First birthday parties are a big deal. Not only has the little dude or dudette made his or her first trip around the sun, but it also marks the first year of being a new parent. Anyone who's cared for an infant can tell you parenthood is hard work. After countless sleepless nights and piles of dirty diapers, who wouldn't want to break out some bubbly to celebrate the occasion?
Some people might bristle at the suggestion of serving booze, saying alcohol has no place at a kids' birthday party, and certainly not at one honoring such a young child. Others might point out that first birthday parties are usually a daytime affair, which isn't the best time to roll out an open bar — unless you want your partygoers to act like it's New Year's Eve in Times Square as the little tike is having a cake-smash moment.
But we'd argue that there are plenty of reasons to offer adult beverages, not despite it being a first birthday, but because it's a first birthday party. Here's why.
1. At this age, the party is more for the parents than for the kids.
Let's be honest; the child will never remember this birthday party. They won't know whether it was a circus- or zoo-themed event, much less whether a little sangria was served or not. If the parents would normally serve booze at a festive occasion or holiday celebration, this first birthday doesn't need to be an exception.
2. Not all adults will have children at the party.
Unlike an older child's party, where other kids' parents usually come to help corral the herd, the guest list for a first birthday party may have a lot of older adults in the family who don't have young children to monitor. Nursing a beer or craft cocktail gives these people something to do while standing around a party. It also makes the event feel more lively.
3. Real talk: Alcohol helps people socialize.
There isn't much to do at a first birthday party. It's not like the child will be entertaining the crowd with updates about his zany life filled with frequent naps, long stroller rides, and having sharp silverware constantly moved out of reach. Most of this birthday party will be adults making polite small talk with other adults. The fact is, some people feel more comfortable having a bottle of beer or a glass of wine in their hand while making their rounds.
4. It's not like people are going to get totally hammered.
Most first birthdays are a close-knit affair. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends make up the bulk of the party. As long as they're responsibly drinking, let them have a few beers or fancy mimosas. This is a celebration, after all. Providing some booze for those who would like to join the fun is a gracious thing to do, especially if guests brought birthday presents or cash gifts. Most people aren't going to start shotgunning beers at a baby's birthday party.
5. The baby's parents deserve it!
Family members might use this party to get their cuddles and kisses in, which allows new parents to enjoy an adult beverage in moderation, guilt-free. It's a wonderful feeling to step back after a year of non-stop worrying, stress, and concern. For some families, this might be one of the first opportunities to hand off childcare duties for a short stretch of time. That feeling of relinquishing control for a few moments is priceless. And, by all means, it should be enjoyed and, yes, celebrated.
Are you for or against the booze at a first birthday? Let us know in the comments!