Want to know two key differences between kid birthday parties in the U.S. vs the U.K.? Okay, I will tell you!
First, my favorite difference: no opening presents at the party!
It makes total sense! Most people don’t really want to watch someone open a bunch of gifts from other people, and opening the gifts after everyone leaves is a way to extend the party fun for the birthday kid. (Or for that kid’s parents, while the kid naps, not that I would know anything about that.)
The other difference, however, I do not support: no eating of the cake at the party.
Every American I have explain this to is SHOCKED, just as I was shocked when I first heard it. Is there no birthday cake?! Oh, there’s cake. What happens is the cake comes out with candles lit, everyone sings, birthday cake is blown out, and then cake is spirited away to be sliced. What happens to the slices, you ask? They get put into the gift bag, to be taken and eaten at home. So that means a gift bag is de rigueur.
As Certified American Jerks, however, we made everyone eat cake in our presence. (But they still got a gift bag.)
Theo was not dismayed that Dex blew out his candles, despite how it appears in the above photo. Our newly-minted one-year-old seemed pretty confused by the whole thing, really, but he seemed to like how much sugar we let him stuff into his face.
As is the way of babies, he sat there smiling and looking cute in his flower crown until I decided to take a photo, then it was game over.
Theo’s first birthday party was a lot of fun, if not unlike a gang of toddlers decided to stage a prison riot inside of our home. Both boys loved every minute of it. Matt and I did, too.
(My favorite part of the above photo is the sticker on the bottom of my boot… because I always have stickers on my person, at any given moment in time. Thanks, Dexter.)
Happy birthday, Theo! You are so loved.