Recently someone wrote that they received an invitation to a kid’s birthday party that included a card for a gift registry of presents that the kid wants for his big day. Is this a trend? And if it is, is it a good thing?
Well, the off-the-cuff reaction is, “No way!” And then, “I would never do that!” It gives off the air that parties are really out of control, and that presents at the party are teaching kids to demand what they want, in terms of “stuff,” and expect to get it. Many parents are trying to get away from this message altogether, and teaching kids that their parties are about being with their friends, having fun, and sharing the good times. Other parents are moving toward giving donations to various local non-profit organizations or a family-favorite charity to teach lessons of altruism.
But, when I think about the idea of a gift registry for another moment or two, I think it may not be a bad idea. If parents are going to hold a party for their kids and invite family and friends from all over, being able to check out a list of what kids want would be quite helpful. The problems with not having such a list can be numerous, such as:
- Duplicate gifts are given.
- The gift is not age-appropriate. (This may happen with well-intentioned aunts and uncles who have no idea!)
- The kid is not interested in your present.
- The kid already has your present.
Although everyone wants their kids to appreciate their gifts and say a well-meaning “thanks,” if the kid is not interested in the present or any of these other situations arises, the money and time that you took to pick it out is a waste. In this manner, I think a gift registry list makes a lot of sense. You see what the kid wants, what has been purchased, people who don’t have kids can quickly pick out a present without wondering what a 4 year old actually wants, etc.
So, if you find a gift registry tag in your next kid’s party invitation, don’t completely discard the idea as ludicrous. It may just make the whole present process easier than ever before!
Some friendly present tips:
- Whether off a gift registry or not, include a gift receipt in the birthday card. This will be very much appreciated.
- If you are going to register for your kid’s birthday presents, make sure that you choose gifts that are reasonably priced for your kid’s friends to choose for the present. If you are also sending this registry to family, who you think will spend more, you may want to try to divvy up the registry to reflect this.
- Other alternatives to registering for presents, you could also insert a card stating that “Donations to XYZ charity are preferred” or “A book exchange will take place, please bring along a book.” If this is something you and your kid really want, there’s no reason to not be specific and put it out there in the invitation.