Party or no party?

Should we have a birthday party for our daughter or not?

Should we take her to other kids’ birthday parties? This is easier to answer. If the answer to the first question is yes, then there should be no harm in taking her to others’ parties. If we are not going to have a party for her, then our principle should also extend to others’ parties.

We have been thinking undecided about this issue since our daughter was born. We both agree that:

a) we do not like extravagant birthday parties,

b) we both disliked being the center of attention on our birthday parties and felt too much pressure to ‘perform’ for our guests,

c) the expectation that everyone ‘should’ bring a gift is not something we would like to teach our kid,

d) we don’t want her to have a all-ME event, even for a day, even on her birthday…

But the dilemma, as usual, is that she hears about other kids’ birthday parties (at school) and her teacher mentions their birthdays while teaching them the months… Sooo, Yasmin already knew her birthday was coming as soon as we entered June.

The great news is that her teacher is of the same mindset and the way she ‘celebrates’ birthdays is by praying to God: alhamdulillah (thanks to God) that He gave you 4 years of life… Insha’allah (God willing) you will have a healthy and happy life. A hug and a kiss. End of story…

It is about God, not about us. After all, it is not us who managed to live to this age. Why are we congratulating the person then? We should be ‘congratulating’ God for creating the person and giving them this life…  This way, the occasion becomes all about God, not another ego-boost. We use the birthday as a tool to learn to become more humble and more thankful…

On her birthday, we told our daughter: We are so thankful to God that He gave you to us. He gave you 4 long years of life. You are His gift to us. We love you…

We all shared a nice desert as a family. We got her a small gift. We make sure that she gets the best gifts for Eid (especially because we live in the US, kids do not have real Eids. So we go out of our way to make sure that they are happy and love Eid).

Alhamdulillah, she felt that she had a ‘birthday party’, but she also began to develop an understanding of birthdays based on thankfulness to God…

When she grows older, we hope to include to this tradition we started an activity that she can do with her friends serving the needy, helping others. So she can spend her birthday thanking God for her life by giving to others…

PS: So we do not go to other people’s birthday parties. I explain our position on this to the parents and they understand and respect it alhamdulillah.



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