Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Planning for Birthday Gifts

I just wrapped up my latest poll, where I asked everyone to share how much they plan on spending on the gift when your child is invited to a classmate’s party.  The results don’t surprise me too much, and I’m kind of glad to see that I’m about the same as everyone else.

2 people say they plan on spending under ten dollars.  2 people say they plan on spending between 20 and 30 dollars.  Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, planning on spending between 10 and 20.

If I write it in as a budget line, I plan on $20, hoping to stay just under that.  I don’t plan on the ten dollar range, but I LOVE it when that is what I can spend.  It seems like if I have to go today and find something, I spend $20, but if I am able to shop around and look for a while, I can find neat stuff for $10.  Awesome sales under the $10 mark are things I pick up for the gift stash.

This week at superstore, their hot wheels trick track pieces, which are normally $29 are on for $7.  I grabbed one for the gift stash, so this will be one great present for under $10!


  1. When a kid of yours is invited to a birthday party, do you feel obligated to invite that child to your kids' birthday party? Made me think of this when I'm thinking of $ spent on gifts & stuff like that.


  2. That's a good question Alisha!
    I have to admit, that I don't really feel obligated to invite a class mate who has invited my kiddo in the past. Each year, we tell our kids they can invite the same number of kids as they are turning, and let them pick. I guess this kind of takes the duty off my hands. I'm also not offended if a kid who was here does not invite my son to their party later either. I just think that each family has to decide how many kids can fit in the venue where they choose to celebrate. Especially in my house, we stick to smaller numbers. The classmates who had parties in large venues invited lots of people. Most of the time, for me, this occurs with those not-close-enough-to-be-a-best-friend kind of friends. My kiddo's closest friends are always the first ones on his list, then the rest seems to be filled out with whoever else he has been playing with at recess.

    As far as spending goes, when buying for a party my child has been invited to, I definitely consider how close he is to the other kid. So far my daughter isn't in school, so she only goes to birthday parties of kids she is close to, those that are family friends we have known for a long time. I don't mind spending a bit more on kids that we know really well, but I still try to find an awesome gift for less. Ironically enough, it's the kids I don't know well at all I end up spending more on, because I don't know their likes as well, and usually have less notice of the upcoming event. Family friends I know of their birthday months in advance and can think and plan. Kids that invite my son to a party a week or two in advance, I may not be able to find a good sale, or neat item they are interested in. One example for me would be a nerf gun. I bought one for a classmate's gift, because all little boys that I know like nerf guns, and I didn't know what else to get him, but it costs $30. However, one of our closest friend's daughter wanted sand for her sand box, and we had some play sand on hand. We literally gave her a 5 gallon pail of sand for her birthday ( haha, "auntie Melissa and "uncle" Shawn give funny gifts). It didn't cost us anything, but she was happy with it.

    One thing about inviting kids to a birthday that does affect me is when we have a close family friend that gets left off the list. I have a good friend that I meet with often, and our sons play together well despite a two year age difference. My son chose to leave him off the list, and I suspect the age difference was the main reason, and I felt awkward because I wanted the friend and her kids to come. However, this was his choice, and I had to let him make it. My friend totally understood. Other family friends got thought of later, because their kids are girls, and my son is starting that age where he wants to have an all boy party. But he did end up inviting these two girls because they are really good friends of his and he does like playing with them too.

    I also felt bad they day my son was invited to three parties all happening at the same time. I let him choose. Two of the parties were for close family friends, and one for a classmate he only plays with sporadically. He chose the classmate's party, which was happening at a cool video arcade. I don't if the venue was the deciding factor for him or not, but I didn't really agree with his choice. I felt bad NOT going to the friend's parties. However, since I made the choice his, I had to let him live with the outcome.

    Haha! That answer could have been a post all on it's own, on the politics of the guest lists!


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