I know that any kids we have won't be in want of anything. They will have many hand-me downs from their cousins who are already swimming in excesses of 'stuff'. They will have at least one set of grandparents who will spoil them with gifts all year round. I'm sure of this, which brings me to an idea I read about in another community.
No-gift birthday parties. Sure gifts are great but a party with all your friends running around and being crazy kids is pretty great too. And I'm sure that the parents will be relieved about not having to buy gifts for the classmates of their children. Obviously, family would still give gifts (like I could stop them!)
There are many options that can go hand-in-hand with this:
no gifts at all
gifts will be donated to a local charity (children's hospital, foster center etc)
specify a type of gift (ex: please bring things we can bring to the animal shelter)
organise party activities that revolve around giving and being good citizens (ex. get older kids invovled in making food for a homeless shelter)
Do you folks have any ideas on ways to get a birthday away from being excessively materialistic and more about having fun, sharing positive experiences and growing good humans?