Whatever happened to simple, fun birthdays where Mum baked a cake that looked like a volcano had erupted over it. Friends marched in with giant plastic clutter tucked under their arms, left clutching smaller junk, and still had huge grins stuck on their faces.
The amount of newsprint devoted these days to the fracas over some kid's seventh birthday bash seems enough to rewrite the complete works of Shakespeare.
First it was the furore over that Mum invoicing the parents of her son's classmate over a birthday party no-show. Just when we thought this kiddie party brouhaha was a flash in the pan, along comes the news that a pair of posh Mums were requesting donations to buy birthday presents for their kids and how Myleene Klass, quite rightly, took a stand against it.
I mean, come on! If you can afford to send your offspring to a £1500 a month private school, surely you can afford to buy them a birthday present. Even if it is just a kindle!
Next thing you know, parents up and down the country are setting up charities, the 'My Child's Birthday Fund', and are campaigning door to door to raise cash for a birthday present. Can't blame them, really. What with tuition fees and hats and the demands kids make these days, there must be precious little left over for a birthday present.
But what about those parents who cannot shell out the specified tenner. Fret not, say the entrepreneurial parents. You can set up a direct debit for just £2 a month. That way, we can start to make plans for next year's present.
Spare a thought, my darlings, to the poor children at the centre of this controversy. "It's my birthday today. I am so excited! Lots of presents from all my friends! Dolls, Hama beads, loom bands. Maybe a board game or two!"
Err, no, precious. You are getting only one birthday present. You heard me, one present. A table. The chair will have to wait until next year.
And what about a present from Mum and Dad, did you say? Emm, well, they were so busy organising the party and your one big, grand collective present, they quite forgot to buy you one. Don't worry darling, they'll just order it now. With special next day delivery and all. You will have that chair to go with the table after all. Hurray!
As for next year, let's just ask for contributions towards a trip into space, shall we?