Generally yes… there is some pretense, obligation, keeping up with the smiths and feeling of “have to do it” because everyone does so… and reciprocating previous invitations, even if the kid didn’t attend.
I’ve found with my kids at least, having an informal gathering of only the kids who resonate with each other usually make for the best fun- the kids prefer not to be herded into party games and find their own games and space to interact. I have never invited the whole class because that to me is just silly. 😳
We need to come up with a different way of celebrating birth days… I think.
Thanks for responding