“Oh, look a birthday party invitation!” Two days later, “Oh, and here is another one and another one and another one.” My children have a fuller social calendar than me; true story. And, we have officially entered the birthday fiesta season. In one weekend we have three birthday parties; yes, you read that correctly, THREE.
Though I cannot recall the five love languages at the moment (Mom brain) if there is one about giving gifts, well, that is me. There is something about coming up with a theme (Yes, I choose a theme to all my gifts) that gets my blood going. And, if the birthday party has a theme–I try my BEST to stick to it. Paw Patrol birthday party? Been there. Hotel Transylvania fest? Done that. Dinosaur soiree? I’ve got the t-shirt to prove it.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. STOP BUYING MY KID TOYS. I get it, I get it. I’m not the biggest fan of those plastic thingamajigs either–but I won’t stop inviting you to my parties if you buy my kid the PJ Masks figurines; because let’s be honest–that is really what they look forward to, getting the things mom and dad always say no to.
So, I’ve implemented the “Three Rule Guide” when it comes to gift giving–most specifically kid gift giving. You are going to want to jot this down, it’s a good one, I promise. Here are my tried and true guidelines–it has yet to fail me. I’ve got thank you cards to prove it.
1.) Something they want!
Go all out on this. Buy the kid the Paw Patrol Sea Patrol. Get them the bag of tiny legos. Purchase the bucket of green toy soldiers. Be a risk taker–buy the box of Play-Doh; buy the neon colors if you are feeling cheeky. Does Emily really want the Barbie caravan? Target has it on sale. This is the part of the gift where you are free to get a bag of confetti if you know that will make the birthday kid happy. It is only their third birthday once–make it memorable! Apologize to the parents later–kidding, sorta.
2.) Something they need!
Okay, so, you will want to be invited to the next party; and you don’t want to be the mom that gets excluded from the “Momma’s Rule” chat group because all you bought as a gift was a basket full of toys that will inevitably get thrown around the house (Yes, this will happen, even to the best of gifts). So, ask the momma what her kid actually needs and do not feel embarrassed. Maybe her son really needs new toddler boxer briefs–potty training is hard, yo. Maybe her daughter really needs more socks–doesn’t your dryer always seem to make a pair disappear? I know it does at my house. Leave this completely up to the mom or dad. Is it summer time? Maybe the birthday girl needs a new bathing suit. Is winter coming? Maybe the birthday boy needs a new pair of gloves. Unless you live in Florida–then you will never need a pair of gloves. This is the part of my gift giving that takes into consideration the wants of the parents and not the little tiny human they created. I’ve also been known to throw in a tube of sunscreen for good measure–they need protection from the sun, always.
3.) Something to read!
This is by far my favorite part of putting together a gift for the birthday kid. If you know me well enough, you will know that I will choose a book over a television show any day of the week. Always have, always will. And, I think it is of the utmost importance to instill a love of reading into your little one–along with the whole “learning to wipe your own butt thing” which is pretty important too. I adore perusing the aisles of books and picking the very best one (Appropriate to the theme, of course) to add to my package of goodies. What is better than knowing you will somehow, someway be a tiny part of their bedtime routine? Who knows, the book you chose may end up becoming the monthly favorite. Happy kid and happy parents–I think that is what they call a win.
Buying gifts does not have to be stressful–plan it out if you have to. Pull out a white sheet of paper and make an outline. Think about the special little person you are buying a present for and let your imagination run wild. Just don’t forget the rules–something they want, something they need, and finally, something to read. Happy shopping friends!