We're in a bit of a lull at the moment, but we often have around four birthday parties to attend each month. Parties involve a bit of logistics and negotiation, and a bit of planning.
- Does the party clash with anything currently on the calendar?
- Does the kid actually want to go to the party? There are actually times when M or O have said that they don't want to go.
- Can we or should we take both kids?
- Who will take the kid to the party? This is getting a little bit easier as M gets older, we've been able to drop her off for parties and a couple of sleepovers in the last 6-9 months.
Itay and I have a little system for who takes which kid where. I detest play centres, they give me a headache and I just really do not like them. Itay takes these parties on, says hi to the parents and then puts his earphones in and listens to music! I generally take on the parties at people's homes and we split the park and non-play centre locations.
Of course, the very important present. Over the time my kids have been attending parties I've developed a pretty good system - I buy cards in bulk (I should really make my own, or get the kids to make them), almost always have at least two colours of wrapping paper on hand and I have a present stash. I love my present stash. It has saved me more than a few times. Basically, when I am out and see something I think either of my kids would enjoy and it's on sale, I get it. Or get two. Jewellery shop closing down - grab a few items. Wooden toys on sale at a market - yes please. Books on sale anywhere, I put them in my stash. When birthday parties happen, I go through my box of stuff and put together a cool little present. It's almost always made up of three to five items, rather than one larger present. Usually I have spent about $15 in total but the value is often quite a bit more - I'm a bargain buyer!
Items in my present stash right now - Lots of books. Tiny lockets. Big bead bracelets. Lip glosses. Origami paper kits. Sewing kits. Sweet notebooks. Hair clips. Hmm, reading over that current stash, I realise that it is well and truly stocked with girly paraphernalia. I actually enjoying stocking up the party stash!
Do you have a party stash? Or do you buy a gift before each celebration? Do you give one bigger gift or a few little ones? And how much do you spend?