Since this topic came up on another blog that I religiously read, I wanted to put my own 2 cents worth in on the subject.
Kids birthday parties should be about what your kids want. Lately, some of the parties I've seen online are completely over the top and more wedding like if anything. Maybe it's just how we are in my neck of the woods but I can't think of one of my kids' friends that care if I spend a ton of money on cutesy decorations, have the local baker build them a 3 tier birthday cake, or provide them with a goody bag or any type of gift just for attending. Aren't the kids attending because they like your child and shouldn't we teach our children that they don't need a gift for everything they do in life and it's not always about them?
This falls under the same category as having parties for everything our children do. Are we not just setting them up for disappointment when they are out on their own and are not getting a reward for doing their laundry or showing up to work everyday?
I know, I know, it's just a kid's party but I think some parents are going to have a rude awaking when their little Johnny and Susie get older.