Wednesday, December 23, 2009

7 years old!

Our little boy is 7!

He wanted a few simple decorations at home (door streamers and balloons in his room) and lucky charms for breakfast. He got a few simple gifts (gasp - a gift he hadn't opened from last year!) and then had a free day until his party.

We held a birthday party at the church which turned out to be a real blast. We set up the blow-up slide in the fellowship hall along with food tables and then mini-stick hockey on the other side. Because of the low cost he was able to invite 17 friends although a few were unable to make it. It was 2 hours long which was perfect. Not many wanted pizza but did enjoy the legos off the cake. They also liked the cheezies and licorice set up at the side.

We decided to go a different route for gifts this year. Last year we did the book exchange which was okay although I think Matt felt a little jipped. We, and other family members still gave him gifts but he didn't really see it as getting anything from his friends. This year we went with another friends idea and had a toonie party. Each friend was to bring 2 toonies - one for Matt and one for a charity of his choice (He chose World Vision). We would then match the contributions and take him to get a toy of his choice (we knew it would be Indiana Jones Lego).

Either way, it worked out well. A few friends donated more but the amount was quite nice. Nothing too overloading - especially around Christmas. We just really don't need more toys in the house and are trying to promote the idea that celebrations are for family and friends and togetherness. It isn't all about the "things". We'll see how it goes over. And yes, we will be doing the same for Marlee in August too. We haven't had a traditional friend party for Cierra so it wouldn't be the same for her.

I sometimes struggle with this idea. Both kids go to LOTS of birthday parties over the year and they naturally bring gifts for each of the children. Sometimes it doesn't seem fair that you spend the money and then don't get the "return" when your own kids have a party. After contemplation though, having that many new gifts at one time is simply overwhelming for us. It is just too much. And as I mentioned, when we keep the cost down , we can have more friends. I don't know how long we can keep this up but I hope that the next few years will really help with this mindset. The people we have talked to have liked the idea. Whether they do it themselves will remain to be seen. For us, it helps focus on a few true wants and not a lot of extra things we don't need. At least I hope it does!

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