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Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Grinch Who Saved Birthdays

Now, don't tell me you haven't heard of the Birthday Grinch? Like her more famous cousin --you know, the one that "stole" Christmas-- this Grinch also makes gifts disappear... birthday gifts. Unlike her waffling cousin, however, the Birthday Grinch is resolute: no last-minute change of heart here. Nope. Birthday presents are --poof!-- all gone.

image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Dr. Seuss references aside, I honestly do specify "no gifts" on the party invitations to our boys' friends. Gifts from relatives we allow. But politely declining gifts from friends stems the seemingly unavoidable rising tide of kids' toys, and it helps our sons look forward to having fun with their friends versus getting, getting, getting.

In reality there are two main differences between me (aka the Birthday Grinch) and the green grouchy guy who lives at the top of a mountain. First, I don't take away gifts that are already given. If a friend brings a gift, we say "thank you,"and then we open it after the party.

And second, my reason for banning birthday presents is not because the little rug-rats irritate me with their joyfulness. On the contrary, I do it with their long-term happiness as an end goal. I figure guiding our kids to consume in a less rabid fashion is ultimately better.

How about you? How do you keep toy levels in check?


  1. We also politely request no gifts (family excluded) and there has never been any complaint by my daughters. It is a great way to focus on the celebration and keep the toys in check :)

  2. The biggest challenge on my side of the family is getting them to cool it with gifts for Theo. He so far seems unfazed. but soon enough, I'm sure, we'll have to set some policies!


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