My son is going to turn 5 tomorrow, and on Sunday, we will have a big party for him, replete with 20 little friends, a giant bounce house, a water slide, multiple pizzas, favors for all his little friends, and a homemade cake. Every year it seems like my kids' parties get bigger and bigger and I have no problem doing it. I like making the birthday boy and birthday girl feel special, but that's it. That's the present.
My husband and I disagree on this. I am a big believer in the idea that kids are really spoiled in general today and my kids are no exception. They have things thrown at them so often that it's nearly impossible for them to have any real gratitude.
And this is why I have decided to be done with birthday presents.
Every year my kids get something huge from their grandparents (an iPad or a trip or a giant plastic castle), and my children have a playroom that is roughly 500 square feet and is filled to the brim with toys, toys, and more toys. They don't need more toys.
This year I told my husband enough. For my daughter's birthday in January, she got a big birthday party and a membership to the American Museum of Natural History. This year, for my son's, he will get his party and maybe tickets to a Broadway show or something else of his choosing. From now on, my kids are getting experiences rather than gifts.
Maybe it's because I spent all of last weekend going through their clutter. Or maybe it's because I truly believe a life attached to "things" isn't a very good life at all. Or maybe it's because my husband and I stopped giving gifts and started giving experiences about 10 years ago.
Whatever the reason, I am about done.
That doesn't mean there won't be gifts. Oh I am sure my son will get many from his friends (though next year, I would love to see him donate to charity instead, but we'll see). He has gifts from aunts and uncles and grandparents. But from us, he will get a birthday cake, a giant water slide, a party, and tickets. He will also get a whole lot of love. But he gets that every day.
I may be a Scrooge mom here, but my kids have too much stuff. What they need are more experiences. So that's what they'll get.
Happy fifth birthday baby boy. I love you. And I am sure one less Lego set isn't going to be missed.
Do you get your kids birthday presents?