So Many Parties!

Updated on November 14, 2007
J.H. asks from Arlington Heights, IL
7 answers

Hi Moms,

My first grade daughter received her 4th party invitation this month. My 4 year old daughter has already had 3 invitations. (My 5 year old son has only had 1 and is quite bummed.) Hopefully my 2 year old won't get any.

How many parties should I let her go to? How can I select decent gifts without breaking the bank or coming off as a cheapskate?


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So What Happened?

Thank you Ladies! You had so many good ideas and I realize I've been spending way too much on the gifts. I don't have a problem saying "no", I'm just looking for a logical basis for making the call. I have since found out that my daughter's class does have an exceptional amount of fall birthdays. Thanks again!

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

I think that as long as you aren't doing anything else, let your children go to the birthday parties. It is fun for them and the birthday child. As far as gifts, I try to spend around $10, and I stock up whenever I see things on clearance or on a good sale. I keep the gifts in a closet and let my son picked what he thinks the birthday child would like. Kohls has great clearances, and sales. I usually get gifts when they have 50% off plus an additional off(I usually wait for 30%) if you use the Kohl's credit card. I am not sure if $10 is too much or not, I was wondering recently if we are overspending. I try to think about how much the birthday child is paying per kid and spend that much. I know there arne't many places to have parties around here, so I know most of the prices from looking into it myself for my son's birthday. It is typically $10 per child invited.



answers from New York on

Hi J.,

I second the mom who suggested art supplies for a gift. You can get crayons/paints/markers/paper pretty much anywhere really cheap, and I find that kids and parents alike appreciate it when someone re-stocks their art stuff. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,

Not sure what to tell you about how many party's to allow your children to go to but gifts I can help with. Oriental Trading company! I just went through their holiday catalog and I'm spending about $100 but will cover 6 daycare/babysitters, 12 kids and a few extras for those unexpected gifts. They aren't anything big, just cute little gift bags filled with votive candle holders, candy and an ornament for the adults and then another cute bag for the kids filled with little toys and candy's. A good idea too with Oriental trading co is to find a friend/neighbor to go in with you and split some of the quantities. For instance, they have these ziplock bags that have holiday themes and you can buy 150 of them for a little over $7. I don't need 150 so I split that $7 and the bags with a friend. Did that with a couple other items. It's a low cost way to give a small gift to multiple recipients.



answers from Indianapolis on

My kids go to 1-3 birthday parties a month. I let them go because they have alot of fun plus it does mean alot to the birthday child. It's only a couple of hours and it's not that expensive. There are also 'dry spells'. One month may be 3 parties but then no parties for 3 months.

Unless the child is a close family friend, or my child's best friend, I don't pay more than $5 for a gift. We have a 'gift closet' in the basement and I buy toys and children's books all year long. My kids then 'shop' in the closet for a gift to give to their friends. You can buy quite alot for under $5 -- small lego sets, matchbox car sets, action figures, polly pockets, little petshop, board games, tons of books are only $1-$2 each, 100 piece puzzles, etc. The key is to shop wisely. I hit the stores 1-3 days after Christmas where I find half the toy section on clearance for 50%-85% off. Most stores have a small clearance seaction year-round with toys in it, but sometimes they are 'hidden' and harder to find -- not near the toy section.

Another good place to shop is Big Lots. It's the best store around for anyone on a budget. The products are the name brand things you find in a normal store, but a fraction of the price. It's just that some stores sell off their things to Big Lots instead of having a clearance section in their store. A few months ago I picked up a $30 Little People set for only $8 -- that's a Christmas gift for my 2nd youngest.



answers from Chicago on

I am always looking in the clearance section at Target, when I find something I think that my own kid would like I buy it and stash it in a spare closet.



answers from Chicago on

Do you expect that pace to keep up? My son's party invitations cluster at the end of summer and in the fall, because that's when his friends' birthdays happen to be. Jan - May, I don't think he got one invitation last year.

If it's the sort of thing where the kids all invite all the kids in the class at that school, you may have to have to start declining some.

For gifts for that age group, I really don't have a problem finding enjoyable things for 10-15. For example, one of the 4 year olds for the 2 parties we have tomorrow likes puzzles, so he is getting a $9.99 Ravensberg puzzle. Why spend more if that's what he wants? He'll have 15 or 20 other gifts, so he won't lack for anything. At an art supply store, I recently got a pack of crayola oil pastel crayons and a package of black construction paper for my own house for some crafts we were doing. My kids LOVED drawing with the bright colors on the black paper, and the total cost was about $10.



answers from Chicago on

Sometimes you just have to say no!

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