in a circle and get to unwrap one layer of paper from the prize gift it was in your lap when the music stopped.
  • Dressing up in a hand-made costume for a friend’s Superhero party.

What simple pleasures do you remember and wish we still embraced at birthday parties?


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