Benjamin Franklin famously said there are only two things certain in life…death and taxes. I beg to differ Mr. Franklin, there are three…death, taxes, and the endless amount of children’s birthday parties to attend once your kid hits school age. As a parent, we’ve all been there, carting our kids around town from one party to the next or planning your cherished weekends around what bounce house party was on your calendar. With class sizes averaging over 15 kids per class, not to mention friends outside of school, that is a lot of parties. A lot of parties equals a lot of present buying, which equals a lot of money spent.
Now don’t get me wrong, I actually don’t mind going to Target or searching Amazon to buy something for my son’s friends. But sometimes I don’t know anything about this kid…their interests, favorite colors, favorite teams, etc. So it’s a crapshoot. And I usually end up buying some Lego’s that I am sure will be lost in a playroom in a matter of days. And I am a boy mom, so don’t even get me started on trying to buy a girl gift! It’s always a dilemma…until my son was invited to his first “fiver” party.
I’ve heard of “fiver” parties before. In lieu of a gift, everyone brings $5 in a card so the birthday kiddo can buy a big item of their choice. BRILLIANT!!!! This not only saves the headache of party attendees scouring the stores for a $20 toy that will eventually collect dust, but it also saves the birthday kids’ family the headache of adding more toys to the already overgrown pile in the toy room.
My concern in hosting one of these “fiver” parties was that my kids love opening presents, I mean, come on, what kid doesn’t?! Are a bunch of envelopes with $5 in it going to satisfy that gift opening itch? Our first “fiver” party we attended had a perfect solution for this. The mom bought one present she knew her son wanted and gave it to him at the party. She said it was a gift “from all of his friends here today”. It was nothing big, maybe Lego’s (I know, the irony!) but that is all he needed to be happy. Then he took his birthday money and later purchased the remote-control digger he wanted.
If you decide to throw a “fiver” party, you need to be sure to talk to your child in advance to set expectations. Let them pick that one big item they’ve been asking for. It will make them appreciate the money they are receiving, and they will be excited to go to the store to spend it. As an added bonus, it will help teach them the value of a dollar and drive home that favorite parental saying “money doesn’t grow on trees!”
It may seem odd to throw one of these parties if they haven’t caught on in your circle yet. But don’t be afraid to be the first! Here is a good way to word it on the invitation for those that may not be familiar with the idea:
Johnny’s Party is a Fiver Party!
Although gifts are not necessary, if you wish to bring something, please consider gifting $5 that Johnny can put towards the scooter he wants. Thanks for celebrating with us!
Ultimately, parents will be thanking you for saving them time and money. Plus, you will be thanking yourself when the party is over and there aren’t 20 new toys taking up more space in your living room. It’s a win-win for everyone. Can I get a high five for “fiver” parties?! It is a birthday trend that I hope is here to stay!