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by Abigail Van Buren

Infant's Birthday Bash Is Too Much, Too Soon

DEAR ABBY: Our son is 8 months old, and my wife is busy planning his first birthday party. The party will be in February, which makes it too cold for anything outside. She plans to invite 50 guests, including children.

Our house is small, so she wants to rent a hall and have the party catered. Is this too much for a first birthday party? We're saving for a new house, and what she has in mind will be expensive.

My wife says I'm cruel for not supporting her idea of a big bash for our son. I think that having our immediate family together, healthy and alive, is special enough. Am I being a curmudgeon? -- SENSIBLE IN NORRISTOWN, PA.

DEAR SENSIBLE: You're not a curmudgeon -- you are someone who has his eye on a goal and hasn't lost his perspective. The party your wife is planning is really for her, not the baby. All a child that age needs for his birthday is his mommy, his daddy, and a few close relatives to celebrate the occasion with a cake he can put his hands and face into -- and, of course, a camera.