One good friend of ours always asks for no presents at all. Another prefers to have a donation made out in her name to the local animal shelter. Two wonderful approaches. For my son's fifth party (an outer space theme) we sent out a different paper planet with each invitation and asked if the guest might write a birthday wish on the back. We assembled it into a solar system of wishes during the party. That was a good one!
Our daughter's birthday invitation has had the same suggestion for the last few years, and I believe it's a keeper, so I'm passing it on:
"Please consider a gift that is recycled, handmade, or under $5."
This has been successful because:
- 3 choices gives different folks varied options in their comfort range
- it creates a concrete conversation about values at our dinner table
- it always inspires some sort of creativity or resourcefulness
- it fulfills the needs of both giver and receiver in the gifting experience
And all deserving of prompt thanks. It's not always easy to be faced with a long list of thank you notes, at any age. We've found Bird and Little Bird's free thank you print outs to be the answer to both our holiday and birthday needs this year. Thanks Annie!
Do you have any gifting traditions or suggestions? How about any tips for getting those thank you notes out into the mail? Do share...