Sometimes the birthday boy does miss out because of other children not being there...
When DS1 was going to be 4, his best friend & cousin (my sister's son) was going to be on a 3 week vacation to the States (we live in the UK), so I had DS1's party early so cousin could be there. Sis & her boyfriend & son lived 8 doors away from us on the same road.
Invited 6 other children but 3 other them had other commitments for the party day, so the children at the party would be: my son 4 years, cousin 4&¾ years, my best friend's children 6 years & 4 years, cousin's best friend 4&¾ years.
The party started at 2 pm. Most people were there. The children played. "When will cousin be here, mum?" I tapped my watch. It was now 3pm.
I phoned my sister's house. "Hello, sister's boyfriend. Do you need me to come & get cousin for DS's party? We're waiting to do the food." Boyfriend tells me cousin isn't coming as he'd just been rude so had been sent to his room. Also admitted he'd forgotten about party.
His absence was very noticable! Ok, it was my sister not making sure boyfrined remembered to bring cousin/boyfriend not bringing him before he was rude. But that was the last party I actually had for DS1 as I'd had enough of my sister's lack of support. Ds2 will be 4 this year & tells me he wants a party... I'm dreading it.