I Am Done Buying Birthday Presents for My Kids

Rant 168

birthday presentsMy son is going to turn 5 tomorrow, and on Sunday, we will have a big party for him, replete with 20 little friends, a giant bounce house, a water slide, multiple pizzas, favors for all his little friends, and a homemade cake. Every year it seems like my kids' parties get bigger and bigger and I have no problem doing it. I like making the birthday boy and birthday girl feel special, but that's it. That's the present.

My husband and I disagree on this. I am a big believer in the idea that kids are really spoiled in general today and my kids are no exception. They have things thrown at them so often that it's nearly impossible for them to have any real gratitude.

And this is why I have decided to be done with birthday presents.

Every year my kids get something huge from their grandparents (an iPad or a trip or a giant plastic castle), and my children have a playroom that is roughly 500 square feet and is filled to the brim with toys, toys, and more toys. They don't need more toys.

This year I told my husband enough. For my daughter's birthday in January, she got a big birthday party and a membership to the American Museum of Natural History. This year, for my son's, he will get his party and maybe tickets to a Broadway show or something else of his choosing. From now on, my kids are getting experiences rather than gifts.

Maybe it's because I spent all of last weekend going through their clutter. Or maybe it's because I truly believe a life attached to "things" isn't a very good life at all. Or maybe it's because my husband and I stopped giving gifts and started giving experiences about 10 years ago.

Whatever the reason, I am about done.

That doesn't mean there won't be gifts. Oh I am sure my son will get many from his friends. He has gifts from aunts and uncles and grandparents. But from us, he will get a birthday cake, a giant water slide, a party, and tickets. He will also get a whole lot of love. But he gets that every day.

I may be a Scrooge mom here, but my kids have too much stuff. What they need are more experiences. So that's what they'll get.

Happy fifth birthday baby boy. I love you. And I am sure one less Lego set isn't going to be missed.

Do you get your kids birthday presents?




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N_mar... N_maricle

Couldn't help but roll my eyes at the, "I hope he donates his birthday gifts to charity next year," part. 

nonmember avatar Kristi

I am somewhat confused. Do you not think tickets to a show or passes to a museum are gifts? JMO but you are free to tell guests that there is a firm no gift policy. I would be bothered if I spent money on a nice gift personally picked out for a person and found out they donated it. JMO though.

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

This whole article is one big eye roll.

Allis... AllisonWD

Why in hell does your 5 year old need an iPad?! I'm 27 and I don't need an iPad!

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

I guess they need iPads to give them something to do when she leaves them in the car when she shops.

lulou lulou

while Im a big fan of lego free-building, and we have plenty for that, Id consider the lego rental/delivery service as he does like to build from instructions too

lulou lulou

we actually went with Galaxy's, mainly for reading (our library checks out e-books), but also for programming lego  robots with this falls updates, ipads you can too, the software is great for teaching math, engineering, logical thinking

youth... youthfulsoul

I'm in agreement. I spend hundreds of dollars for 3 of my kids in a 2 month period for birthday parties every summer. I always say the party is their present but I always wind up buying a gift too. In theory I like the idea, in experience, I don't seem to follow through.

hello... hellokd87

I agree with the author. My skids ALWAYS get huge presents from both grandparents & not just one, they BOTH get something regardless if it's their birthday or not. My fiancee luckily gives them the option of do you want someTHING or would you rather go someWHERE!! The spoiled little guys always ask "Why can't I have both??" Uh, cos we have a mortgage, utilities, looking into buying a car & other non frivolous things, thats why!!!

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