I just got home from Wal-Mart. I had to buy a birthday present for my daughter's friend who is about to turn 4. And now I have barely $40 to get me through the rest of the week, and I haven’t finished grocery shopping yet.
My children’s combined social calendars, namely shameless displays of parents outdoing one another birthday parties to which they’re invited, cost my family a modest vacation every year. Since I spend most days refining my best impression of a donkey on the edge, a vacation would be helpful. Rejuvenating, maybe. Depends on how hard we push our children to the brink of meltdown. But you get my point.
Having my kids attend birthday parties is a budget item in my life – one that is expensive, and annoying, and time consuming. And so, I make a call for the end of having to buy other kids birthday presents.
Below, I have drafted an email that I plan to send to any parent who invites my child to a birthday party, effective immediately. Feel free to use this email in your own social circles. I like providing useful tools like this to my friends.
Dear Parent, Thank you very much for inviting my children to your bratty child Cameron’s birthday! They would love to come and are SO excited to celebrate with him/her! How sickeningly wasteful ADORABLE that you’ve rented a petting zoo, bounce house, scary clown AND giant hamster ball!!! However, to avoid any disappointment, insult or confusion at party time, please be advised that it is a policy of this family not to bring birthday presents. So that you don’t throw me under the bus with my son’s teacher understand our rationale for this new policy, let me outline the thinking behind it.
1. Your kid doesn’t need any more toys. No kid does.
2. You really don’t want any more toys around your house anyway, especially the cheap and craptastic ones that I buy. $10-$15 doesn’t go that far.
3. You will be insulted anyway by the gift bag I re-use from my own kid’s party and the lack of tissue paper I put in it. I don’t like spending money on tissue paper to make the gift bag all poofy. You will also turn your nose up at the fact that I will write your kid’s name on the bag with a Sharpie instead of buying a ridiculously overpriced sentimental birthday card.
4. I don’t want to shop for your kid’s toy. I don’t know enough about Cameron. Remind me again, is Cameron a boy or a girl? You’d be so peeved if Cameron got a Bionicle and she was hoping for a Littlest Pet Shop playset. Besides, shopping for your kid is a waste of my precious me time.
5. My kids don’t want to shop for your kid’s toy. Why? First, shopping for your kid’s toy means my kids don’t get a toy themselves.They want a toy when they go to Target. I don’t allow them to have one. I would like to, because shopping with them makes me want to poke a sharp stick in my eye. But I can’t afford to placate them every time we shop, so it would be all Cameron’s fault if my children have meltdowns in Target and call me a mean and evil mother. I hate to put that burden on Cameron. Second, shopping for your kid’s toy is a depressing event for my kids. They are as certain to hand select a toy for your kid valued at $50 or more as I am certain that Bret Michaels looks freaking nasty without that bandana and cowboy hat. Actually, he looks nasty anyway. Well, we don’t spend $50 on birthday party toys and so again, it would be Cameron’s fault that my children feel bereft and poor. I can’t do that to your child. I’m a giver that way.
In lieu of gifts, my children will be making donations to my blog design fund a very worthy local charity. I am confident that you think, I’m a heartless bitch support, and understand our choice in this matter. The kids look forward to seeing you at the party. It’s a drop-off, right? Because I can’t stay.
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