Birthday Presents — Giving to other kids

July 19, 2006

After the recent present/birthday party threads, I was thinking about presents I give to other people’s kids. New baby gifts are fun and easy to buy. But what about older kids — especially after 5. It gets so much harder as kids develop very specific preferences and interests. What do you do? Gift certificate? Go to  a toy store and guess?

Instead of buying presents, I sometimes make donations in honor of a child’s birthday and even encourage family to do the same for our son. He and his friends and our friends’ kids have so much. Sometimes it seems another gift, another dinosaur just joins the pile and gets lost.
Have you ever given a donation in honor of the child? If you do, what kinds of organizations or charities do you donate to for a birthday or other special event?

I like to donate to an orphanage in Guatemala. All of the money goes directly to the orphanage to buy things like fresh fruit, clothes, school fees, supplies. The government does not give them much, if any funding. After donating money for 4 years, my son and I visited in Feb. What an amazing experience. The staff and kids were so excited that we came and they showed us all around the building. Our money really had made a difference.

As a mother, what would you think if your child received a donation-gift instead of a tangible present? Do you talk about it with your child? If your child is old enough, what does he or she think about such presents?