English birthday parties VS. Canadian parties.

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After attending an abundance of birthday parties lately I’ve noticed a few differences in the way birthday parties happen here in England Vs how they are done in Canada.

I thought I would share some thoughts…and this is just my general opinion of course some people do it differently and so on. There is no wrong or right way to do a birthday party after all! The kids get a sugar high, no one gets hurt and there is some sort of cake – then the party is a success in my eyes!

Lets start with the biggest difference.

Birthday cake. 

Can someone please oh please for the love of god explain to me why don’t kids get to eat the cake at the birthday party?! Instead it gets smashed up in a napkin which is usually dumped in the bottom of a party bag. You light the candles, you sing the song… why can’t we just eat the cake?!!? In Canada it is expected you light the candles, sing happy birthday and the cake gets dished out then and there. Perhaps that’s why ice-cream cakes or “messier” cakes not covered in fondant are the usual there and not here in England. In-between you and me, I tend to think the cake the kids bring home from parties is pretty rubbish. Make that’s because I don’t like fondant, or perhaps it’s because the cakes aren’t home-made (most of the time.)

 

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Size.

In England it seems like most kids invite the entire class to their birthday party, and of course any siblings, cousins, family friends, the whole shabam! It’s common to go to a birthday party with near enough 30 kids! I’m not sure if this is the best way to do it or not. Of course the birthday child gets zillions of presents out of doing it this way. No one is excluded and whats the saying the more the merrier?
This would never happen in Canada, not unless the parents throwing the party where rich. Like multi millionaire kind of rich. Usually the rule of thumb is you can invite as many kids to your party as how many years old your turning. Writing your birthday guest list is a really big deal, which requires a lot of hard work and tricky manoeuvres to not hurt/upset any of your friends.

Place.

95% of the birthday parties we’ve been to in England are at Village halls. Perhaps this goes hand in hand with the size of the parties. Most of them hire some sort of entertainer or bouncy castle. In Canada parties at your house are much more common, or perhaps a swimming party, or the movies. Never at a village hall. Maybe its the lack of Village halls… or perhaps the sheer cost of renting out a hall in Canada compared to how cheap you can do it here in England for.

 

Themes.

Everyone in Canada loves a good theme party. If there is a theme you can expect the napkins, decorations, plates, table-cloth, party hats, party bags, party cups… literally everything to be kept within the theme. Cookie monster theme? You can damn well expect there will be cookie monster cupcakes/cookies. Little mermaid theme? Yes the soundtrack from The Little Mermaid will be blasting away, and the cake will be bound to be Ariel. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to a themed birthday party in the UK yet. I suppose there has been princess parties or pirate parties where you can come in a costume if you’d like but it is no where on the same level with all the accessories and such. English people have said to me they Canadians/Americans get really into parties don’t they?! I think they say because of the love of sticking to a good theme. My Canadian friends always comment on what fab parties it looks like the british throw. So many kids, a village hall, an entertainer! Wow!!

Party Bags

Same stuff, different bag. Although in the last few months a couple of times we received a book instead of a party bag. I’m not sure if this is a modern thing, or health cautious parents. Either way I liked it and might do this for my girls parties this year.

Thank you cards

Thank you for coming to my party and for this _______ present.

The first time one of the girls came home with this I thought it was amusing. I had never seen such a thing before? But I like it… its thoughtful, and acknowledges the present made it back to their house with the zillions of other presents. Once again in Canada this is a thing that doesn’t happen. Perhaps due to the smaller intimate parties the birthday child opens his/her presents while with the party guests and says there thank you’s then and there.

 

 

Side note —- While writing this I made the mistake of googling cake images… and then ice cream cakes. There is nothing that I would like more for dinner this evening then an ice cream cake. Yup, I could probably go for an entire ice cream cake by myself. Lets be real though…It’s not going to happen. When will I learn not to google those delicious unhealthy sugary treats. DONT MAKE MY MISTAKE!!!!!!

I want CAKE!

 

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