We just donate extra presents. :) I like big parties; I like planning them. I have a feeling that he'll remember some of them and I think it's worth it. We are blessed to have the bowling alley on base. None of his parties have ever cost more than $100 and that includes food, decorations, entertainment, and a special outfit. Next year we're going to ahve a pirate themed one, but we are also blessed with this http://ci.ocean-springs.ms.us/admin/...t-Maurepas.pdf which is directly across from the beach where we're going to have a treasure hunt. I love this kind of stuff and don't care/would prefer people come without presents, but I think people over-think stuff like this and I'm perfectly happy celebrating how we see fit. :)
eta-I'm also blessed with some storage space. I have presents that are regularly 20-50 that I buy for 5-10 and just go through my stockpile to see what that child would like best; I have yet to not have something. I also pre-buy clearance gift bags and cards.
Lillie, I have a whole bag full of pirate themed stuff (gold dubloons and pirate plates and stuff) in my basement if you want it. :D
Thanks!! Just curious, how much does a pirate cost where you are?
Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal
I'm almost embarrassed to type this with a straight face....$200 plus tip. He was awesome. I will give him that. His constume was amazing, and he stayed in character the whole time and was completely great with the kids and kept them completely occupied for like an hour and half doing a treasure hunt and taking the pirate oath and teaching them swordfighting and stuff. But still. I don't know what has changed between then (when I happily paid some dude $200 to play pirates with a bunch of pre-schoolers) and now, but looking back it seems so completely excessive to me.
I admit we pay a lot for parties. But it's so fun! Juliet had a yoga party this year and each kid (there were 10) got a yoga mat and a glitter jar to take home. Last year Nathaniel had a claymation party and they took home a DVD of the movie they made. This year we had to postpone his party because of the storm, but we are doing it at our local movie theater. We get the whole space and bring a DVD. He asked me to make the cake, which makes me happy. The take home will probably be popcorn and candy.
I love throwing parties, but can usually do it for pretty cheap.
As for the OP, I dont love the piles of presents but I also dont think it is the end of the world. We usually have about 10 guests and usually get a large variety of presents. Last year when DD3 turned 5 all the party guests went together and got a play set and some of the accessories to go with it, it was very thoughtful.
I would not be offended to get an invite that says no presents, but my kids would want to make something. I encourage them to make something for all their friends when we get invites and it is usually very well received
For my girls' birthday parties I allow them to invite about 10 or so friends, mostly friends from dance that they are close with. So the parties aren't huge and the gifts aren't excessive. This year Alana is having a "glow party" in our backyard where my husband will serve as DJ. I enjoy having creative parties on a budget!
I only allow my girls to attend parties of kids they are close with. We actually turned down a party today because my oldest daughter didn't even really know the little girl (they dance on the same team but not really together) and my youngest daughter has never really shown an interest in playing with her. I thought the invite was a little odd. Sometimes I think people invite a ridiculous amount of people hoping for a ridiculous amount of presents.
One of the things I like about living in a country which doesn't have the same culture I grew up with is that I can pick and choose which parts of a tradition I make an effort to bring into my family. Kids don't celebrate their birthdays with other kids here, normally. I wanted my kids to have birthday parties, it's something of my culture I would like them to have. Also, since I work and none of my friends' moms do, it creates an event where I get to meet them and they see me as a regular person. We do a low-key birthday like the kind I grew up with, just a few friends, some snacks, pin the tail on the donkey, and a sugar-laden cake.
I hate gifts. We have a small home, my son doesn't really play with anything other than soccer balls, and the only thing we'd really like is English books which are a bit low on the ground here. I am happy that no one even thinks to bring gifts here.
But that being said, I would feel awful going to a birthday party in North America with nothing in hand. It would feel wrong. So I'm a big old hypocrite!
We never ask for presents, but usually get them. I try to do small parties though. I have a couple friends whos daughters are friends with my DD who dont always bring presents to parties. It is a budget issue for them, so they usually make a picture, or pick flowers from the garden. I invited one of them to my DS's party when he turned two so there would be a friend for DD, and at that point we had a discussion of how she couldnt bring a gift. I informed her that we were happy to just have them there, as we are with everyone, though I think my kids would be disappointed if there was NO gifts, simply because they expect them.
My cousin always does big parties for her kids (like the whole class big). What she does is have her child pick a pricier gift that they want (like a doll house as opposed to a barbie), and a charity they want to give to (usually something like the SPCA at this point). Then they include this information in the invitation and ask everyone to bring $10 in lieu of a gift. They then put $5 towards the toy, and $5 to the charity. She has her child give the money himself at a later date. That way they only end up with one gift that the child wants and not a million 'cheap' gifts that they dont have space for. And she believes it helps her child learn to give to charity and look beyond just what they want.
WHile I see her point of view and $10 is not a lot to ask for, I dont like the idea of asking for a present at all. I feel uncomfortable with the whole thing.
If I was going to invite the whole class I probably wouldn't want that many gifts. DD has enough random toys already! But I don't plan to invite the whole class just to avoid hurt feelings. I am not in favour of huge parties. I want to invite her friends to help her celebrate her birthday. I think that for a child to go and choose a thoughtful gift for a friend can be a very positive experience. As is receiving that gift. For that reason I wouldn't want to say "no gifts".