Crabmommy: Birthday gifts not required?

After much thought we decided to register for Crabkid's upcoming fourth birthday party. It just seemed the most practical thing to do.

Almost had you there, didn't I?

But seriously, a new trend is emerging out there to register for children's birthdays. Thankfully, no one I know has done it, but an acquaintance of a friend did send a wish list round to all of the invitees for her son's first birthday. As in, "Fielding really needs the following: Thomas the Tank Engine train set, Playmobil pirate boat (no Lego, please! We have plenty of that!), Melissa & Doug wooden sushi set..."

That sort of thing.

As I have gabbed about ad nauseam Crabmommy finds baby registries galling, much less wish lists or registries for a child. To me it's all just incredibly presumptuous. Evidently not everyone feels the same way otherwise there wouldn't be sites like KidsReg, where rude people can go and select a bunch of registry options for their children across all age ranges and for all occasions. I clicked on the "popular items" tab for Crabkid's age and had a bit of a chuckle when I spotted that one of the most popular items that Mom and Dad select for their children's registry lists is the book Excuse Me! A Little Book of Manners. Ha!

As far as Crabkid's birthday party goes, I've decided that this year I won't add "no present, just your presence" to her invitations. She's having 5 friends to her party and I think she's old enough for presents at a party to be meaningful. For her first 3 birthdays I felt the way a lot of moms feel these days: that our kids have plenty--too much, actually--and that once the grandparents and family members have showered them, there's no need for more and if they get more they'll only end up spoiled and blase. But I never really liked those other things people get up to in lieu of presents, like telling everyone to donate to charities or to plant a tree in Uzbekistan or something equally...I don't know...pious, maybe? I mean, by all means do it if you're Brangie and just need to stop the madness at Maddox's birthday party, but for the rest of us the "in lieu of" just feels a bit high-handed. In my never-so-humble opinion. (Party Police: What should you really do when a birthday invitation says "No gifts, please"?)

I don't know if the number 4 will indeed turn out to be the magic one, but it seems to be the right age to allow Crabkid the excitement of receiving a present from a friend, as well as the right age to expect her to learn something about accepting the present graciously. Or were those famous last words? I'll let you know.

What about you? Did you hold off on the presents with your kids' baby birthdays or do you think those of us who did are party-poopers? And howzabout that kiddie registry? Is that the tackiest thing you ever heard...or did you sign up for one?

No matter what your gift-receiving ideals may be, Cookie's got you covered when it comes to gift-giving with these wonderful ideas for all ages.

--image via

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