Money’s been pretty tight in this household lately, but I need to throw a birthday party for my 5-year-old. Here’s my dilemma: I don’t want to invite her whole class of 25 kids.

I know all of these kids, and some of them are out-of-control, disrespectful demons with apathetic parents. I mean that in the nicest of ways. Well, OK, I don’t. But I know my soft-spoken and shy daughter isn’t particularly close with some of these kids, and I don’t want to pay for their entertainment, goodie bag or even the stamp on their thank you note.
So, you say, just don’t invite them? Well, here’s the problem with that. I’ve been to about a dozen b-day parties hosted by her classmates in the past few months, and at every party, the WHOLE class is there.

Thoughts? Advice ? We’ll get to how to host a budget-friendly party for 25 5-year-olds next.

Jamie Bartosch is a regular blogger on