By Ralphie Jacobs
My oldest daughter is turning 14 in just a few days. As we get closer to her birthday, I keep thinking how grateful I am for all the lessons we have learned together.
In honor of her special day, I’m sharing with you how to create a Birthday Party With Meaning (and no presents).
There were really two main reasons why our family stumbled on the decision to have no-present birthdays:
When we began sending out invitations for parties, with the line “no presents please”, sweet mamas would send notes back begging to bring SOMETHING! They wanted to celebrate my little girl and I completely understood. Showing up to a child’s birthday party empty handed does feel somewhat unnatural.
So we took a step back and decided to change our way thinking. What if instead of it being an all-about-me party or a what-did-I-get party we changed it into a “together we can make a difference that matters” party.
Each child would have a part to play. We would come up with a way to serve and then ask those invited to be in on the service. Here are some things that we’ve done:
Though our children have not always been super keen on the idea, I really believe that it's our job as parents to help them get over those bumps and so they end up in a place with lots of long term joy and happiness. Getting there is a process and it always will be.
After each party we have had the most wonderful experiences dropping of donations.
Those are the kinds of forever presents I want my children to have. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a beautiful life than to give back.
Would you ever change to a present free birthday party?
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