I saw something on Pinterest that I really liked. For a child's birthday (or Christmas), give him/her
Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something to read
(Bad grammar, but I didn't write it.)
I think this is a pretty good philosophy. Since yesterday was Joseph's birthday, here's a breakdown of what he got this year from us:
Want: a pet. We found a fish bowl at D.I. for $2 and let Joseph pick out a fish at Walmart. He chose a betta for $4. Food and rocks were $2 each.
Need: something creative. I got sidewalk chalk at Walmart for $1 and a bubble wand for $1.
Wear: a pair of summer shoes. I searched yard sales and D.I. but had no luck finding something that would fit him. However, Walmart had sandals for $3. (It was either that or water shoes, which I didn't want!)
Read: I first check out the library book sale, and if there's anything good, I buy it. They have books for only 10 cents apiece! I found a New Testament Stories book that only needed a little hot glue on the spine. At yard sales, I found 2 books for $1 each. Both were in great condition.
The goal is to spend less than $25 on gifts. That doesn't always happen, but it allows for a good amount of gifts, I think. (That doesn't include additional money/gifts from relatives. They are very generous.)
Birthday food: The birthday boy/girl gets to choose a favorite meal. When I asked Joseph what he wanted, he chose toast. No joke. I think he eats more toast than the average 10 people. I chose homemade chicken nuggets and fries for him since I knew he'd like them. I made him a simple cake with a train (wooden, not edible) and tracks (made from Twizzlers and cookie strips). (By the way, if you've never made homemade frosting, you're missing out. It's delicious, and so is homemade cake!)
Decorations: This is where I get lazy. I just don't decorate for holidays except Christmas. I guess I don't care enough, and I'd just have to take them down the next day. However, if I were to buy some, I'd get them at D.I. or the dollar store. We got a bag of balloons and some silly hats from Dollar Tree for Joseph since he's been reading a book about Thomas the Train's birthday that had balloons and silly hats. :)
Wrapping paper: For my immediate family, I use newspaper. Again, I'm lazy, and it just gets ripped up anyway. The fun part is seeing what's inside, right? If I'm giving a gift to a friend, I tend to reuse gift bags and ribbon from gifts I've received. (I don't reuse actual wrapping paper, but I've heard of people doing that too. I think it just takes the fun out of ripping the paper off a present.)
Cards: I make my own. I don't mean fancy ones either with stamps and ribbons, though I do think those are really cute. I have some plain cards leftover from our wedding (!) that I put personalized notes on. If I need a specific card, I print one off the computer and fold it up. They're fun to make and don't cost much, just one piece of paper and some ink.
What do you think is the most important part of celebrating someone's birthday? (For me, it's the food! Since I love to cook and eat, it's win-win.)
|the train cake|
|Jonah, our new fish|
|blowing out the candles...or at least giving it a good shot!|