Birthday Gift Giving
A big part of birthdays is of course the presents but this can lead to great expectations and a lot of unnecessary stress.
How much should you spend? Should your child write thank you notes? When should your child open them? Can you re-gift?
The first and most important consideration when buying gifts for anyone should be – what does my family’s budget allow?
There are lots of lovely gifts that you can buy for a child that don’t have to cost a fortune and can easily fit in to a tight budget. It really is the thought that counts and so take a few moments to think about what the birthday boy or girl might really like or use.
There may be a larger gift that you are able to put a small amount of money towards, or perhaps you have a friend who also has a child going to the party that might want to share the cost of a gift with you.
Wrapping doesn’t need to cost the earth either – an old comic is perfect to wrap up a child’s gift, or your child could have fun painting a large piece of paper and creating their own unique gift wrap.
Try not to burden your child with your worries about cost, but talk about the general importance of budgeting money properly and creating special things and memories with overspending.
If the pennies just won’t stretch that far, then perhaps you could help your child to make a lovely card for their friend and perhaps put a homemade treat with it, or a homemade coupon for a play date.
If your child has a birthday party and is receiving gifts, put them in a safe place during the party and open later that day alone, or the next day when your child has the time and attention to give to each one and you are able to write down who gave what. It will make writing thank you notes much easier if your child has a list to refer to. Opening them separately from the party will also avoid any embarrassment if a child was unable to give a gift.
If your child receives something that they already have, or that your family doesn’t think is suitable, then re-gifting is a great option for those toys. Remember that your child will look to you for an example of how to react in those situations, so try to be upbeat and quickly suggest a positive solution for example: “You do have plenty of fantastic gifts, let’s give this extra one that you already have to ….. ”
Thank you notes aren’t essential, but saying thank you is! If your child isn’t able to write the cards, make sure that they telephone to thank grandma, or make a point of finding their friend at school to thank them in person.
The important thing is that you are teaching your child to show appreciation for the time, effort and money that someone has gone to getting something special for them.
Show your child how to be a good host and make their friends feel welcome and not let the focus be on presents.
After all, what the children will really remember in years to come is how much fun they had – not what toys they got!