We can probably all agree that our culture is becoming more and more materialistic with each generation. Yet, most of us don’t want to assume any responsibility for this trend. Where does this materialism come from? How do we pass it on to our young? It probably happens in many ways, but I read a newspaper story the other day that provided a graphic illustration of one way we teach our children to be materialistic.
An organization has been established in Minnesota to help parents in one very tiny arena. The name of the group is “Birthdays Without Pressure,” and their stated purpose is to “raise awareness of this problem and offer alternatives for parents and kids who want birthdays without pressure.” The problem they are addressing is excessive birthday parties for children. In case you are not sure what qualifies as an “excessive” party, these are some examples:
- Sixty guests were invited to the party of a one-year-old, and gift opening took two hours. The birthday baby slept through most of the event.
- The parents of a three-year-old are in a quandary about how to top the child’s previous two parties when they rented a fire station the first year, and a private club with a pool the second. At this rate, by age twelve they might have to rent the state of Montana for a weekend.
- A wealthy New York father spent $10 million on a party for his 13 year old daughter’s birthday, featuring the band Aerosmith, and $10,000 gift bags for each guest.
Finally, someone is standing up and saying enough! Continue reading