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The Five-Year Party Rule

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What is the five-year party rule you ask?

Simple. If we are financially able, every five years, my child gets the birthday party of their dreams.

I started this tradition when my first child was one. I told my husband, "Let's go all out every five years, but only every five years, not every year."

Let me define what I mean by "all out." The party includes food, drinks, centerpieces, custom desserts, a cake that as a child I could only dream of, and entertainment. We bring to life a theme in every way possible.

For my youngest daughter's first birthday, we did a Moana theme and rented out a facility to host a private event. Moana herself made an appearance.

When my oldest turned five, we went all out again, this time to a princess and pirate theme. Captain Hook, Snow White and a performance from Elsa capped off the day.

Now, before you begin insisting that I am contributing to the decay of today's children by raising spoiled brats, hear me out.

Remember, I have a rule. An extravagant party only happens every five years.


This means both my girls will have an extravagant party at 1, 5, 10, and 15 years old.

The five-year party rule works out perfectly with our Hispanic tradition of the Quinceañera. When my girls turn 15, they may not even want a party. They may want to travel somewhere instead, which would be fine with me. It would be a once in a lifetime trip to celebrate that particular milestone.

As a child, I never had an extravagant birthday party. That does not mean my birthday parties were not memorable. The parties I did have included a slip and slide, movies, cake, pizza, and loads of laughter. I turned out perfectly fine.

You are probably thinking, "See! Why then do you feel the need to give your child excessive parties?"

Truthfully, because I want to. I enjoy party planning. I tap into my creative side to work out the details of the scene I am trying to set. I also love a good cake! Cake makers today deliver artwork wrapped in deliciousness, what's there not to like?

Like my husband, I was raised by hard-working immigrant parents. They gave us everything we needed and more, but they also worked their tails off so that we could do more for our children than they were able to do for us.

I created the five-year party rule with this in mind.

I do not want to raise my children to expect this kind of extravagance every year, but I do want them to experience it, provided I can give it to them.

This does not mean that a child that does not have such a party is missing out. Once again, I did not have these kinds of parties, and I am perfectly fine.

I am no one to tell you how to celebrate your child's birthday. Maybe you want to give your child an extravagant birthday party every year. That is also your prerogative.

For me, the five-year party rule has worked out wonderfully and creates balance in a culture of constant excess. Every five years, we get to plan, prepare, and have a ball creating birthday memories to celebrate a special milestone!

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