Less is More - bday parties with no gifts

 A few years ago, my beautiful and brilliant friend Kimberly introduced me to a novel idea for birthday parties.  She invited Betsy to a party for her son and requested that we not bring a gift for the birthday boy but instead to bring a book or game for an acquaintance of their family that was hospitalized.  Her idea must have caught on because we have since received a few more similar invitations for birthday celebrations.  One girl asked her guests to bring whatever amount of money they desired to put towards a donation for the earthquake victims in Haiti.  Other birthday honorees gave books for the library or items for Samaritan's Purse shoebox gifts or a church building program.  My son liked the concept so much that,in lieu of birthday gifts, he  collected money to buy a cow for a family in Africa through Compassion International. 

So, this year as you gear up to celebrate your child's special day, give them the opportunity to follow the example of Christ.  Give to others.

Bonus - less clutter in your home! :)