with Amy Urquhart
I’m Amy and I’ve spent the last three years trying to strike that perfect balance between being a wife, mom and professional career woman. I’ve decided that I’ll never perfect the art of “having it all”, but this blog is a chronicle of my attempts to continue to do so. I’m a blogger (my personal blog about Canadian home life is Hearts into Home), gardener, college instructor, wife to Graham and mom to Nate. If you’re also a working mom who finds there just aren’t enough hours in the day, I hope you’ll enjoy this column!
Read her blog at Hearts into Home.
The birthday party cycle is starting up again, and my social-butterfly children are raring to go to each and every celebration to which they are invited. Their birthdays are in the fall, and one thing that struck me after their parties were over was that I had been slacking in the gift department. So now, I’m a little nervous. And, frankly, so is my budget.
When did kids’ gifts get so expensive?
Remember in the “Little House on the Prairie” books, when Laura is pleased as can be with her new hair ribbon, or that curly-haired rag doll? Yeah, times have changed.
I know people who routinely spend $30 or more on presents for other people’s kids’ parties. I can’t do that — I get dizzy just doing the math. So, to minimize the expense, I shop sales and keep an eye out for great gifts that are gender neutral (is Sam a girl or a boy? How about Dylan?). But then, another problem: The same kids are all going to the same parties. So I can’t buy, say, a dozen of the same great gift and dole them out over the course of a few fetes. Because kids, you know, they talk and compare.
My favorite place to shop for kids gifts is my local craft store. You can put together a great jewelry-making kit for less than $10 and customize it for the birthday girl. They also carry some great craft kits — origami, homemade bouncy balls, stained-glass or colored sand art — that are perfect for gift giving and for rainy day activities. Art cases, pre-filled with pens and crayons, are almost always on sale; pair it with a little eisel or some color-by-number books and you’re good to go.
What’s your go-to birthday present for kids’ birthday parties? How much is too much to spend on a gift?
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