A few weeks back we speculated about whether SA parents are ready for fiver parties – the trend taking off in the US that sees parents requesting each attendee gives $5 (a “fiver”) to the birthday girl or boy, instead of buying overly expensive gifts.
We were all for it, obviously. I mean, no more LEGO minefields created by overpriced gifts that just end up camouflaging their bedroom floor? No more pacing up the toy aisle at the last minute to find the perfect gift that also matches the amount that kid’s mom spent on your kid? And no more worrying about TakeAlot’s “same day” delivery option arriving on the same day of the party? Say no more – you had us at “no more LEGO minefields”.
Read the full article here: Are South African parents ready for fiver parties?
“A definite thumbs up for this one”
A few parents wrote in and shared their thoughts too. Many were completely on board with the concept of no more gifts, some even commented they’d already adopted the idea in their circles.
Michelle Polley wrote, “It is already happening here in South Africa.”
“The invitations go out and then the moms usually ask for ideas for presents. Then usually the answer is to please give a small amount, as the birthday child is invariably saving for something big (like Lego!). It makes it easier as to go and hunt for useless presents (or something the child already has).”
She continued and said it also prevents us from polluting the earth with even more junk that’s also just played with for one day and then discarded.
“A definite thumbs up for this one,” she says.
Sharon said “after a certain age, most kids prefer money” anyway.
Many said the concept already existed in some shape or form.
Also read: Kids can’t hand out party invitations at school? Fair? Or are we being a little too sensitive?
"No man, what happened to the excitement of opening a gift?"
But some readers were a little apprehensive. They wondered why we were taking the joy of opening presents away. And what of the parents who cannot afford to send their kid to the party with a little extra cash in hand?
Okay, we’ll give that one to you, even though $5 is actually equivalent to R75. But then what is the right amount? That’s up to you, your family and your circle of friends. But we still maintain that the concept and thought of doing away with gifts could work.
An even better idea:
Marli shared how they do (or don’t do) birthday parties in her family, and we quite liked this idea too:
“My daughter hasn’t had a party yet, we always celebrate with our family. Next year she is turning 6 and we have decided to have a ‘puppy party’ and ask kids to bring dog food instead of gifts. We will then bring the dog food to our local shelter. My daughter loves dogs and it’s good to give. Something I feel is very important for children to learn.”
Do you have any other alternatives to gift giving at birthday parties? What about alternative birthday party ideas in general?
Tell us and we could share them with our readers.