Birthday Gifts for Kids?
Me to 12 year old boy: How was your birthday party?
Me: What did you guys do?
He: Played games in the yard.
Me: What presents did you get?
He: Gift cards
Me: Gift cards?
He: Ya, like $25 to Subway, $25 to Starbucks, $25 to Bolocco (local wrap place), $25 to Ramunto’s (Pizza) and $25 to Dunkin’ Donuts . And a couple others. I forget.
I don’t know what surprised me more: the fact that the presents were gift cards or the dollar amount of the gift cards. Glad I’m not raising kids now.
Meanwhile, gifts for kids’ parties seems to be quite the issue today since most kids already have an overabundance of toys. There was an article by Kara Baskin in the Boston Globe last week entitled “What to do about kids’ birthday party gifts?” Sometimes to solve the problem in a less materialistic manner, the invitation to a kid’s party requests no gift but a donation of canned goods or such for a local shelter. A parent can even create an online page for guests to register contributions for a charity. Also noted were the ideas for a book or DVD exchange. I haven’t interviewed any kids about all this, but my question would be, and please forgive this thought, “Is it still a party if you don’t get gifts?”
A lot of parents are referring relatives to gift registries and asking adult guests not to bring toys when they attend a kid’s birthday party. Then what sometimes happens is , and I quote here, that “guests will show up with a gift for the parent – perhaps champagne, wine, spa gift card -as if saying “Congratulations, you kept your child alive another year.'” (Dustin Rennells Boston- based event planner.)
But this Baskin’s quote says it all: “A gifting quandary is the very definition of a first-world problem.”
© Dorothy C. Judd
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