Please Stop Inviting Us

I don’t know about you, but I clench my teeth when my daughter happily announces she’s been invited to so and so’s birthday party. Great. A kid from her class I know nothing about, I don’t know her parents at all and I have to spend way too much money and cart my child around on a day I’d rather be relaxing with my family. I’m no grouch. I enjoy parties, once in a while. But when we hit four parties in a six-week time frame, I’d had enough balloons and cake and happy.

“Yeah! A birthday party!” I try to sound enthused. My daughter is not buying it. I, however, have found a great way to ease birthday party present giving anxiety. What do you buy for the child your own child barely knows? Head to Target’s dollar section baby. You know that section at the front of the store piled high with lots of colorful, plastic stuff? The aisles your kids can’t walk by without running into things because they can’t stop staring at all that stuff? Well, maybe it’s just us.

Regardless, buy a cute little reusable tote bag. Hello Kitty is usually in heavy rotation this time of year, along with Angry Birds, if that’s more your speed. Let your child fill the bag with lots of goodies for the lucky birthday girl or boy. Coloring pads, mini dry erase boards, scented markers, princess wands, toy trucks, bubbles, stickers and on and on. My oldest daughter gave this gift to a friend not too long ago. The birthday girl later said it was her favorite gift and her Mom emailed me twice (twice!) to thank me and tell me her daughter took her bag of goodies with her everywhere. I wasn’t expecting such a warm reception, but I was so happy! Our little present was so well received I’ve decided it’s my go to gift from now on.

It’s a win-win really. Your shopping trip is quick and painless, your child feels like they are in charge of the gift and it doesn’t cost a ton of money! (Unless of course you venture off course and instead of heading straight to the checkout line, you decide to grab a gallon of milk and maybe a birthday card, and ooh look at that….)

If you’ve ever stepped foot in a Target store, you know where I’m headed with this.

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