I long ago gave up the hopes of being popular. My rather kid-centric views don't hold a lot of water in our very adult-centric world. Eh. I'll live. As such, I'm here with another unpopular view: kids' birthday parties...they should be for kids.
Let me clarify for a moment. I see no reason to invite your friends, unless they are close to the child whose birthday it is (and by 'close' I mean close - not that they spend a lot of time with you and in the same vicinity as your child, but really don't know about anything that is important to said kid). I see no reason to have alcohol. I see no reason to make it about you or anyone else other than the birthday girl or boy, because it's NOT about you or anyone else. It's a child's birthday and subsequent party. The kid doesn't have a birthday to give you an excuse to party, show off, and make it your day.
Let me put it another way. Is your child allowed to invite his or her friends to your birthday bashes? Do you provide special food, beverage, entertainment, activities for your son or daughter for them to celebrate your big day? Perhaps, but probably not. Your child can't drink, so why have available drink that has nothing to do with the child whose day it is? Your child doesn't care about your business contacts, so why are they there? Your college roommate who just moved back into town - don't invite her. You may want to see her, but it's not your day.
Whose day is it? Why not let your child be in charge of the guest list, menu, theme, decorations, cake, music, EVERYTHING? It is their special day, after all.
Just another perspective to think on and a few different examples of differing perspectives to illustrate the good, the bad, and the ugly of birthday parties (you choose which is which):
Addendum (9/30/13): After conversing with a few friends on this post, it has been brought to my attention that I have perhaps been unclear. This post is not to say that NO adults should be at a kid's party. It is not to say that NO restrictions should be put on a kid's party while they get to have whatever they want. The point is, it's their party. Their party. Not yours. Theirs. If they want great-grandma at the party, then great-grandma should be invited. If they want an 80s hair band costume party and its within your ability to do so, they should be to choose that. If they want a full-blown circus in the backyard and that's not in the budget, talk to them about why that's not feasible and try to compromise with a circus theme if that's what they want. Alcohol, no, I still vote not on that. If my 14 year old son is a vegetarian and I choose carnivorous fare simply for the guests, I find that to be disrespectful to my son whose birthday party it is. He can't drink alcohol yet. Is it a huge sacrifice to not drink for a couple hours at a kids' gathering?
I hope that clears things up.