Organising your life and birthday parties are not two of the phrases that I most associate with achieving nirvana, but actually, I think they could play a role in attaining it. So this blog post is on how I help myself and my family, when faced with two, possibly three birthday parties a weekend for either / both of the boys to attend.
We have a birthday box. It has a range of things in it – when I see pretty, girly socks on sale at John Lewis in the “random left over stuff box” I buy them. When we see gender neutral things – crafting, painting and colouring sets, I buy them. When I see a cool jumper in the gap with 70% off, I buy them for the boys and then a third to add into – yep, you guessed it, the birthday box. And when lego is on 3 for 2 in Argos, that’s a good buy as well….
I used to buy birthday cards for £1 each from Phoenix or Asda, but now I’ve found somewhere – near a client’s in Banbury, where I can buy 7, yes, 7 cards for £1 or £2 – I’m not sure, but it’s a lot better than £1 each! So they go in as well – girly ones, boy themed ones and gender neutral ones. I would prefer to buy everything gender neutral to be honest, but E and W pick the gendered ones, so that’s what I roll with.
We have a roll of tape, in the birthday box as well. The only thing I’ve not nailed is the blooming wrapping paper – I need something that’s gender neutral, cheap and colourful!!! When I see it, I’m going to buy plenty of it.
Part of me feels a bit guilty that we don’t go out and buy a present specifically for each child, but I don’t know most of them very well at all, so something that’s from the box is ok. Where we know the mum and dad, we ask “do they like lego or crafting” and go down that route from the box.
How do you keep up with the birthday party cycle? Do you have a birthday present box? Where do you buy presents from? What do you think of buying presents in advance? It it ok or not?
*Photo courtesy of Will Clayton on flickr :)