Let me be the first to say I was the all time worst at giving things instead of time. You see my son is an only child and an only grandchild; I have always felt like he was missing out because we were unable to give him a sibling. I mean I am number 6 or 7 children. Our journey to get him was so rough and scary, that is a story for another post! We did try a few years but it just wasn’t in God’s plan; he for sure knows what he is doing because I now know that my uterus is attached to my abdominal wall and another pregnancy could have been the end of me. So I tried to fill the void by getting him toys and video games and rc cars…you get the picture. Now he is by no means an ungrateful child; he is thankful for what he has and for the most part is respectful of the items (meaning he takes care of them) and knows that we work hard for everything we have and he has. He is always willing to help out and when he is at his grandmas’s she pays him for the work he does for her. He usually saves the money up so he can purchase replacement parts for his rc cars or some other item he may want.
This year he is 10…wow…my only baby is going to be 10. It just does not seem possible! All the years of struggle to get pregnant and have a successful pregnancy; just seems like yesterday we were in the hospital having an emergency c-section to get him here alive. He was around 3 weeks early but big and healthy, thank God! Now here he is getting into his preteen years
Last year I decided that the big elaborate birthday parties were just too much for us. All the planning and money and gifts, just too much! So we spent the day together as a family and went to the aquarium in Oklahoma and had dinner there. We had so much fun! I think that he really appreciated the day, just the 3 of us spending the whole time together with no distractions. He wasn’t even unhappy about not getting any gifts for his birthday! So this year we got annual passes to our local aquarium for Christmas from the grandparents. We have guest passes that we can use so we invited a few of his friends and their moms. Our local aquarium is the new Wonders of Wildlife by Johnny Morris and it is amazing! We went back in January for my birthday and loved it. 4 hours and we only go through half of it. If you are ever in the Branson/Springfield Mo area it is worth the time and money to check it out.
So if you feel overwhelmed with parties and gifts and the time/effort don’t feel bad if you decide against it. In my personal experience and seeing other families do the same the child is okay with the change so go for it! Spend the day together doing something they love and enjoy and I bet it will be the best day ever 🙂
Edit: I would like to add that he does get presents from other family members but I prefer to do a special day out as a gift from me. He is a Leap Year Day Baby, meaning he only gets his “real” birthday every 4 years, so that is when we really do a big party.