Did you know there’s a new norm going around these days for kid birthdays?
Have you jumped on the bandwagon?
We certainly have, and I’ll give you a few reasons why and how we try to do so in a not-so-tacky and seemingly entitled way.
Reason #1: When we get the invite to birthday parties, I find myself last minute stressing and looking for a gift that I can’t help but question whether the kid will love it or leave it unopened in a closet for a year before it ends up in a garage sale. I know what you’re thinking: Why not just text the mom and ask her what the kid likes or wants? If other moms are like me, I usually have every intent on jumping into the shower and making myself presentable for people by the time our guests arrive but, as it usually goes. I never make it. So, I know better than to text a mom during my last minute shopping trip ON MY WAY to the party while their prepping, inquiring about the gift I should have bought weeks ago. The wishlist or registry option makes it so much easier on other busy parents.
Reason $2: For birthday kids in need of an updated wardrobe who have too many toys, a wishlist is fantastic! Not that I’m giving the okay for you to scan 20 tee shirts, socks, underwear, and 17 pairs of jeans onto a registry but, a subtle wish list in this case will do the trick! A small note that clarifies the child’s size and favorite color or character is enough.
Reason #3: I don’t know about you but, it usually takes me a full day…week… to clean up after a party and to make it easier on the parents, a registry keeps from duplicates of items needing exchanging the next day.
Tips on how to create and share a birthday wish list in a not-so-tacky way:
Tip #1: Don’t be entitled. Birthdays are not about gifts. Although, it makes them a bit more exciting for kids, gifts are not the overall goal here. A birthday is a celebration. Kids are celebrating getting one year closer to moving out and parents are celebrating, well, the same. Kidding. Really, don’t make your invitees feel obligated to come with a brightly colored box topped with a ridiculous bow in hand. Make it clear above your noted wishlist that it is only there in the case that someone would like to bring a gift for your child to open. We’re in a no-judgment zone here and as much as I love seeing my kid ecstatic about a new box of LEGOs, I don’t want my friends feeling obligated or breaking the bank that week to bring a gift. Their presence is enough and the gift is a bonus.
Tip #2: Choose gifts that are available. Part of the reason for creating a wish list or registry is to make it easier on your party guests to shop. Try to choose things that are easily accessible or available at most big box stores. Your friends and family want to come, and they might really want to bring a gift but, what they don’t want is to hunt and search for a gift at three different stores only to find that is an online exclusive item the day before the party. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Tip #3: Keep it affordable for other families. I wouldn’t spend $50 on a random day toy for my own kid unless they’ve checked off every single chore on their list for two weeks, maintained good behavior, and really deserve every penny after the $20 mark. So, $50 on someone else’s kid? Not likely. Set a limit with your child and let them pick a handful of items within that limit. Even better: choose 15 or 20 items yourself and then let your kid choose 10 from that list to create the final list. I know it sounds like a lot of work but, it’s worked great for us. With each day that our little man completed his tasks and had good behavior, he could choose to add one item to the list for 10 days. It was a win all the way around. Chores got done and the reward was something that took patience and thought. (Most items on our list are $15 and under with a few from $16-$25.)
Tip #4: Prepare the kid. This tip will most likely get shoved in the back corner of your rmom brain during preparation so, I’m here to remind you. When you’re making the wishlist and your kid is patiently waiting for their party day to come, make sure to remind them that it is a wish list. They may not get everything on the list. Heck, they may not even get one thing on that list but, they need to be grateful for getting to spend time with their best buds and if they get gifts, it’s a bonus.
Tip #5: Clothes. Like I said before, I’m not granting you permission to ask for an entire wardrobe upgrade from your close friends and family but, if your kid’s birthday falls when the seasons change and they need a few winter or summer essentials while their bedroom sits full of toys, make a small note at the top or bottom of your invite. Something like, “Little C wears 3T!” is subtle, inviting, and gets the point across that it’s not weird for your guests to bring a tee shirt in a gift bag instead of a walkie talkie set.
Tip #6: Verbiage. Along with the “Don’t be entitled” tip, choose your verbiage wisely. An invite with a cute note above your wishlist is so much nicer and more appealing than only a link or title to a registry at the bottom of an invite. We’re not attending your 4 year old’s wedding…i hope. So, make it fun, cheesy, non-tacky, and comfortable for your invitees. A couple ideas: “Run behind and can’t make up your mind? Here’s a few ideas if you’re in a bind!” “It’s not a must but, if you feel just, Little C made a small list of things he’d sure love!” “Don’t go overboard, or rob any banks, anything will make me smile with a heart full of thanks.”
Alright parents, I want to know what you think about this new trend. Comment on this post with your thoughts, more tips, or heck, just go ahead and post your kid’s wishlist.