Tomorrow Braden and I are heading off to yet another birthday party for one of his classmates. Although I am grateful for the invitation (because it gives me a chance to meet the parents of Braden's friends) I am finding the gift situation to be very frustrating.

On each invitation I receive there is no mention of gift protocol, which leads me to assume that it is expected to bring a gift. There isn't a mention of a gift wish list either, because of course that would be too presumptuous.

Each time that I call the parents to RSVP I briefly ask about what their child is interested in. I don't want to make the effort of going to the store and buying something and wrapping it and hauling it there only to find out that little johnny hates Spider man and will only play with Batman. But the answer I inevitably receive is "Oh, Susie is into everything, she likes everything. It's really not a big deal, whatever you think she'll like is fine".


Now I know that the parents tell me this to relieve the pressure, but it just puts more pressure on me. I have been to these parties... people buy these kids REAL gifts..20-30 kind of gifts... not just a 8.99 transformer...

So now I am left to wander the aisles of Target trying to 'guess' what some 6 year old (whom I have never met) is going to like.

Each time this happens it frustrates me and I wonder why we don't do something purposeful with all of this. Like having each kid draw a picture or each of us bring a toy that gets donated. Why perpetuated this consumption of stuff that obviously is not important or a big deal?

OR - tell me a good idea for your kid. For heaven sakes their your kid, not mine - surely you could take a second or two and think of something that would be useful or fun ...

It just drives me crazy!

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