J’s 9th birthday party was last weekend! If you remember, we asked for no presents, phrasing it like this: “Please, please no gifts for the birthday boy.” And if guests wanted to, they could bring something to donate to our local animal shelter. We said: “J would like to make a donation to [Specific Shelter] for his birthday. If you would like to donate with us, please consider something small from their needs list: [link].”
I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. J mentioned that some kids said they were still going to bring him a present (in addition to a donation), even though he told them not to. I even heard one mom make a comment to another – that her husband said, “Are they trying to make us feel bad? Are we supposed to do this now?”
A few parents texted before the party with questions, and I reiterated what the invitation said and how we wanted to focus on giving.
J and I had a few talks before the actual party as well – that the party was the present and getting to spend time with his friends. (Just to try to avoid a potential upset kid when he realized there were no presents for him.)
But all in all, it DID seem to work!
J will be 9 in a few months (!) and we’re having a swimming birthday party at the Y. For his last party, we went mini golfing with his friends, and we came home with more presents than we knew what to do with.
This time around, we’re going to scale down a bit, starting with presents.