The end of the birthday party blowout?

Filed under: Going Green, Toys, Birthdays, Extreme Childhood

My son attended a birthday party where guests were asked to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to the fire fighter's toy drive rather than a present for the birthday girl. She had plenty of toys already and liked helping those less fortunate. Halfway through the party we all traipsed down the block to the firehouse to donate the toys. I thought it was a fantastic idea.

Apparently, my son's friend was quite the trendsetter. Parents are eschewing the traditional excess of the child's birthday party, simplifying and greening the events. "We're not saying children shouldn't celebrate," said Alison Smith, whose company, ECHOage, helps parents organize less wasteful, more philanthropic parties. "It's just about making it more meaningful."

If you ask me, there's another advantage to donating gifts instead of keeping them: you avoid having to deal with toys that don't match what you think is appropriate for your kids -- the toy guns, the Barbies, and, yes, the toys that make way too much noise.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.