We're not big on parties and gifts and stuff like that...but our circle of friends and family is small, so it's easy to communicate these things.
Something I'm thinking of doing for my DDs next birthday party, is placing a slip of paper in the invite that states the following:
We hope you will help us to give Avery a very special gift this year. If you are able to make it to the party, please, instead of a toy or a stuffed animal or something like that, we request that you bring a bead. Just one bead. It can be a big bead or a small one...any shape, color or texture that you choose. When everyone comes to the party, we are going to string all of the beads together to make a very special birthday necklace, so that Avery can wear it and cherish it and always remember the special time she had on her birthday and all of the special friends she spent it with.
If you have any questions, mamas and papas, please call us and let us know. We really hope you have fun hunting for a special bead...we can't wait to make a special birthday necklace for Avery!
I feel like a "redirection" of the desire to gift is better than shutting it down entirely. I know when *I* see "no gifts"...I am vexed because I know that some people will bring gifts and some people will not bring gifts and that's just weird. I want people to have FUN getting a gift for my kid...but more importantly, I want them to be happy and relaxed when they come over and have a good time.
I like gifting books and things like that, but that can be a weird gift for a little kid...I feel sometimes like there is so much pressure and we don't have TV or do new stuff or plastic stuff and I feel really out of the loop when it comes to toys.
I don't know, maybe my idea is a bad one and it certainly makes me feel "iffy" from an etiquette standpoint. I just want people to have fun and not break the bank and fill my house with a bunch of stuff that I don't want around and all of that nonsense. I imagine people having fun, being on the hunt for a bead that feels cool and special to them...and then DD having one, special thing to remember her birthday party....she can hang it up and look at it and we can keep it in her box of special things and she won't age out of it and end up throwing it away or something...I can put it in her box of art and doodles and special rocks and stuff.
I just like the idea because then it's one, special gift....a collaborative effort with all of her little friends, you know? Looking for a special bead feels like everyone is a part of a special mission together...?? I bet there are a lot of things along that vein that you could do...?