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.