We can all agree that kids' birthday parties have gotten out of hand, yes? Between the extravagant venues, the live entertainment, the Pinterest-worthy cake, the 30-person guest list and the themed decorations, it’s clear that we as a society have lost our damn minds. And before you protest that there’s no harm in kids having fun, take a moment to consider if a bunch of 5-year-olds really need a sand artist and a komodo dragon exhibit? Exactly.
But look, I’m not here to bemoan the childrens’ birthday party industry that now rivals weddings in terms of time, effort and cost. If someone wants to throw their kid an elaborate Frozen-themed fete, complete with a backyard ice skating rink and a snow cone food truck, then that’s their business. What I do want to encourage parents to do, however, is reconsider the gifting portion of the birthday bonanza.
I know that I speak for all parents when I say that I do not need yet another toy (or 20) cluttering up my house. Not to mention the fact that a giant pile of wrapped presents is practically guaranteed to end up as a meltdown (if not the birthday kid then the poor parent who has to keep track of who gave what and where the hell to put all the stuff). But I get it—no one likes to show up empty handed. That’s why I’m embracing this genius gift idea that a friend brought to my son’s third birthday party last year.
Gift a book from your own kid’s collection.