So, this thread has two big things I wanted to ask/discuss with other parents. First, DS's second birthday is coming up, and we want him to have a party with his friends from story time and the neighborhood, etc, with a no-gifts thing (is there a nice way to say this on the invites?), some healthy snacks and a nice homemade cake for everyone to share. Either afterwards or the night before we were planning on having a small, family celebration with a yummy meal and presents afterwards. We are planning on getting him 2 things so far- one is a nice, real precious metal bracelet from a store I know nearby and the other is a tricycle. I want to get him the jewelry to be kind of like a heirloom piece, kwim? It seems like a much better way to show how valuable and loved he is than cheap plastic junk, but maybe not to him... The bike is of course for fun... But when I was telling my family about this they thought I was nuts. Why didn't I want everyone to bring him gifts (answer: they would bring annoying junk to clutter the house that he would not play with, and their presence is what matters anyways)? Why didn't we buy him more fun stuff? And why don't you two buy him more stuff anyways, the poor child has nothing to play with! Well I told them that we don't feel the need to buy him a lot of stuff he will not play with, and also explained about the commercial aspect of EVERYTHING you can buy in a place like walmart and toys-r-us and the sweat shops etc and that we DO buy him stuff, we just don't feel he needs power wheels and thomas the train and hot wheels and video games and movies and ten kinds of bubbles and etc etc etc... But they think i am being mean and not wanting to spend our money on him. I don't know, I feel like I am rambling now! basically, i do not want to spoil him I guess- you know, the kid who whines and screams because he can't have a new toy every time we are in a store? And also I feel having fewer "defined" toys like action figures and stuff means he has to be less creative that if we give him, say, a ball and a small box, and he goes out back and kicks it around and collects rocks and leaves to make a pile in the box. I want him to appreciate what he does get, know that is a good quality, that we put effort into it and it is not an entitlement. Does this make sense or am I just being mean?