Friday, 16 November 2012
This week: party politics
I'm talking birthday party invitation etiquette today. My son has his fourth birthday party coming up in a couple of weeks so I have been organising it a bit ahead of time to try and minimise the chaos nearer the date!
I got his invitations written and taken to nursery to be handed out to the children we have invited. I was a bit unsure about how to deal with the invites at nursery. I know some people invite the whole class but for two reasons we didn't want to do that. One is for the practical reason that we decided to do the party at home and don't have the space to comfortably accommodate 24 children. The second reason is that my son simply isn't 'friends' with everyone in the class and I would even go so far as to say there are a couple of children he's not especially fond of and so why would we invite everyone just to be polite?
We had been invited to another boy's party from nursery a month or so ago and I knew his mother had not invited the whole class either. She and I were chatting about it one day walking to nursery and both of us had had an awkward situation as a result! She had a mum come up to her (whose child had not been invited) and ask about the party, claiming her invite had been mislaid. I had a slightly embarassing situaton where a mum and her daughter came up to my son and I and very publicly thanked us for the party invitation. Meanwhile, right behind her watching and listening was a mum and daughter who had not been invited! I felt a bit uncomfortable!
Later talking with my husband, he reminded me that at my son's previous nursery a mum had told me she was arranging her son's party on the day of my son's birthday, offering me the chance to reschedule! I had no reason to do my son's birthday celebration on any other day, as his birthday last year fell conveniently on a Saturday. I wasn't concerned about other children from my son's class not being able to attend as at that stage, he had a nice circle of local friends. Whilst a little ruffled at the way this mum had presented the matter to me, I certainly didn't hold it against her!
Back to this year's birthday party and my son has chosen a few friends from his class. We invited a few more people than our ideal number, assuming a couple wouldn't be able to make it but it's looking like they are all coming! My son's excited and is definitely more involved in the planning this year than ever before, which makes it fun for me.
What is your general policy on birthday party invites? Do you invite the whole class if they are at nursery/school? Do you select just a few close friends?