I've started this little tradition with my little nieces and nephews where I give them a piggy bank filled with about $5 in quarters, wrap it up & attach a note that says something like, " Happy Birthday, Ben! Your present from us is lunch anywhere you like with us & then a trip to Bookman's to pick out books". I started doing this because, honestly, these kids all have tons of stuff. Do they need another Lego? Do they need another Super Soaker? I've been trying to decide what to do for years for all these kids & just didn't want to seem like the lame Auntie. Finally, I just thought, what the heck? So the other kids at the party think I'm lame. Who cares?
So far, I've done this three times. Each time, the kids have been kinda ehhh, whatever at the party, but when we take them to lunch & Bookman's, their little faces just light up! It has been the best experience! The day we took Ryan to lunch for his birthday happened to be the same day we were going to Ben's party. When Ben opened our present, Ryan yelled, "hey, I just did that! It was so fun!" Yeah, I think I might be the cool Auntie now ;)
Here's a little glimpse into Ben's party:
$5 piggy banks from Old Navy. Love them!
I bought too many red bandana for napkins & have started using them as gift wrap. Love this! I used my typewriter to type out Ben's invitation.
Analise...she's good at smiling for the camera!
Ben, the birthday boy!
What a cutie!
Ben's mama cut cake slices as big as the plates. No leftovers were wanted, I guess.
Ryan. He's quite the smiler, too!
This kid loves the sugar! When the other kids saw what he had, they wanted it, too. My kid thought they were crazy (thank heavens!)
How do you feel about alternative gifts for kids? Just wondering what you do...the experience isn't cheap, but it is worth it's weight in gold!