Monday, October 3, 2011

A Gift of Wine and Animal Crackers

A couple weeks ago I shared my anxiety uncertainty about attending a first birthday party (post here).  I've never been to a first birthday party before (other than my own), so I wasn't quite sure what to bring by way of drink, food and gift.  I threw out a couple gift ideas and got some great feedback.  More to come on what I ended up choosing later in the week.

My instincts on the food and drink front pointed to apple juice and animal crackers, but before committing I consulted a friend with a two and a half year old.   I figured that after going through a first and a second birthday party she would have some practical advice.  And, she did:

Me - "Usually I would bring a bottle of wine to a house party, but this is a party for a one-year-old.  What do I bring?" 
My Friend - "A bottle of wine." 
Me - "Huh?"

Apparently adults who attend one-year-old's birthday parties still like drinking wine.  And, apparently, drinking wine is allowed if you're an adult guest.  Fantastic.  In fact, bringing apple juice to a one-year-old's birthday party could end up being an it's-the-thought-that-counts gift because it will go to waste unless there's a bunch of toddler aged guests.

Orange Juice + Champagne = delicious
Photo from Taste Spotting (cute blog). 

Then, my astute friend asked what time the party started.  I told her 11 am.  The record came to a scratching halt.  We both agreed that throwing back a couple glasses of wine at 11 am isn't standard good time behavior.  Keeping with the idea that alcoholic drinks are allowed at baby birthday parties, I asked whether mimosas, bellinis or bloody marys would be acceptable alternatives.  She suggested I go with mimosas - the orange juice could be enjoyed by guests of all ages and mimosas themselves are simple and celebratory.

The moral of the conversation is that the rules aren't all that different when it comes to baby parties and grown up parties.  The gift caters to the birthday girl/boy and the food and drink cater to the guests.  The difference is that common sense and moderation play a role at the baby parties, where as at some grown up parties...they don't.  A bloody mary while singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes is totally allowed, but a few tequila shots before pin the tail on the donkey would probably be inappropriate.

The following version of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes would be inappropriate at a baby party or grown up party.  Watch at your own risk.

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