A tweet by Real Life Sarah (@RealLifeSarah) this morning about buying gifts last-minute had me thinking. With 3 kids we have our share of birthdays, not to mention parties they’re invited too. I’m not very good at getting out to buy gifts. In the past I would be one of those moms who would buy it on the way to the party. Thank goodness most independent toy stores offer gift wrapping as a service or else I’d be putting a bow right on the store bag.
But I think I found a solution. We have a Birthday Cupboard. During toy sales, like the big Mastermind Annual Warehouse sale that just happened, I scoop up great finds and store them away. My birthday cupboard is full of Lego sets (big and small), Hot Wheels, Barbie outfits, books, games, arts and craft supplies and more.
For my son’s most recent birthday I had a Lego set we picked up on the Lego store’s clearance table. He didn’t care that it wasn’t the latest Lego. It was Lego and that’s all that mattered. I didn’t have to stress about running out to the store to buy something plus I got a great deal on what could have been an expensive gift.
Now when my kids come home with party invites we head to the Birthday Cupboard, I pull out 2 or 3 items that might be appropriate and the kids pick. This way they feel they’re still choosing the gift for their friend (versus mom choosing it) and they know what it is when their friends open it.
We’re lucky now that our kids’ interests are pretty generic; they’re not requesting certain gifts by name. And yes, sometimes we do go out and buy a specific gift item when the time calls for it but for all those other times the birthday cupboard has been a relief.