They are really not that important to me now, but, when I look back I would have liked to have a party. I did have one when I turned 21, but, it wasn't as impressive as I had heard that other people's 21's were. And, yes, I did spend my 21rst birthday in a bar. But, I started going to bars when I was 18, so maybe going early took the thrill factor out of it.
When I was a kid, I was always going to some other friends birthday party, but, my dad never offered to throw one for me, or any of the rest of us kids. My dad was always off in his own little world, and rarely paid attention to what we were doing. But, he did work a lot, and spent all of his time working on his own hobbies. My mom was not a very social person. The only things we went all out on, were Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. But, never a big party.
I now have a friend who insists on having a party for my birthday, usually on a day that fits his schedule, and not on my actual birthday. I hate that.