Last week I posted about Owen's GEO party...and I'm so happy to hear there are other geology-loving kids out there too! Such a great thing to be into.
Some of you left comments about the party invitation I created in Illustrator---specifically the part about "please no gifts, just come play with us". This is actually a topic that's been on my mind for a while now, so I thought I'd write this follow-up post to see how you guys feel about it too.
Parties are so much fun. And I really feel like it's more about having fun with people you love, rather than parents feeling obligated to run to the store 20 minutes before the festivities, to buy a random gift for the birthday kid.
Now that being said, we've gone both ways with gift-giving at our house. Some years people have brought gifts; and other years I've written "no gifts please". And I definitely discussed the topic with Owen first, so he understood that we would still give him a few family gifts on his actual birthday. But this was more of a celebration for him and his friends. And he was totally fine with it. In fact at the end of the party he said "For my whole life, I'm never EVER going to forget that party! And the treasure hunt!" (even though his friend's ended up with most of the treasure) Oh man, heart-bursting. Those words made it all worth it.
I guess I'm just testing out all the waters; trying to see where we all feel comfortable. And I'm not sure what the answer is.
But sometimes--and I don't mean to offend here---I think gift-giving at kids' parties is a bit excessive. It just seems that when I show up to a party and there's a giant mound of gifts piled on the fireplace, which sometimes aren't even opened till after the guests have gone home...well, it just feels unnecessary. And I don't mean to be a downer about it. I know giving gifts is fun! I love finding that perfect gift for someone I care about--something I know they'll love. But I also know that it can be hard to find a birthday gift, when you feel obligated to bring one, or when you're not really sure what the child's interests are, or when you're trying to stay within a budget.
If I'm going to give a gift, I just want it to be meaningful. And sometimes that can be hard to figure out.
Am I alone here?
You can just call me Scrooge. It's okay.
But before we go there, let me share a cool idea that really got me thinking, outside of the box....outside of the wrapping paper box? Eh? Eh? Because a company called Sow contacted me and I really like their concept.
You know that I only partner with brands that I feel are worthwhile and clever.
And this is a really great idea---it's such a smarter way to give gifts. So tell me what you think of this...
Instead of giving traditional gifts to someone, on Sow you give goals.
Meaning, instead of giving a somewhat random gift you can give a monetary donation to help a sower reach all types of goals like a college fund, a special trip to Grandma's house, baseball camp, a new bike....whatever that Sower is working towards.
And anyone can sow, at any age, and for any reason. Totally awesome. I'd love to put $10 towards my niece's Sow project, rather than buying some random princess toy that she might not even like (and which will probably end up in the thrift store pile in a few months...cause that's what happens at our house)
The funny thing is, Casey and I have been doing a very similar thing over the years for his parents, with birthday and Christmas gifts. We just didn't know there was a website for it. Well, there wasn't. But now there is! In lieu of gifts for his parents, we've been putting some money in their bank account to be used JUST for fun trips and travel. But the Sow site makes all of that even easier.
And it's easy to open an account--it's free. Yay!
So for a child's birthday party, or for grandparents that don't know what to get for the grand kids, or for that special graduation gift, etc. this would be a really fun way to give and support a goal for someone; something that has a really big payoff.
It's pretty genius. And I love the video explaining how mom Tanya came up with the idea.
What do you guys think? About gift-giving in general and about Sow?
I'd love to know your honest thoughts....cause I'm still figuring it all out.
But Sow sounds like the new way of giving. A way to give with a purpose, that is.
I guess I should make my inlaws a sign that says "i sow....for travel...."