Friday, June 08, 2012

The Giftless Kid's Birthday Party -- A New Trend?

Update: I whipped up a Huffington Post piece based on this. Def check it out.

Yesterday afternoon I took Andre to a birthday party for one his preschool classmates. Three year old birthday parties resemble frat parties in many ways, what with the loud music and everyone running around like a crazy. (There were no kegs, though.)

The mom at this party was overt about requesting no gifts for the birthday boy. She's not a meanie by any stretch. In fact, I think it's a genius idea. Kids get so much stuff over the course of the year, why add more to the pile? How many plastic trucks does one need? Given the chaotic nature of kid's birthday parties, there isn't even time and structure to open them. Grandparents and close family will probably send something over anyway.

Think about it: Do you remember your third birthday? Do you remember anything that you received? Probably not.

New York City, in particular, is known for excessive kids' birthday parties. On several occasions I've seen four piece bands walk into the local indoor playground for a first birthday party. It's a bizarre form of being flashy. If you have thousands of dollars to spend on a kid's birthday, how about using $500 of it for the actual party and sending the rest to a kids'charity? That's a better use of extremely disposable income.

In the meantime, toying with a giftless party for a toddler seems like a great idea. It takes the heat off the guests to dig something up and cuts down on clutter in your home.