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Mom’s Gift Alternative For Children’s Birthday Parties Sparks Controversy on Instagram

When my kids were young, it seemed like one of their friends or cousins had a birthday party nearly every weekend. Of course I wanted my kiddos to be able to celebrate their friends, but sometimes finding the right gift was a real chore, especially if it was a school friend I didn’t know well yet. I always tried to contact the parent to get gift ideas, but sometimes it was exhausting, not to mention expensive, to find the right gift for each child.

Mom Proposes Alternative to Buying Kids Birthday Gifts

One mom in the United Kingdom says she as the solution to all that, but not everyone agrees with her. It’s hard to believe, but her choice of gift for all the children’s birthday parties she attends is stirring up an internet comment storm.

The mom in question, 39-year-old Sarah Clarke shared her kids’ birthday gift strategy in an Instagram video. She starts out by saying, “When we get invited to a kid’s party, I don’t buy the kid a present.”

Insert record scratch. Say what? Well it’s turns out that phrase leaves out some details. The truth is, she doesn’t buy them a traditional kiddie present. What Clarke does, she shared, is give each child whose party they attend a gift certificate to a local cafe in their village. This saves “on the mental load,” she says.

I will admit, there have been many times in my life where I would take any shortcut possible to help with my own mental load. So, I get it. I’m not sure I’d go that route myself, though.

Clarke says that she gets the same thing for every child, boy or girl, regardless of age. The intent, she says, is that the child can go on a cafe date with a parent. And I think that’s nice! I also think that most kids have waaaaay too much stuff and many of their parents might be relieved to not have another toy to add to the pile come party day.

But I waffle on this—because even as an adult, I love my birthday. I always have. And in my family, we never wanted for anything, but we didn’t get toys and gifts all year round or anything. So birthdays were especially exciting, seeing what special gift we might get. So as a kid (right or wrong), I can see myself being disappointed with a cafe gift card. (As a matter of fact I once got in huge trouble for crying about getting a few pairs of socks for my 8th birthday.)

I also think there’s something really thoughtful and loving about picking out a gift for the birthday boy or girl, but I realize with the number of parties one’s child may be invited to, this isn’t always possible. If they just met this kid this school year or you don’t know the family well, it can be a real challenge to get “the perfect thing.” And again, if everyone else is bringing toys…one gift card in the pile might be welcome.

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapsonhttp://www.foreverymom.com
Jenny Rapson is a wife and mom of three from Ohio and the editor of For Every Mom. You can also find her alternately griping and gushing about her kids at her own blog, Mommin' It Up. You can email her at jrapson@outreach.com, or follow her on Twitter.

Jill Duggar Dillard Suffers Pregnancy Loss, Announces Stillbirth of First Daughter

Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband Derrick Dillard are grieving this week after suffering a heartbreaking pregnancy loss. The couple announced Saturday the stillbirth of their daughter, Isla Marie Dillard.

Stranger Takes Photo of Family at Disney—Then He Promises He’s Not “Creepy” & Makes 1 Heartbreaking Request

"Several minutes later the same man who had just taken our picture walked up to us, in tears, and asked if we had a moment. He promised he wasn't creepy and introduced himself as Scott and his wife as Sally."

Beyond ‘Sorry for Your Loss’: 14 Meaningful Ways to Express Condolences

Explore heartfelt and unique ways to say 'sorry for your loss' with our guide. Learn how to offer condolences that truly resonate, including personalized expressions of sympathy and thoughtful gestures to support those grieving.