Saturday, January 3, 2009

Birthday Presents for the Frugal Party Invitee

I don't agree that you have to spend a lot of money to attend a child's birthday party- no matter what the party may have cost the parents.

The present my daughter and I just wrapped was less than $6. I spent $5 (not on sale) on a fairy Barbie and .50 cents on a clearance Barbie dress. We made the card with stuff from the Art of Childhood Crayola kit I received from a rebate. The wrapping paper came from my Grandma's stash. I'm lucky (or pack ratty) enough to have a collection of gift wrapping paraphernalia and card making material. But, you can always wrap your present in child decorated paper bags, Sunday comics, or a clean potato chip bag turned so the silver side shows. Even if you go the more expensive route of buying a .50 cent card and gift bag or roll of paper (my favorite) from Dollar tree you're still only spending $1.50. Find a nice $5 gift at a discount store and you're done.

When I was kid I was more than happy to receive a package of dress up jewelry that probably only cost $2-$3. And that was when we did have a birthday party. I think I'd like to return to that simpler time when gift giving wasn't a stressful, expensive endeavor. And if my gifts are too humble for the recipient- I will never know and quite frankly, why should it bother me? That's just not where my priorities lie.

In a month I will be hosting a joint birthday party for my own children and I'm not quite sure of the proper etiquette to let people know that small inexpensive gifts (or even none at all) are very welcome. After all, we aren't having a party to get a lot of loot.


Anonymous said...

I don't know how to phrase it on an invite either, but I REALLY like your idea of smaller gifts and simplifying children's parties. You are making the party(celebration) the important part; not the gifts. What a great thing to teach your children. Great post!

Rachel said...

As for gifts, from the beginning, I have just included at the bottom of the invitation, usually in a smaller font, "No gifts, please." Maybe this is tacky, but our friends have followed suit and this has made the celebrations simpler for so many. Our parties are quite simple, but everyone seems to enjoy the fellowship and celebration anyway. And this has saved me from trying to figure out where all the new treasures would go. Our kids are abundantly gifted from grandparents, so gifts from parties may just put us over the top.

jonceramic said...

Jenny's DH here - It has become really bad for us because we have Christmas and Birthday presents from a year ago that we just haven't opened yet (or that we never took out of the bags hauling back from the party). The kids had too many, and we just didn't get to them.

Plus, we have boxes and boxes of stuff donated, and boxes that we plan to garage sale.

It's just craziness.