When we were kids I remember going to a couple birthday parties. They were usually at the kid’s home and weren’t big productions. Today it is all different. Yesterday D took the kids to a birthday party for a kid that M went to preschool with. The entertainment was “the animal guy”. This guy shows up with a truck full of live animals – snakes, hedgehogs, turtles, alligators, etc. The kids get to see and interact with the animals. Sure it is a neat idea but it is a far cry from the “pin the tail on the donkey” we played at birthday parties when we were kids. There was a pinata that the kids got to hit (filled with candy of course). Today kids also get party gifts for attending the party – candy, cheap toys, etc. I don’t think they used to do that either. The joy used to be in playing with other kids and having cake. OK, I’m starting to sound like John Stossel… “Gimme a break”.