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Discussion Starter #1
With a 3yo and now an almost 1yo I feel like I'm swimming in toys! I try my best to reduce and recycle toys, give them away, but my DH is a collector and a big kid and will come home with toys and order them online all year long. I love him for being so involved and playing with the kids, but then comes birthdays and holidays and I feel like I'm getting ready for a tsunami of toys all the time from loving well meaning family and friends. I want to include a small cute note/poem in my DD's birthday invitation that says something about not needing any toys, or books only, or no plastic toys please...something that won't offend anyone yet will get the message through. There ARE toys that I would love to have for them (like wooden toys from somewhere like toygarden) and I was thinking of putting the link in there or making a registry for her, but I don't know how others feel about people making gift registries for their kids - is that selfish, expecting people to buy only what you want them to get your kids? I wanted to put in 'gifts not necessary' but in a nice cute way...any one out there do this and have success? thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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We've attended two b-day parties for 3 year olds recently that asked for no gifts but coordinated a book swap. Here's the wording on each invite:<br><br>
"No presents please but bring one book (new or gently used.)" The kids played musical chairs at the very end of the party and each got to choose a book as they got 'out'.<br><br>
"Please bring a genty used and wrapped book appropriate for a 3-4 year old for a book exchange. No gifts please."<br><br>
We've enjoyed this because the focus isn't all about the presents. I've contemplated doing a puzzle or book exchange for ds's birthday (not until September.) I'll be eager to read what others suggest. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I like the book exchange idea. I really despise everyone waiting for the child to open up presents and then bee-lining to the door right afterwards. I tried for our last Birthday party to do the presents afterwards, but some people would not leave until we did it! I think 'no gifts please' is a good idea. Or maybe some way to donate gifts to a charity?...
 

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On my DD's birthday invites I wrote "Your presence is quite enough of a present." It seemed to work... mostly : )<br>
I think it's entirely appropriate to set up gift registries for children. You could also ask for donations to local childrens charities instead of a present... that's never tacky!<br>
We had a similar tidal wave of stuff problem, with DD's birthday placed 6 days after christmas. Quite a few of the things people gave her stayed in their packages and were passed along immediately. If you're worried that people will ask you where the toy they gave your DD went, you could always lie and say "Oh, she has so many so we stored a few away so we can take them out this summer (this fall, when we go on vacation, to keep at Grandma's house, etc) so she'll have new things to play with all year."<br>
If your DH is a toy junky could you gently nudge him to buy those beautiful wooden toys you love? And maybe he could entusiastically demonstrate them to your friends and family members, talking about how simple toys are better for development, or praising great work(wo)manship. It's kindof gross, but sometimes people repsect a father's opinion over a mother's.
 

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Some people are still going to get you presents regardless, and some people are going to buy what THEY want to buy, regardless. I asked my family to buy baby bouncers for russian orphans off of <a href="http://www.altgifts.com" target="_blank">www.altgifts.com</a> in place of a material gifts for me this christmas, and there was an uproar over why I'd support Russians over Americans (I was kind of going with the whole baby angle, but, apparently, I'm unpatriotic, and my mother insisted on donating to an American charity instead. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
What I plan to do is tell my DD she can exchange one of her old gifts for one of the new ones (the old gift will be donated to a children's hospital, goodwill, etc.), or she can just donate the new one if she doesn't want it. (For now, I do it myself with the infant toys she has no interest in anymore)<br><br>
That way, DD can get the "new" gifts if she wants them (or keep her old, or whatever combo she wants), will get rid of some older stuff of her choosing (which will go to a needy child), and the clutter will stay roughly the same.<br><br>
For our close family, I DO do a gift registry, just because they're always asking what they should get her, what does she want (she's 9.5 mos old, so I'm not thinking she's making a Xmas list quite yet), what size is she in, etc. etc. And, this way, they can order right off the registry, and there's no overlap of grammy and aunt Heidi buying the same gift.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
adopt an animal instead of giving a gift!<br><br>
Defenders of Wildlife (<a href="http://www.defenders.org" target="_blank">www.defenders.org</a>)<br><a href="https://secure2.convio.net/dow/site/Ecommerce?store_id=3701&VIEW_HOMEPAGE=true&FOLDER=0&TYPE=&NAME=&s_src=WHY07WDADOPT&s_subsrc=WHY07WDADOPT_web&JServSessionIdr007=albe2zecp3.app1b" target="_blank">https://secure2.convio.net/dow/site/...be2zecp3.app1b</a><br><br>
they send adoption papers too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 
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