Birthday Registry, beneficial or detrimental?
Once upon a time my son came home with a birthday party invitation. Like all young children would be, he was ecstatic about the upcoming event.
I, however, started to dread the upcoming gift search we would soon be embarking on.
I decided to make life easier and get gift ideas straight from the horse’s mother’s mouth. I sent a happy little text to my friend asking what her child might enjoy getting for his birthday.
As most mom’s do, she replied with, “anything”.
I took the ideas to Little Man, because
I hate myself and want to make life harder I think it is important for kids to give gifts with their own thought behind them. I rattled off ideas to him and asked what he thought would be best. Naturally, Little Man, in his incredibly helpful nature, told me all the things he would like to get for his birthday.
So that left me as lost as I had been when I started, but since Amazon Prime is only free for two day shipping and not overnight, and heaven forbid I would have to leave my house, I had exactly 13 minutes to make a decision. So I quickly picked out a “Skylanders” board game and called it good.
The time I took to figure out this gift could probably have been put to better use. Perhaps I could have solved world hunger, or caught up on my ever growing backlog of DVR shows. Sadly, for hungry people and TV stars everywhere, I used that time to pick a kids present, only to be panic ridden at the last minute over shipping times and end up buying the first do-able gift I saw. A gift this kid may or may not like, that may or may not ever even get played with. So much for those few hours of time spent not solving real problems.
The next morning I was listening to the radio, and ironically the topic of children’s birthday registries came up. As Little Bean screamed at me to release him from the prison of his car seat, I turned up the radio and listened to the hosts discuss the topic.
Good thing my neighbors know me well enough to not be concerned that I was parked in my driveway with my child screaming and radio playing rather loudly. I didn’t need the cops to interrupt this life changing debate.
At first listen, I thought the idea of a registry for children’s birthdays was an amazing idea, truly brilliant! I was going to spend money any ways to get a present, why wouldn’t I want to spend it on something he would enjoy and would actually play with?! It took the guesswork out of the equation completely!
Then, much to my dismay, one of the hosts brought up a few interesting points.
He said that when he got a gift as a kid (probably the same time I was a kid) he was grateful for what he got and if he didn’t like it he didn’t play with it. There was no need for a registry or “wish-list”.
Fast forward to now-a-days (man I’m old) everyone is so worried about pleasing kids that kids no longer know how to deal with disappointment and deal with it gracefully. He said we are creating little materialistic high maintenance monsters (paraphrasing here) by giving them a registry gun and letting them have at it.
Also what about the parents that go at the last second to pick the gift and all of the affordable gifts on the registry are gone and they can’t afford the more expensive ones, or what if the only gifts on the registry are out of someone’s budget?
I could not have agreed more and felt myself nodding along like a dashboard bobble-head.
I know that Little Man had just asked me a few days prior for a Wii U and a Nintendo 3DS for his birthday – not entirely sure where he got the idea that it’s reasonable to not only want one but both of these as birthday gifts – would these items go on his registry since I was obviously not giving into that lifelong dream of his?
I do know, that he would go registry gun crazy all over a place like Toy’s-R-Us. Would people be bewildered by the child I have raised? Or would they would know that we don’t buy him everything he wants and so he asks for ridiculous things hoping by off chance someone (a.k.a grandparents) will buy him whatever he puts on his registry?
Now, the registry seemed like a complete epic fail of an idea to me.
Then the third host sounded off on the fact that if the gifts on the registry were too much you could always spring for a gift card to the store they registered at.
Now this chick was speaking my language – I know that someone truly loves me when they take the time and thought to get me a gift card. Seriously, no sarcasm at all in that statement. Who needs to register when you can get a gift card? I love getting that beautiful piece of plastic that screams “get what you want” instead of yet another toaster or baby wipe warmer.
At this point in the broadcast I was all sorts of mixed up. I had many competing thoughts and ideas on birthday registry.
Is birthday gift registry a good idea? Are registries the way of the future? They save the other mom’s time and spare them stress. Or are they Satan’s idea for ruining our children? Does it keep them from learning to be disappointed and/or gracious about getting any gift in the first place?
Perhaps I’m just worrying about the registry issue all too much. I tend to over think
somethings everything, so maybe this is just one of those things I’m over thinking.
Maybe I shouldn’t be pondering so much about kid gift registries coming to a birthday party near me, maybe I should go solve world hunger, or catch up on that DVR…
What are your thoughts on the issue? Are kid (not new baby) registries a good idea or are they sending the wrong message to kids?