There’s quite a difference as to how children’s parties are thrown here in Portugal. Both from a size and a form perspective. For one parties seem to be for everybody, and two, as a norm they are arranged by subcontractors.
The parents invite and pay as everywhere else but apart from that seem to be there to enjoy the spectacle and their offsprings joy. It is quite a big project to have a large party at home so whether the want to invite many is the basis for engaging external party locations or if it’s the fact that the party is not arranged by yourself that makes it easier to broaden the invitee list I don’t know. But no matter which is the hen and the egg, the effect here is big parties and that party fixing companies are very common.
For starters, parties are held at the actual place of day care, in the afternoon, at ‘school’ hours, in the very class room. This means that everybody in the child group is invited, no exceptions. Likely, the child also has an ‘off-school’ party for family and friends, and maybe some of the best friends from day care appear at those as well, but still, the fact is that no child has to feel left out because everybody has been to everybody’s party. An ideal solution in many ways.
In Sweden, personal celebrations are strictly held outside of the schooling system. Surely the child celebrating a birthday gets some type of special attention, for example is allowed to choose the song to be sung in assembly, but party? No. Why, I have no idea. In any case the permission of cake and juice for the parties inside of the school doors would be a total no-no for the Swedish system. Not to mention the dressed up as cartoon characters party fixers, the face paintings and the bouncy castles. Or the loot bag candy.
The idea of using a subcontractor, a party fixer, admittedly seems to be a growing trend and therefore business also in Sweden, but here, instead, it is near norm to subcontract your child’s party. And companies that arrange parties are vast and increasingly diversified. It is a business having children parties, not a one off.
Moreover, the parties are not only for the children. For sure, they are heavily entertained and cared for, having more fun than ever thought possible. But also, there is something for the parents as well. And not just hanging around or taking part in the children’s activities as a part time day care employee, no no, there are professionals there to do that part. For the parents, there is grown up food or snacks available, and the opportunity is rarely missed to have a glass of wine with that. The grown ups have their own place to hang around in, possibly viewing the children’s activities, but all the more socializing with the other adults. A time of relaxation for everybody so to speak.
From some people’s point of view, sure these parties can be said to be less personal, or familiar, the parents may be judged as not sacrificing as much of themselves for their children, that may even be so. But, still, I don’t know, isn’t it nice that everybody is part of the celebrations and? And even better, that everybody does what they are best at and enjoys the occasion? I gotta say it suits me for one pretty fine.