Here on LeClaire the parents have a great system for celebrating birthdays of our children.
You may decide we are either the laziest parents in the world and wonder how we all happened to move to the same block, or you will recognize the genius of this system.
On our block in Chicago the parents came up with "neighbor birthdays".
We put out a flyer with the date and time, and kids and parents come over to the front yard of the birthday kid's house for cake.
We take a group picture on the porch steps, and call it a day.
Whole thing takes about an hour.
No (or very small) gifts. We find a Sacagawea dollar or two to be loved by 2 year olds to 15 year olds.
The parents get to visit and the kids of all ages have fun. We have a wonderful record of the children growing up with the porch step photographs. Our block has done this for about 20 years.
(Because our houses have porches, if it is raining we have coverage.)
--cake required--usually a homemade box cake with whipped cream for frosting.
--if you need a bathroom, go home.
--winter? put on a coat
How much more minimalist can you get?