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1st Birthday Party in Italy questions

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Dec 14th, 2017, 02:56 PM
  #1
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1st Birthday Party in Italy questions

Our family (DH, me, our two boys ages 5 and 7) spend time in Montepulciano every year and have gotten to casually know a few folks over the past few years. One of the families we are friendly with just messaged me inviting us to their daughter's 1st birthday party, as we will be there over the holidays when her birthday occurs. We are thrilled to be invited and to get to celebrate with them! I have a couple questions since I have never attended a children's party in Italy for any age .

Are there any traditions we should be aware of related to a 1st birthday? Is there anything to steer clear of? I would not give cash, but if there are other things that might inadvertently be offensive, I would love to know in advance.

Thank you for any and all input... it is always greatly appreciated.
Jill
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Dec 15th, 2017, 10:34 AM
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TTT. Anyone?
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Dec 15th, 2017, 02:06 PM
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I've never been to a first birthday party in Italy. I think most people just have the grandparents and close relatives to dinner, and save the birthday parties for when the kid is older. Maybe you're in the adopted close relative category.

A present for the baby is in order, but there's nothing else in particular I can think of. Like most Italian celebrations, the meal will be the center of attention.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 02:30 PM
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Thank you bvlenci!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 03:06 PM
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A 1st birthday is a party for the parents and the adult guests. It is not a children's party as the child in question will not understand a thing of what's going on and why. It's the kind of show-off party that first-time parents do whose world is centered about their child and nothing else...
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Dec 15th, 2017, 03:23 PM
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There’s an idea. How about an Ebenezer Scrooge doll?
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Dec 15th, 2017, 06:51 PM
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quokka, when we had our kid's first birthday parties, the party certainly wasn't for the parents. We were exhausted from sleep deprivation and basically held the party for the grandparents to come and enjoy their grandchild.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 07:36 AM
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In Italy, typically the grandparents live within shouting distance from the parents, and take over a good part of the child care if the mother works. So the party usually isn't for them. As I said, I've never seen a party for a 1st birthday, and we've had a number of newborns in the immediate family. Maybe it's the custom in Tuscany, though.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 09:01 AM
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A present for the baby would be apreciated for sure; if the party is at the their home, instead that at a restaurant, you may bring a bottle of wine (not a dessert, since there will most likely be a birthday cake).
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Dec 16th, 2017, 08:21 PM
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Thank you again for the helpful advice.

quokka, I'd love to know how you found anything in my post to be an invitation to air your views. We threw a first birthday party for our oldest son, our walking miracle. Not for any of the petty, shallow reasons you suggested, but because he had overcome more than most adults overcome in a lifetime by then and that birthday was truly a momentous milestone. Try not to assume the worst about your fellow man. More than we realize, we don't know the full back story.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 09:28 PM
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It would be pretty normal around here. Or at least not unusual. It helps if the birthdate is convenient. Weekend or holiday period.
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Dec 17th, 2017, 08:26 AM
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I love first birthday parties. They are the first anniversary of a couple becoming a family. The guest of honor has no expectations and loves playing with the wrapping paper as much as the gifts. I hope you have a great time.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 03:31 PM
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Updating...
The party was held in the ristorante/caffee where the father works. Started at 7pm, was PACKED with friends and family, and was still going strong at a little before 9pm when we had to duck out due to our dinner reservation. I wish we hadn't had to leave right after the cake was cut as we were the first to leave and felt terrible, but we hadn't known the time frame in advance and didn't want to not fulfill the reservation we had made for dinner.
Dressy casual was how most folks dressed. Appetizers were served, but that was honestly more like a meal (a really amazing one)! Some folks brought gifts, everyone brought hugs, and we had the most wonderful time. Truly, truly... I've never known people anywhere to be more kind, generous, or warm.
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