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  1. #1
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    Default Birthday Party etiquette question

    My DS was invited to a joint birthday party for 3 children in his class at a bounce place. We have done our parties at home for the last 2 years and will likely have his 3rd birthday party at home as well. Our philiosphy -- when he is old enough to ask for a particular type of party, we will start doing something different! :) Since we have them at home we really only invite close friends and family -- not daycare friends.

    We are planning on attending but my question relates to the gifts -- how much should I spend on each child? I would normally spend $15-20 for a gift, but that would quickly add up in this case. Would it be ok to spend less in this situation? A book for each child or small toy? We are really trying to watch our expenses right now.

    Thanks for your help!

    Mommy to 2 Amazing Little Boys!
    Andrew 7/2004
    Tyler 2/2007

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    I have the same b-day party philosophy. Ds is turning 5 soon and wants a party out somewhere (like all his friends) but I am trying to sell him on the idea of a small at home party again. :)

    For your party, I think it would be fine to spend whatever you are comfortable spending. It does help to stock up during the year on things like puzzles, board games and other things that you can use for b-day presents- spread out the spending.

    Beth

  3. #3
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    Spend what you are comfortable spending. Thanks to B&N deals, Michaels, AC Moore, coupons etc. I get to spend less for things. Every penny helps, right?

    Jude is turning 4 (in daycare) and REALLY wants a party out with his friends (b/c he has been to their parties). Trying to avoid it, but I think it is going to happen.

  4. #4
    wendmatt is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    I think you can get something nice for $8-$10 and shouldn't expect to spend more than that on each child at a party for 3 kids. That would be just fine.

  5. #5
    almostamom is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    I have such mixed feelings on these joint bday parties. It's nice that the parents giving the parties can save a few $$ by sharing it (which I completely understand) and those attending aren't having to go to 3 parties in one weekend, but it becomes very costly in terms of the gifts all at once. You might not have chosen to attend a separate party for all 3 of these kiddos, kwim? We have nearly 20 children in our playgroup now (including siblings) and the parties/gift giving is getting extremely expensive. Target has Candyland and Chutes and Ladders for $5.99 each, I believe. I'm hitting the sales (recently got a MagnaDoodle for under $10 at Target) and stocking the gift closet all year long. Whoa, I ended up on a little soapbox there. Anyway, to answer your question, yes, it is absolutely appropriate to spend a little less - especially in this situation.

    Linda

  6. #6
    JustMe is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    I agree that it is fine to spend what you feel comfortable spending. I check Target and other stores for sales and am usually able to find something I am happy with for $10 or less. I think a book or small toy would also be fine. One thing you can always go for is art supplies.


    Robyn
    lucky single mommy to almost 16 yr old dd and almost 13 yr old ds through 2 very different adoption routes

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    Thanks for the great ideas - I think I am going to look into the board game idea.

    I have a hard time buying ahead because it always seems like when it comes time to give the gift, the ones that I have on hand are not appropriate.

    It is nice to know that I am not the only one that feels this way!
    Mommy to 2 Amazing Little Boys!
    Andrew 7/2004
    Tyler 2/2007

  8. #8
    Piglet is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    We have the same birthday party philosophy! I have gotten so anti-birthday party through the years - between the over-spending and the over-stimulation, I would really prefer to do as little as possible for birthday parties. I also try to buy gifts in advance, particularly gifts that don't go out of style - Lego, K'nex, outdoor play toys (sidewalk chalk was a huge hit), etc. The thing about gifts, as I learned when we did a joint birthday party for DS1 and his friend last year, is that both I and the other mom wished, in retrospect, that we had stated no gifts on the invites. We had so many kids and SO many gifts that it was just too much! Neither the other mom nor I wanted that many new toys all at once for our boys and neither of us wanted that many things to clutter our homes. It was a great learning for me on the downfalls of birthday parties! Now, I try to plan gifts around what my reaction, as a parent, would be to having that gift in my house. That is why I like outdoor toys (they don't clutter up the house) and things like Legos, since they are just dumped into the big Lego bucket.

    I guess what I am trying to say, is to purposely stick with smaller gifts, and gifts that won't just clutter up the receiver's house, simply because they birthday kids will be receiving WAY too many gifts due to the nature of a joint party. For the same reasons that you feel overwhelmed by spending that much on 3 gifts, they will all feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of gifts they will receive!

    Have fun!


    Mommy to:

    DS1 07/2001
    DS2 03/2005

    DD1 05/2007

    DD2 03/2014

  9. #9
    Tondi G is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    I love being a Costco memeber in these situations cause you can often get a boxed set of board books (curious george, dr seuss etc.) for around 10 bucks and it feels like MORE! Sometimes they have great sets of sidewalk chalk or color wonder stuff for a good price too! I've also found great books on the sale rack at our Barnes and Noble store, reg 16 bucks on sale for $5!

    Better to show up with a $10 gift than to show up empty handed!

    ~Tondi

  10. #10
    hardysmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    Every year in November, we have the "Annual Hardy Party" for which I blow a HUGE leaf pile for the kids to jump in. Then, we grill hot dogs.

    As the big finale, we build a campfire in our front yard (we live out of the city limits) and all fo DS' friends (mostly city kids) roast birthday marshmellows at dusk.

    It is probably the cheapest, no-fuss party in the school, but it is the one everyone talks about all year.

    stephanie

    hardy 11/17/01 blythe & charlotte 3/24/04

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