Buying gifts for kids’ parties can be challenging for parents. What to buy? How much to spend? How to avoid a crazy battle in the toy store when your kid insists they need a present, too? In short, shopping for birthday gifts can be a nightmare.
Of course, there are times when parents ask guests not to bring gifts to the party. In theory, this is a great idea, but it can cause problems. Parents sometimes feel weird about not bringing a gift, which results in some bringing gifts and others not — and that ends up being awkward for everyone.
Consider a fiver party
We first reported on a trend a few years ago that might just help with this problem and it bears revisiting: It’s called a “fiver party.” The idea may have originated in Canada, but whoever thought of it, we’ll take it. The idea is that every party guest brings a birthday card with a five-dollar note inside instead of a present.
There are a lot of obvious advantages to this simple idea. For one, it makes attending a party so much easier: No more scrambling to buy the perfect party gift. Secondly, it changes the atmosphere at the party — guests will be far less likely to feel jealous about the mountains of toys the birthday celebrant is receiving and more likely to enjoy the actual party. It also cuts down on waste. Some toys given at parties can end up being thrown out or donated because the kid already has lots of toys.
A five-dollar bill is an equalizer — it’s a relatively small amount of money, so it takes the pressure off parents to buy something that may not be in their budget. That said, all those five-dollar bills add up, and it allows the birthday kid to buy an item that they really want — even need. It also gives you the option to use this money for something more worthwhile. Parents of babies or toddlers may choose to donate the birthday funds to a charity of their choice.
We live in an increasingly materialistic world, and this clever party idea is one way for parents to stop wasteful buying and encourage kids to appreciate the value of money. I know for sure I’ll be opting for a “fiver” for my kids in the future.