I am glad to introduce the first guest blogger who gave me an hand during my trip in Japan. The first one is Lisa Kothari of Dear Peppers and Pollywogs. Lisa is an author who runs a kids party planning business since 2005. Lisa provides practical solutions and good planning advices to parents.
Today, more and more parents are opting to request No Gifts on their kids’ party invitations. It often doesn’t work out very well, as some people adhere to the guideline while others ignore it altogether and bring a gift. The fact is people want to bring something to a child’s party, as a result, to get around embracing the concept of traditional gifts or no gifts at all; there are creative ideas that offer an in-between the two options:
- Host a book exchange and organize it in a few different ways:
- Guests bring a wrapped gift and everyone takes one home.
- Some open the books on the spot; others wait until the kids have gone home.
- Give your child an experience rather than a party. If you allow friends to be invited, let the experience be the celebration, not the stuff.
- Hold an inexpensive gift exchange (under $10) so that every child receives a gift.
- Request art supplies and donate them to a shelter.
- Hobbit Practice – Better to Give than to Receive! Each child receives a gift, although they do not bring one.
- Request a donation to a great organization like http://www.heifer.org/.
- Contact a charity that is a favorite and ask for a Wish List, i.e. a list of stuff the organization really needs. As an example, the humane society may need leashes, collars, toys, etc. Request guests bring these items in lieu of birthday gifts to donate and make the wishes come true!
Whatever donations are brought to the party for a favorite charity, have the birthday child deliver the donations to his chosen charity.
This is a great round-up of ideas that are alternatives to traditional party gifts. Also, keep in mind if you are concerned about the amount people will spend on a party gift for your child, it is appropriate to write in your invitation, Gifts under $__ would be appreciated. Putting a price limit guideline on the invitation can help to keep gift-giving budget friendly.
Happy Gifting ─ or not!
Lisa Kothari is giving away a copy of her book, Dear Peppers and Pollywogs…: What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties in which she answered non obvious questions that many parents will face. She sent me a copy two years ago and I found that it is an excellent resources for parents.
To enter this giveaway, simply share what is the best kids party theme you ever saw? Write your answer by commenting on this post. The winner will be determined by a random draw of all the answers received before noon ET on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010.
Update: The winner of the giveaway is #8 Kim – The TomKat Studio. Read more about the random draw.