I was pretty comfortable with my “No gifts, please”/Birthdays Without Pressure approach until last week when my newly-four-year-old son said of the friends coming to his playdate, “But I want them to bring presents!”
Am I an evil mommy for pushing low consumerism on my kid? Or am I just feeling the sting of letting him rummage through the recycling bin and find catalogs to drool over? And of getting gifts for other kids’ parties? I’m struggling now to find a way to be consistent or just comfortable on this issue of birthday presents.
I haven’t read Annie Leonard’s book yet, but the title says a lot: The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession With Stuff Is Trashing The Planet, Our Communities, And Our Health – And A Vision For Change. I know age four is too young for me to push an agenda on my kid, but I do want to stick to my values.
At our planned birthday playdate, we were going to have a cake (that we’d made together, from scratch) but no gimmicks or giveaways. Just play with friends. As I’ve written before, I just want my son to see birthdays as a time where he feels special and happy, not as something that has to come wrapped in a box with a pricetag.