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Mom argues for the return of simple 'cake and pizza' kids parties, and other parents agree

Maybe we don't need the expensive bounce house and party performers.

kids party ideas
@ciaoamberc/TikTok

Do we really need to spend and arm and a leg for every celebration?

Back in my day, the most lavish that a kid’s party got was a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. Things have certainly…evolved since then. Nowadays some parents spend exorbitant amounts of time and money trying to make the event rival a pop-up amusement park.

And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to go all out (some people really do get creative fulfillment from event planning, after all), there is something to be said about an underlying competitiveness behind the trend. If parents are only throwing big blowout parties out of some kind of societal pressure, or to project some kind of prestige…then they might be losing focus on what really matters. Which, presumably, is making sure the kids have a good time.

And if the kid’s enjoyment really is the priority here, then maybe there’s something to be said about keeping things simple.


That’s the discovery Amber Cimiottibiz recently had after throwing her 3-year-old a birthday party strictly consisting of “cake, pizza, family, and close friends.”

“I didn’t rent anything, I didn’t rent a bounce house, performers, face paint, I didn’t have a big balloon wall, I did all of my own decorations. I ordered one balloon bouquet from Party City,” she said in a video posted to her TikTok.

kids party ideas

Nothing says party like pizza.

Canva

Cimiottibiz kept to this “simple” and “traditional” model for a number of reasons. Number one being that both she and her husband shared “fond memories” of bare bones celebrations during their childhood.

“My husband and I both grew up where our parents didn’t have a lot of money, but we always had great birthdays…They didn’t have all of this extra fluff, they just had family and running around with your friends, and presents and cake and the traditional stuff,” she said.

Cimiottibiz also opted out a big bash due to burnout from lavish parties she’s thrown in the past, saying “I’ve done a lot of stuff for my kids in the past for the birthday, and the birthdays have always been so exhausting to me and a little bit stressful, if I’m going to be honest. I just wanted to bring the birthdays down to earth a little bit.”

That’s not to say she won’t ever choose big birthdays again, by the way. She just might reserve those for milestone birthdays, like when her daughter turns 16.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Cimiottibiz learned that her kids appreciated the simplicity just as much…if not more.

“For us, it’s just been little surprises,” her video concluded. “We blew up a bunch of balloon for him to wake up to this morning. We surprised him with decorating the house while he was sleeping. We got super-fun donuts. Things that don’t cost a lot of money but make him so happy. And I have felt like five percent of the stress that I’ve felt on previous birthdays and my kid is just as happy.”

@ciaoamberc hubby has been traveling the entire week so i was on my own so the simple birthday was actually achievable #birthday #kids #toddler #birthday #kidsbirthday ♬ original sound - Ciao AmberC

Judging by the amount of positive comments to her video, Cimiottibiz doesn’t seem alone in her stance. Many were in favor of this “cake and pizza” approach to parties.

“This!! We now have 2 February babies and this year we were like nope we don’t need to put a ton into the themed food, the matching decorations, paying to rent a space,” one person wrote.

Others shared how they wished they had opted for this less expensive approach. One mom wrote “we did our first bit party for our daughter's 7th bday last week. We had an Elsa come and had a party room in a kids museum. I don’t think we will do that again So Much stress and money.”

Even an event planner chimed in to say, “my kids birthdays were over the top, live monkeys in one party — 12k on another. They remember none of it — now I tell moms…just do simple 💕 and plan trips instead.”

One person wrote, “ I grew up kind of poor, with not enough money to do anything on birthdays. I do it up BIG, every year for my kid’s bday. Heals my inner child.”

Another added, “I didn’t have birthday parties growing up, so I always did the jumper, cake piñata, goodie bags, party games for my kids. I don’t regret it.”

Moral of the story: it’s your kid’s party, and you can spend if you want to. But you honestly never have to. That is part of the magic of children—they can find big joy in small things. Maybe leaving shame and pressure out of the equation can help parents take in some of the joy as well.

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