Buying nothing at all

It’s amazing what you can buy these days. Yesterday I bought an absence of a birthday party. Who knew such a thing existed? Not me. But it does and this is what it looks like:

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Master T turned 6 on April 29. Being born the day after Passover, his (English) birthday generally falls during “the Omer” a 7 week period in the Jewish Calender where we refrain from live entertainment (music), movies and major celebrations. There’s a lot of grey in defining what is and isn’t okay, and what some people consider fine others do not, so I find it safer to abstain from parties altogether during this time.

Except that by the time the Omer is over, Master T’s birthday is well and truly over and my celebratory mood is over too.

This year, as the weeks ticked on,
Master T’s enthusiasm grew as I started haemorrhaging motivation. Suddenly it was yesterday and I realised that Master T’s birthday was the first day of term two, and the last day was fast approaching.

Master T is not a particularly social being. Parties are not his thing.

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(T enjoying a birthday party)

But presents most definitely are his thing, and I know that was his main motivation in having a party.

So I did something I NEVER thought I would do when I was a smug parent of 3 small children (as opposed to a parent, whose smug smile was wiped clean off her face a few years ago already, of 4 children ranging from baby to pre-teen. So different. Soooooo different). I told Master T that if he preferred he could choose a big present instead of a party. Yes. I shopped my way out of entertaining twenty five 6 year olds for two hours. The Lego was on special at Myer. It was $99.95. I can’t do a party for less than that. I know some people can. I just can’t. When I do a party I go all out and I just cannot bring myself to strive for party mediocrity. This is both time intensive, and not that cheap. And then there’s the 25 smaller presents that I no longer have to contend with.

But I know I’m not convincing you, I’m convincing me. I feel horribly guilty that I convinced him not to have a party. Even though he grinned at me as we walked out of Myer clutching his giant box and said “Mummy this is definitely better than having a party!”. It still feels like the wrong thing to do from many perspectives. 2014 will probably go down in Joshua Family folklore as the year Mummy offered Master T a severance package instead of a party.

Oh well. There’s no such thing as guilt-free shopping.

XOXO Shopping Girl