THIS dad feels that banks would soon offer loans to finance your child's birthday party
Read on to know why!
Growing up years are so amazing and they come with loads of memories to cherish for a lifetime. Most often our birthday celebrations are one of the most cherished moments, an event everyone, both young and old, looks forward to.
A decade back though, birthdays were about, getting up early, visiting the temple or praying in which ever the way the family does, then seeking the blessings of elders, followed by a small cake cutting ceremony and relishing the home-cooked snacks that mom served to your friends, who would visit home in the evening.
'This is how everyone does'
Today, when I sit down to plan a birthday for my toddler, it's nothing less than a business plan that needs to made. Unfortunately, like most our festivals, even our birthdays have fallen prey to the marketing mafia.
When I sit down to plan a birthday, it starts with the booking of the venue. Nobody wants to host a birthday party at their homes anymore. Having smaller homes is one practical reason for that but it's more got to do with the fact: 'THIS IS HOW EVERYONE DOES'.
Once the venue is finalised, It's time to decide the theme, from Disney to Barbie to Superheroes or a comic character, the 24 X 7 cartoon channels have given kids so many options to choose from. which ever you may choose, it will need a certain type of decor, costumes for the kids etc.
And, whatever you choose, it will need a certain type of decor, costumes for the kids etc. The cake, in that case, can't be an ordinary chocolate cake, it has be customised to match the theme, thereby inflating its price three times at least.
Catering has to be top notch, it can't be just the usual chips and chocolates and samosas, if should definitely have noodles, pastaa, pav bhaji along with the usual stuff. The budget for these alone can be back-breaking.
But there's more to come. How can you forget the invites, though most use digital invites today, that need to be customised as well! So basically your birthday planning needs a good DTP operator too.
Then comes the biggest culprit, The Return Gifts. As children, we did carry gifts for our friends birthdays, but never expected a return gift. it is easier for a person attending the party to carry a single gift but for people hosting, it is a task to get customised return gifts for all the children. It is a humongous task to confirm and re-confirm and re-confirm the attendance and then make sure no child is left out. Needless to say, the cost of these return gifts can be massive.
As a father, this will cost you anything between a cool 40,000 rupees to 1.5 lacs, depending on the grandeur of the venue, decor, menu and return gifts. Multiply this figure to the number of kids that you have, and it will come year after year with an inflation of 10%.
The purity of a birthday is lost!
In this whole circus of following the trend, which honestly translates into the pressure on the parents to maintain a certain society standard, the cuteness and the purity of the birthday is lost. End of the day, it is all about how well the event goes, how much the people appreciated and not about the happiness that was spread or acquired on that day.
By converting birthdays to an event, it is adding a lot of financial burden on the parents, who now get more into planning mode as the child's birthday nears, rather than a celebration mode. I strictly feel that the idea of return gifts has to go, and the people who can afford have to lead from the front, but unfortunately we all, me included succumb to the pressures of the society and go with the 'TREND' even though we may not agree or be comfortable with it.
If the trend continues to grow, the day is not far where another set of smart businessmen, our bankers will start offering loans and systematic investment plans for financing your child's birthdays. Hope the birthday remains as cute as ever and doesn't become any more plastic.
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the article, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest from theIndusparent.com