One Year Old Birthday Parties…

6 Sep

Carson has A LOT of friends.  He is very popular.  (READ: We have a lot of friends with kids Carson’s age).  I used to dread kid birthday parties, but I have taken a total 180 on this, and now I thoroughly enjoy them.  That being said, I have taken a different approach to one-year-old gift giving.  As in, I do not do it.  I don’t really know what my friends think about this.  Here’s my thoughts on it–When I see a giant pile of gifts for a one-year-old, I don’t think I need to contribute to it.  What does a one-year-old TRULY NEED?  Not much, I can tell you that.  Also, a one-year-old is not going to know what I am bringing or not bringing to their party.  I am the first to admit that the one-year-old birthday party is primarily about the mother.  Not the father, or even the one-year-old.  It is about the mom.  I think it is a celebration that you made it through the crucial first year. 

Anyways, back to the gift-giving…What I have decided to do instead of traditional gift giving is give a donation to a charity that is a good fit for the one-year-old’s family.  I feel good about this decision.  At a recent birthday party I went to, I donated to Autism Speaks because I know that this is an important charity to this family.  The nice thing is that an e-card is delivered to the family saying a donation was made in the child’s name. 

As the kids get older, I will definitely give gifts.  But for now, I truly feel that rather than adding to a pile of gifts, donating to a charity is a better way to celebrate making it through one year with a happy, healthy child.  I’m curious to know what you think?

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8 Responses to “One Year Old Birthday Parties…”

  1. Matt Fiano September 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I think the donation is a great thing if you feel strongly about. However, I disagree that the 1yr old birthday party is more of a celebration for the mother. I am Audra’s father and I am just as important to her and her development, as Jenelle is. And I suffered, while not quite as much, through her 1st year too! I do realize there are different things that you (mothers) can give their children that I can’t.

    • michgal18 September 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

      Matt–I totally agree with you! I should have elaborated more I guess. I think I meant in terms of planning and decorating and going all crazy with that stuff. Because when I tell Chris about the plans for Carson’s party he just looks at me with a blank stare on his face. So, yes…making it through the first year is for the mom and dad! 🙂

  2. Lori September 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    I think that is a terrific idea. At this point I have been through many years of kid parties and the gift-giving dilemma doesn’t get any easier. You go through a honeymoon phase with boys where pretty much Legos and anything with wheels is a hit. Now my boys give gift cards to video game stores or sports stores depending on the individual. I love the charity idea for 1 year olds. And you are right that the party is all about the Moms. That doesn’t change by the way… eventually it becomes a social climbing thing as well. A bit pathetic. Some of the moms might not get your motivation it but in the bigger scheme of things… what is more important? Charity or toys that will be forgotten in a week? A+ from me!

  3. Maranda September 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    I don’t know… I think the idea is commendable but personally, we don’t have very much money at all. If I don’t have a lot of money, but I decide to throw my daughter a birthday party and spend what I have on cake and goodies for the kids, I’d like to know that the day will be made fun for her by recieving some gifts I wouldn’t have been able to afford. If your child has more than plenty of toys then I can see the charity thing, but if you don’t have a lot of money I think it’s a sweet gesture having their friends (you’re friends) give them some toys. It kind of relieves some the “mom-guilt” too.

    • michgal18 September 6, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

      Maranda–I can definitely appreciate your opinion. That is a very good point that I hadn’t considered before. 🙂

  4. Helen September 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Michelle, it makes me so happy to read this. Children today have soooooo much – too much really. And the birthday parties have gotten out of control. Seriously, we get invitations to great niece/nephew parties. We’re like, “uh, excuse me but this kid is turning 2 and yes we’re the great aunt/uncle but seriously?” Whatever happened to just having the grandparents. Honestly we’ve been to some parties even for immediate nieces/nephews where we wondered how much parents spent. Crazy!

    And I know I’ll sound like an old fart saying this but when I was growing up, the birthday parties only had kids at them, not the parents and everyone else.

    As I said, Out. Of. Control.

  5. Lynn September 8, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    i hear what your saying Michelle, but unfortunately gifts are inevitable…especially from family. Telling a grandparent or aunt that they cant bring a toy is like telling them Santa isnt real….it is quite devestating! They all sit around WAITING for the presents to be open so they can all take tons of pictures. i hate to say it…but it is inevitable. we opted for a “close family” party and suggested people give clothes. Abby still got a TON of toys. good luck

    • michgal18 September 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

      Well, I certainly don’t mind gifts for Carson! 🙂 But it can definitely get to be a little much!

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