Absolutely, $10.00 is enough. There is no such thing as too cheap if it is what you can afford. And, if you cannot afford $10.00 for a gift; Make the child a batch of homemade cookies or homemade candy or homemade Rice Krispies, or print fun things to do off of the Internet, such as how to play 10 different card games and include a new pack of playing cards. Make a gift in a jar that simple enough for a child to make, include directions for the child to make the gift with the help of their Mom, Dad or big brother or big sister; part of the gift is the joy they will have in creating the end result of the gift in the jar and the cooking experience itself. Make a homemade card or let your child make it, it will probably not be looked at again ever after the party is over. Make your own wrapping paper too if you wish; a Stamp It Up consultant can show you how to do this. The party is to to celebrate the child's birthday, not to see how much people will spend on a gift for the child. The fact that you took time from your busy schedule and took your child to the party is gift enough already, so there is no shame in giving an inexpensive gift.
I suggest that you gift shop all year round; buy puzzles, playdough, books (even books from Half Price Book Stores), or any age appropriate gifts that fall within your child(ren's) and their friends ages. Just yesterday I went to the going out of business sale of a Teacher's Supply Store in Grand Prairie on Polo Road 75052 and purchased a box of 60 wooded blocks from Melissa and Doug for only $12.50! The sale ends there on the last day of this month. You can find wonderful bargains at Tuesday Morning stores, they are located all over the metroplex and have quality, name brand toys, books, puzzles at amazing discounts. Watch for sales at local stores, after a holiday you will find stuffed bears, stuffed bunnies, etc. on sale at about 75% of the original price at grocery stores, but don't forget the Internet, often you will find bargains online with free shipping. And if someone looks down on you, boy do they have issues in my opinion, and someone didn't bring them up right.
As your child(ren) get older they should be learning the value of a dollar; if they receive an allowance, teach them that they will need to contribute their money to the gift, it will help them learn that nothing in life is free. Your child should be taught to always be appreciative that they received any gift whatsoever, even if they already have that toy or receive two or three at the same party, they MUST be grateful and say Thank You to their friend that came and brought them a gift. Which reminds me, get a gift receipt if available so that gifts can be exchanged in that event. This is all just so rediculous to me that anyone would "worry" about how much they MUST spend on a GIFT for someone. Most children these days have entirely too much to play with and don't appreciate the toy and aren't taught to be grateful; they aren't even taught to take care of the toys and books, etc.
There is NOTHING wrong with having a birthday party for your child and only inviting family members, and having the party at your home, making the cake yourself, making some pizzas, enjoying time spent together and playing with the child making memories.
Did you all grow up having your own birthday parties at an expensive "party" place, with all the "fixin's"? I didn't, my husband and our children didn't? We are all just fine and don't feel that we missed out. Do you feel that you missed out on something? We are sending the wrong messages to our children if we are going into debt to give them a party that is about the party itself and not about them and the celebration that they have been with us for another year. It is sending the wrong message to your child about having to spend a certain about on their friend to make everyone look good and impress someone too.
My oldest daughter has four children and three will be in school next year; she is PTA President for the second year and was PTA Vice-President for two years prior; she attends church and her kids get invitations for church kids, all of the school kids in her children's classes and invitations from family members; are you kidding, they cannot spend $10.00 for a gift for everyone of these parties....and, if all four of her children attend, they still only purchase one gift from them for the birthday child!
My second daughter has 3 children and one on the way, only one of hers is in school but the same information applies as above. And her children are in Daycare and get invitations from children there!
Best Wishes, P.
A little about me:
I am a 53 year old mother of two adult girls and seven grandchildren with another one on the way. Wife of a Baptist Minister, celebrating 36 years of marriage to him in July of this year.