The other night I went to eat dinner with a few of my girlfriends. While we were there, a total of three hours, the staff sang "Happy Birthday" at least seventeen times. I am not exaggerating. It got to the point where I cracked up laughing every single time because there was no way in the world all of those people had birthdays that particular day in our little ole' town.
This is exactly how I feel when my girls (usually my youngest) get an invitation to the birthday party of every single one of their thirty-plus classmates. Birthday presents – Schmirthday presents.
That's no way to be, I know, but come on people who has the time — or the money — for that? I've had to start getting very creative in my present offerings because it can quickly add up.
Before you do any shopping, please don't leave me out in the cold as being the meanie mom — take a good long look at whether or not this is just a blanket invite so no ones feelings are hurt or if this classmate is really a friend of your child. Then, and only then, decide if your child will be attending the party.
Have your child create their friend's gift/birthday card. I have purchased a stack of white cardstock and we are more than supplied with crayons and markers here at our home. I tell them to think of things that their friend really loves. We can glue on all sorts of goodies from our treasure box, print things from online, etc. It makes for a personalized card, it gives your kids a project, and it can save paying $3-5 bucks for a card someone will trash.
When it comes to gifts here are a few quick and easy ones:
Cash – What kid wouldn't want $20 bucks to spend however he/she chooses? (Note: this may save you a trip to the store where you know you'll spend WAY more than $20)
A Framed Picture – Do you have a picture of your child and his/her friend together? Put it in a fun frame so they have a memory. (This gift is particularly special to military kids.)
Coupons – Have you child create coupons that you will honor later like "Ice cream date with " or "Your Choice of Movie, Popcorn, & Soda with "
A Homemade Music CD – Admittedly, we are music maniacs in our family. If you're the same, burn a CD of the most popular music you've downloaded and make it personalized for your child's friend by adding their favorites.
Craft Stash – Our personal favorite (hence why we like making our own cards) is a small basket filled with paper, crayons, glue, glitter, stickers, etc.
What creative child's gift have you given?
Where do you shop for inexpensive birthday gifts?
Were you one of those seventeen people they were singing to at the restaurant?
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