sis jenah: hi! it's really up to you how her first birthday would be celebrated, kasi your baby won't be able to tell you yet until maybe about three or four years old kung anong gusto niya.
when your baiby's old enough to make that kind of choice, eh susunod ka na lang sa kanya. hehe.
Birthdays naman are celebrated not because of the guests, or the food, or the activities - it's actually more of a thanksgiving.
I think kaya karamihan first birthday ang most celebrated is because it's the most eventful first twelve months nung bata, and most especially for first-time parents.
Kumbaga you're giving thanks for the baby's good health and development, for the guidance and the blessings na you received din as parents.
Now it's really up to you if you want it to be a party, na you give thanks by giving to others too (through sharing of food ganyan), or you can make it an intimate event na lang din na kayo-kayo lang pamilya. If you decide to check in to a hotel and go shopping na lang for baby's things, that's actually very practical (not much with the hotel part though, pero kung ang preference mo talaga is kayo-kayo lang ni hubby, baby, and you, then I guess that's ok) kasi yung things magagamit pa for a long time ni baby.
But then again, a momentous event like your baby's first birthday would always feel best celebrated with people you love or are close to you. Hindi naman kailangan na madaming invited, kahit kayo lang saka si lolo't lola, your close friends, or kahit yung kapitbahay nyo lang kung malayo both your parent or yung friends sa inyo.
I personally think na smaller parties are more fun, kasi piling-pili mo yung mga taong aattend, people na gusto mo talagang kasama. Plus konting food, konting decor, makes a party na!
The preparation doesn't have to be bongga, anyway, anything you do out of love will always be appreciated.