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• May 30, 2012 | 2:10 AM MDT
Birthday Parties, Continued
Life continues in its complexity. When I was a child, the biggest birthday party issue my mother faced was deciding where to hang the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game. Today, children’s birthday parties raise all sorts of sticky dilemmas.
Okay, working Moms and Dads, following are the rules of etiquette you’ll want to remember before you light the birthday candles:
1. Yes, you may use email to invite others to your child’s birthday party. However, using paper invitations exposes your child to a more traditional approach of inviting others to attend an event. Invitations should be clear about the type of party being given, for example, “Jack’s 8th Birthday Party.” Give the date and time of the party, noting both the start and end time. Be specific about the party location.
2. Provide a date by which you want invitees to RSVP and one or two methods of contacting you (phone and/or email). Be prepared to follow-up with invitees who do not RSVP. You are not being pushy. You simply need to develop an accurate head count.
3. Work with your child to understand that every gift—the most and least expensive alike—represents the good wishes of the giver. Post-birthday party, teach your child to write a thank you note to every gift giver. Doing so teaches consideration for others.
4. Remain conscious of any budget limitations invitees may face. Asking guests to bring a special costume or admission to an amusement park may pose an onerous burden to families still struggling through the recession.
As for adult birthday celebrations, keep it thoughtful and tasteful. The adult who says he or she does not want their birth date acknowledged has the right to celebrate their special day quietly. If a celebration is scheduled, attend and offer your good wishes. Skip the gag gifts. And when an invitation specifies, “No gifts, please,” honor the celebrant’s wishes.