Before my kids’ birthdays and then again before the holidays, I purge our house to make room for the influx of new things we will get. Of course we appreciate everything our friends and families give. But we live in a small house, and sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in toys and plastic. Plus I want my kids to respect and value what they do have.
For a few years, I told people no gifts were expected, but everyone brought gifts. When I really think about it, I am guilty of always bringing gifts to no-gifts-required parties. Then people started asking for gift suggestions.
So instead of of being polite and answering “don’t worry about it” or “whatever you give will be great,” I actually started giving them specific gift ideas.
We included this or something like this with our kids’ birthday party invites last year. Then when Christmas came around, we gave out the same response.
Our son/daughter doesn’t want or need for anything. We don’t expect gifts, but this year we are trying something new since people have asked for suggestions. We’ve got a list approved by the birthday boy/girl of gift ideas. Feel free to consider it, ignore it, bring a gift, don’t bring a gift. Heck, you can wrap up some toys you are trying to get rid of if you want. We would sincerely just love you at his/her party if you can make it.
Gifts We Love
1. Passes or memberships to take them to do some of their favorite things.
- Train rides at the Oklahoma Railway Museum
- Visits to the Science Museum
- Passes to the Aquatic Center Central Station
- Tickets to plays at the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre
- A membership to Starfall (an educational source we love!)
- Since they love getting mail, subscriptions to magazines like Kids National Geographic are perfect.
3. Disposable or small things (not things with small parts)
- Bubble bath
- Bath tablets
- Fun snacks
- Hot Wheels cars
- Fun hair accessories or play jewelry
4. Anything we can use to make stuff with
- Since they love building and designing, Lego duplo bricks and magna tiles will always be played with.
- Any art supplies including different kinds of paper, tape, pencils, washable markers or batteries would be put to good use.
- They love all books, especially Captain Underpants and Pinkalicious books.
The grandparents didn’t take the list into consideration, but I think that’s to be expected. Otherwise it seemed pretty well received. A lot of people listened to the suggestions, and nobody seemed to be offended.