The Birthday Dilema

13 September 2010 11:59 by SarainAkko
Where I grew up, the birthday ritual for a child was pretty straightforward. Generally there would be a birthday party with a handful of kids from your neighborhood Games, cake and gifts. Perhaps you throw in a family dinner later that week.

There was even a time when we were kids when you would get to bring special treats to your classmates. Something home-baked, loaded with sugar, decorated with care and that took away just enough time from class work to make all 24 classroom birthdays really special. I have heard that most American schools have done away with this ritual for all the same reasons we enjoyed them so much.

*Let me interrupt this little story with an important detail, although my family has lived in this city for a few years, for all intents and purposes, I am pretty foreign to my surroundings.

When my daughter started preschool last September, I wasn't concerned with what I thought was the standard operating procedure. Mom makes lovely hand written invites to all the girls in the preschool class, prepares cake and party games and waits for the guests to arrive.

Much to my surprise, 2 girls attended my daughters first kid birthday party. They had a lovely time and ate a ton of cake, but I was completely caught off guard.

So what do you do for an Israeli kids birthday party?

My daughters birthday was the first of the school year and I was later told by the surprised parents of other children that the correct thing to do is bring goody bags to the classroom, the kids sing and eat a store bought cake from a package (although plenty of sugar crosses into this preschool much to my chagrin, no food from a foreign and possibly not kosher kitchen can).

I chalk this up to a lesson learned and have been preparing goody bags for months, both in my head and in my craft room. This birthday, I'll be ready.

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