We’ve recently been involved in a little bit of a revolution in the age-old ”what to give as a birthday gift” dilemma.
Judging by the gifts that have arrived in our house over the years, the average spend on a birthday gift by my children’s school pals (parents) seems to be in the region of €15 to €20. In addition to the spend, on more than one occasion I have been embarrassed at the number of gifts my girls have received at their parties. It just seems like too much stuff for one child to receive. But at the same time it is not very fair on the child to ask people not to give a gift.
But earlier this year we received an unusual birthday invitation which stated “No gift is required but if you wish to, then the birthday girl would be delighted to receive no more than €5”.
I had to read it twice before it sank in to my fuzzy brain. No more than €5? Now the amount sounded good to me, but wouldn’t it seem a little mean and tight-fisted, handing over just €5? Even though €5 is more than enough for a child to receive.
On the day though, we did as we were told and gave the birthday girl a €5 note in her birthday card. She was thrilled and delighted with the cold hard cash. Over the next month, we received 2 other birthday party invitations also asking for “no more than €5″. So I wasn’t the only parent who liked this idea.
Then, as DD2’s birthday was looming, I asked if she would be happy with the €5 gift request for her birthday. She agreed, so we included the “no more than €5” on the invitations. After her party, DD2 was amazed to have received a total of €105! Now this is far less than the value of gifts she would have received in previous years, but because it was “loads” of cash she felt very important and grown up.
We went to the toy-shop where she took forever (of course) to choose two toys for herself. DD2 values those two gifts all the more because she chose them herself. She is also very careful with the money she has not yet spent.
So we are now fully fledged converts to the €5 birthday gift idea. We will definitely use it for DD1’s next birthday. As a brand new teen she will be delighted to have money to spend and it will solve a headache for the gift givers too.
I’m just sorry we didn’t come across this idea years ago, think of all the money us parents would have saved!!