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My graduation dilemma

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A convoluted story:

I am about to graduate from school on May 18th. It is the tradition in my area to have big blowout graduation parties: caterers, rented halls, monetary gifts, etc.

Originally, all this had been planned for me, since my brother had a really nice party when he graduated 2 yrs. ago. But since that time our financial situation has not afforded us the opportunity to replicate the bro's party. This means: no outside food, no nice printed invitations, all of which i can deal with. But the whole thing has become very conflicted: now we're arguing on what day to have the party (the day you have it on is very significant, depending on what town you live in.), what to serve in the way of food, the guest list, and even how to make the fucking invitations. Also my mother is going through a depression right now and is refusing to make any kind of solid decisions (I can't wait until I have a family and am allowed to take my depression
out on them like she does).

Why, may you ask, do I even want a party at all? Well, because it's major unwritten law in these parts, and also because I was hoping the money I would garner would completely pay off my car loan (about $250). But now my parents are so sick of the hassle they recently told me they would just give me the $250 in lieu of a party. So now I have three options:

1. Plow on and have the damn party.
2. Accept the money from my parents and just send out announcements to my relatives saying I've graduated, no party
3. Have the party at a later date, like 2 or 3 weeks after the actual graduation ceremony.

This is such a stupid teenage problem but I truly am at a loss on this one. I have no idea what to do. Somebody help!!