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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    PA, USA.

    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    Here's what I do. About once a year, I look ahead: How many 1 year, 2 year, 3 year, etc. b-day parties will I have in the next year? And I estimate based on the kids' friends.

    Then, I buy...

    1st birthday presents: Megablocks or pajamas and a goodnight story
    2nd birthday presents: swim towels (from Disney when they have sales )with pool toys
    3rd birthday presents: bath toys
    4th birthday presents: Word Chase board game (


    I get it all whenever I see it discounted and buy buy buy ahead.
    Proud Mommy of C & W
    Owner, Precious Personalities
    My blog (which desparately needs to be updated)

  2. #12
    Kungjo is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Default RE: Birthday Party etiquette question

    I think that it's perfectly okay for you to spend $8-$10 per gift per child. Just spend whatever amount you can afford and are comfortable with. Board games are great. Target and Wal-mart have the 3 in one board games that are relatively cheap. Or a small toy and book would be great too. Just look for sales.

    I try to stock up on books and toys when they're on sale so I can use them as B-day gifts. It doesn't always work out because sometimes I don't have anything in the closet for a certain age and then I will have to go buy something else, but usually I end up saving some money if I buy ahead. Maybe you can try that next time you see a great deal.
    Mom to two beautiful DDs

  3. #13
    Melaine is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    May 2008


    I have really been stocking up on gifts for kids ahead of time lately. For instance, when had the great clearance awhile back, I bought tons of the Princess Dolls that wound up about 4-5 bucks each. I also hit the Target, TJ Maxx clearances and get gifts that can be multi-purpose.
    I think in our hugely consumer-driven, stuff-addicted country, cutting down on the expense and excess is important. The guy that created Beanie Babies did so when he was shopping for a child's gift, and thought it should be possible to buy one for $5-$6. I see no problem in even buying a few dollar store items: a coloring book, crayons, play dough, or bubbles, water toys, bucket and shovel. Kids seem to always love those! Keep it simple and cheap IMHO!

  4. #14
    bubbaray's Avatar
    bubbaray is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    BC Canada


    Personally, I would spend whatever you would normally spend for each child if they had separate parties.

    DD#1: April 2004
    DD#2: January 2007

    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." Jack Layton 1950 - 2011

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    I think you should feel good about spending $8-10 per birthday child! I have twins, and in all honesty I never think about what people spend when they give us gifts. I think the standard around here (outside Boston) is around $15. My kids are only three, so most of the parties they have gone to have been my friends' children's parties, where I have spent more.

    Stocking up, if possible, is a great idea I learned from these boards. I stocked up at B&'s 50% off board game sale earlier this year and bought 5 Classic Candy Land games and 5 Classic Chutes and Ladders games - they come in a nice tin. I think I got them for less than $5 each (normally $9.99). Look for things like this.

    You can also get a decent book for $8-10 - there is a great collection of Little Golden Book Stories (Animal Tales, Farm Tales, and Sleepytales - might be one more) bound into a nice book and edged with gold that is around $10at Barnes and Noble - this is good for younger children.

    For kids into Thomas, most of the trains are $10.99, but sometimes you can get them a little cheaper - even though one train may not seem like much, kids love them and to them it is a great gift!

    Melissa and Doug toys can often be found at Marshalls for under $10 - good for younger kids.

    My motto is, but as quality of a toy as you can within the budget and you'll never go wrong! Personally I'd rather have one $5 book in the house than $10 worth of junk from China!

    Good luck finding something fun!

  6. #16
    salsah is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    May 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by bubbaray
    Personally, I would spend whatever you would normally spend for each child if they had separate parties.
    i agree. if you would spend $20 on each kid had their parties been months apart, then why not spend that same $20 each now. i don't see why timing (having to buy the gifts at the same time rather than spreading it through out the year) is a factor (either way you still spend the same total amount).

    if you are trying to cut back on spending and only want to spend $10 per child, that is fine. but that decision should be made regardless of the fact that it is a joint party. i still believe that it is the thought that counts so spend as much or as little as you like. a nice and thoughtful gift does not need to be expensive.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    The coolest place in the state of AZ!



    I am an Event Planner and mom. My opinion is spend how much you can afford, don't feel obligated to spend more. Get a book or small toy you love for your kids. I always buy a book from a local author, the book is less than $15, and is autographed here in Flagstaff.

    This is a link to the book: 0873589017|Only_One_You_:_Books&ref=tgt_adv_XSNG10 60

    Something you have unique to your area is always a nice gesture. Sometimes you find gifts in unexpected places. I buy my books in an X-mas store.


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