Why I Go All Out on Birthdays


Every year as I’m burning the midnight oil to put the finishing touches on one of my sons’ birthday parties, I ask myself “Why do you do this to yourself year after year?!” Well, the answer is quite simple, really…it always boils down to “Why not?” I can’t think of a better reason to get together with friends and family than to celebrate the birth of the two most precious gifts God has ever given to me.  It’s an opportunity to bless and serve those who’ve loved on my kids throughout the year and to celebrate the life of the two littles I love the most.  Why would I not go all out on such an occasion?

Some might say that the pressures of Pinterest have caused moms to go crazy on birthdays.  I’m here to say, I was this nuts long before Pinterest came along.  Pinterest has only enhanced my level of crazy and added more resources to fuel my passion for parties.  I really enjoy doing a theme and always try to have at least one element of the party that’s a bit over the top.  For example, at my son’s farm-themed party, we had several live farm animals. At my other son’s train party, we, of course, rented a train.


But it’s not just the big things surrounding the party that get me, it’s the little details that make my heart happy!  I love tying in the food to the theme and finding the perfect favors and treats to send home with our guests.  I also love coordinating the design elements of the party from everything to the invitation before the party, to the cake at the party itself, to the thank you notes we send out after the party is over.


I’m aware that not everyone does big birthdays and by no means is throwing your child a birthday party any indication of how much you love them.  I choose to do them because it’s what I know and love.  Acts of Service is my love language and I truly enjoy being hospitable to others.  Throwing a party is a great way for me to tap into these areas and get in touch with my creative side.

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I’m also well aware that my days of throwing big birthday bashes are numbered.  My oldest is now 7 and I know that he’s not always going to want a big party with a bunch of people.  As he gets older, I know he’s going to lose interest and he’ll soon enough want to do his “own thing” with a select group of friends.  But for now, I’ll savor the sweetness of getting to celebrate my kids in a big way and hopefully make memories that will last a lifetime.


Are you in favor of big birthday parties or do you like to keep it simple?  Why or why not?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in our comments below.

Read  my follow-up post on making my own birthday cakes right here.

Ashley is a mom of two smart, handsome little boys, Trace (age 7) and Fisher (age 4). She was born and raised in Grand Isle, LA, where she and her hubs began dating way back in high school. They moved to Baton Rouge in the late 90’s to go to LSU (GEAUX Tigers!) They fell in love with this city and have lived here ever since. Learn more about Ashley and her family at her personal blog: www.babyballard.blogspot.com. Ashley’s passions include loving and serving her family and community, party planning, baking, cake decorating, reality TV, trying new restaurants, finding fun things to do around town, and above all, loving Jesus. She also likes to partake in some good retail therapy and loves the thrill of a great deal! Becoming a mom has been the highlight of her career and she loves getting to know other moms and talking “Mommy Talk” any chance that she gets.


  1. Ashley, I’m the same way. I use this as my creative outlet. I don’t usually have a lot of decorations, but my food usually goes with the theme. Thankfully my oldest still enjoys the themes and having a bunch of friends over. I’m interested to see what you did for the CandyLand party. I’m thinking of doing that for my newest one’s 1st birthday along with my 40th. Our birthdays are a week apart. I combine a lot of ours to save on costs especially since we tend to invite the same families.

    • The train party was one of my all time favorites. The kids were entertained the whole time and I didn’t have to do anything! 🙂

  2. My son has his birthday party this Friday, and just last night as I’m working on decorations I question my sanity, lol! This is something I love to do though! It gave me a creative outlet in my adult chaos! I love doing their parties and like you stated I understand they are limited! Love the cake, my sister in law will be doing a “wreck it Ralph” party and I will have to show her!

  3. I loved this article! My mom always did our birthdays big and so I wanted to carry on the tradition! I always make our decorations and my children’s cakes. It brings joy to me and my children watching as we prepare to celebrate for their BIG day. It makes them feel super special and I love being creative. Last year I had to be put on bead rest for my third son that was trying to come a month early , the Friday before we had a party scheduled for my oldest to turn three. So I gave up some of my control and called the troops in for help. Everything went as planned, we had the party on Sunday and Monday went to the Dr only to be sent to the hospital to have another brother. I start planning months in advance! Currently in the middle of planning a double birthday party for a now four year old and soon to be one year old. Different themes so no one feels like they got the shaft, but one big party on the same day! Thanks for sharing your story!

    Mother to three boys under four! 🙂

    • Love that it’s been a tradition through generations. Hopefully, my kids will do the same or at least let me help with the parties! 😉

  4. My mom and I would plan and work on decorations for my two daughters birthday parties weeks in advance. Each daughter has a party that I remember toiling most over:
    Alex’s Fiesta Swim Party with a multitude of Latin American foods, drinks, desserts, candies and decorations.
    Shelby’s Tinkerbell Party with about 1,000 yards of various green tulle hung along the walls and ceiling to make a magical forest enclosure complete with twinkling lights and a hanging floral centerpiece with a dangling Tinkerbell.
    Jon-Marie’s Sweet to be Three Party with multiple jars filled with candy, cupcakes, cotton candy, large cut out lollipops, etc. If it was sweet or pink, we had it!

    Not every birthday my girls had were as involved, but they were just as great. There isn’t much to ask for when you celebrate your children with family and friends.

    • Tami! I remember the very first party of yours that we attended years ago! It was a Under the Sea theme and it was great! Glad to see you’re upholding the tradition. 🙂

  5. This is exactly the same argument I have. Why not? Why not celebrate what is perhaps the greatest gift to man? The gift of birth. A birthday celebration is simply re-celebrating that birth all over again several (or many years) after, and remembering the that very first one.

    Too bad many people don’t see it that way. But the very same people will fuss over valentines days and such “trivial” days, and not be pumped about their birthdays. Their loss I saw.

    PS* The smiles on the kids’ faces are priceless.


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