Party-Packs, Parties and Presents

Life is in phases and even though one may dread the transition…come it must! Childhood memories are all but buried although some stay alive and haunt us. They may actually taunt, about a bygone era, as a conversation earlier in the year did.

Beatrice (you know who you are!) was at a children’s party that also catered for adults, inevitably little people need supervision. The numbers never ever add up though, because no matter what, they ALWAYS win since adults are simply no match when all’s said and done. Anyway, she was there (sans charge) but with full benefits that accrue i.e. party-packs to go, courtesy of the host that happened to be her good friend. As all children’s parties go, food, games, cake, tears etc were in abundance. The fuss the parents of the celebrant made was equal to any and the children had a smashing time. The celeb played, took pictures and got to know the special day was all about him. If he was interviewed the next day, he’d find it hard to recall. His parents on the other hand would remember the event with clarity since the organisation and expense fell on them and they would also have photographic evidence that captured it all!

This scenario is played out severally over the years and so the celebrity associates birthdays with presents (nicely done in colourful wrapping paper), parties and people. The occasion is all about them, making them happy on that special day. This remains so through the teen years and sometimes early adulthood, although the parties may have since been substituted for ‘family celebrations’ although a cake and presents still feature.

You know another phase has been ushered in when you go out for drinks to mark your special day and YOU get to pick up the tab. Another scenario, your friends call to wish you a happy birthday and ask, ‘so where the party at?’ one that you’re obviously supposed to throw! That becomes the norm and sadly part of life.

You’ve suddenly become too ‘old’ for presents, but not when you’re the one giving. You celebrate by taking out those that remember your birthday (family or friends) and make sure THEY have a good time. Meanwhile, presents (or their semblance) have almost disappeared and if you dare ask you either get promises, excuses or are totally ignored.

Eventually we’ll all experience this in one form or the other. Good news is now selectively disseminated and the guise of work has helped many birthday celebrants evade the expense of the day. Friends still take out celebrants or give surprise parties but it may have become few and far between. Going Dutch as a way of spreading cost hasn’t gained enough grounds in these here parts to make it the standard.

Another development that technology has also facilitated is the e-cards, face book and BB messages that have become par for the course. If you get a call on your birthday, it must be family or very close friends. A text message has almost become obsolete and a REAL birthday card is now a myth!

Birthdays are inevitable and the celeb of the hour will find their unique way of marking the occasion and surviving the event…until the next one comes along! It’s good for family and friends to remember that it’s still about them and make it as special as possible.


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