Gifts or Demands?

Quick link: Down with Birthday Gift Lists

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Today at Brain Child I’m writing about giving gifts and asking for gifts and writing gift idea lists. After I drafted this essay I started noticing things on Babble (Mom Sends Most Demanding Birthday Invite Ever) and other sites that talked about parents having kids actually fill out registries for birthdays and for kindergarten graduations (Weighing in on the trend of birthday gift registries). Yikes.

Don’t get me totally wrong, there are times when making gift lists is completely appropriate. There are times when we do ask for gift ideas and when we do have our kids provide gift ideas. I just think things have gotten a bit out of hand.

I recently read that some parents are encouraging their children to fill out birthday gift registries. Even elementary school graduation gift registries. I’ve been in Africa now for over a decade. We don’t have registries in Djibouti for anything. And we don’t have elementary school graduations. At my afartanbax, essentially a baby shower for my youngest child, guests brought: nothing, sandals for me, fluffy dresses for my baby, packaged cookies, a black sequined coin purse, and a baby blanket. It was fabulous. I was thankful for each person who came. As a foreigner here, every single guest felt like a gift, the handful of wrapped gifts were simply a bonus.

I think this is the biggest mistake in using birthday gift registries. The gifts become the focus instead of the guests.

To read more, click here: Down with Birthday Gift Lists