Sunday, September 13, 2009

Swedish Birthday Party Part 1

So I've been to birthday parties here, but only within our close circle of friends, friends we've had for years before we moved to Sweden.

And the other day an invitation came in the mail addressed to Joseph. I seriously welled up. My son was invited to his first ever birthday party for a child in his class.

I chose 10am the day before the party to RSVP. The party's in Ströbylund and there was no address provided on the invitation, just "Ströbylund" so I naturally inquired as to the number of the house. "Just Ströbylund". Even when I pressed on, I got the same broken English response from said parent. And then finally, "You can call when you get here". After a quick search on GoogleMaps, I located the general vicinity of about 20small homes. I guess I'll take a page from the movie StepMom and look for the house with the balloons.

Anyway, in my excitement, I call my dear friend about this great milestone. She warns me to only spend 50 SEK (that's like $9) on the birthday gift and assures me EVERYONE does this. Swedes are practical people and I guess with the number of parties a child is invited to during the course of a school year, buying gifts can be quite expensive (not that it stops us North Americans from overspending). So I spent 90 SEK and am hoping and praying I won't be embarrassed...

Now to the other part. I am just supposed to drop my 3-year old off and...GASP... LEAVE! This is likely not going to happen. What if he needs to pee? What if he doesn't like the food? What if the supervision is inadequate and he falls down stairs or gets electrocuted? What if noone understands his special brand of Swinglish? So this is likely NOT happening. Still not sure how I'm going to force myself into their home but somehow I'll manage, maybe...

Stay tuned


Mon said...


Anonymous said...

I'm from Brazil and I too have taken notice of this somewhat outlandish Swedish custom of birthday party hosts asking parents to drop off their kids and leave. After having lived here for 9 years I have come to the conclusion that it's because Swedes are thrifty (come on, 50-crown presents, not even in middle-class Brazil!) and simply don't want to spend money on more sophisticated/greater amount of snacks and beverage an adult entourage would imply.

Do you live in Skåne?