Birthday parties and the battle against Stuff

In our family, we don’t condone the accumulation of Stuff, and one of the many times we’ll likely end up with them is on birthday parties. At the same time, I can’t see myself asking friends and family not to bring a gift. Or to donate to a charity. Or to bring handmade things. Or hand-me-downs. Which is unfortunate because I would love to receive all of those types of gifts, but I feel like in even suggesting what kind of gift to give, that already appears presumptuous. Gifts are given with thought, so to even mention anything about gifts already seems so rude to me.

Last year, we were just so touched that people even brought my baby gifts. That’s the gratitude that I would like to impart on LO. I don’t want him to sift through his gifts and rate which ones are great or not. I want him to realize how fortunate he is that he is surrounded by people, and that these people went so far as to give him a gift. I would stress the effort that the gift giver went through to pick up the gift.

Birthdays should be days that are celebrated with awesome experiences, whether they are parties, special sweets, a day trip to somewhere special—anything to celebrate the birthday boy. And gifts should just be an after thought, or rather, the thought behind the gift should be at the forefront. I wouldn’t want LO to define his birthdays by the kinds of gifts he received, but by who was there, what he did, and hopefully, how happy he felt because of it.

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