birthday party controversy

1. When you were growing up, did you have birthday parties every year? If not, how come?

2. Do your (current/future) children have birthday parties every year? If not, how come?

My husband and I had many conversations about how we would raise our children before trying to conceive. But apparently we missed a topic. I just found out today that he is against our (20 month old) daughter having a birthday party every year. He said it’s “not normal” and “not a healthy expectation for her” and “that’s not what birthdays are about”.

My husband said he didn’t always have birthday parties for him/his siblings growing up (this is not due to socioeconomic status). I, on the other hand, remember having a “kids party” (where my friends came over) AND a “family party” (for adults/family).

While I definitely appreciate his desire to ensure our daughter doesn’t grow up entitled/spoiled, I feel like she should have a birthday party every year - complete with cake and a few gifts (nothing crazy - she doesn’t need 101 toys). But I want that celebration for her. I can’t imagine her being invited to friends parties every year and then us telling her she can’t have one. How would we explain that to her? How can we show a united front to her when I deeply disagree about this issue?

So what’s the “right” thing to do here? Is it normal for children to have parties every year? Can you do it without making the child entitled or spoiled? How would you handle this situation? Opinions/thoughts/suggestions?