My Son Is Turning Two but Not Getting Presents

A few years ago, when I was producing a radio show, we had a panel on the show discussing current events. A woman on the panel said they don’t do birthday presents in her home.

She didn’t like the conversations that people were having with her kids leading up to their birthdays, making the central theme receiving gifts. In fact, at the birthday party, she noticed her son was straining to see what the present would be when the guest came in the door. So she decided to have no presents and, instead, the focus would be spending time with friends and family, and their presence being the only present needed.

It made a big impression on me. So much so that, for the second year, we’re requesting no presents. We are lucky enough in our life that we are able to provide our son with toys and clothes. In addition, we try not to overload ourselves with stuff, and we’re not the only ones.

Marie Kondo took the world by storm with her reduce and live simply approach. Her book and television show inspired people to reevaluate their relationship with items, stressing sentiment over quantity.

This year, I’ve seen more and more friends sharing posts about presents that aren’t physical objects. Everything from donations to charities or college funds to experience-type gifts and plain old time spent together.

I’ve seen several articles saying that adults are doing the same. Less money is being spent on retail and more on vacations, restaurants, and other things that don’t take up room in your closet.

The person who first sparked this idea later told me that it received tremendous amounts of positive feedback. Apparently getting gifts for all of the many birthday parties they attended was a huge expense for some parents. Additionally some parents reported that their kids had a bit of anxiety when picking out a present for the birthday child. They wanted their present to be as good as everyone else’s.

For my son’s birthday, we’re having a laid-back playdate in the park with his friends in the morning with donuts and coffee and, of course, a cake. We’re hoping no one brings gifts.

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.
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