Tuesday, June 16

Quick birthday gift

Tomorrow is my middle son's 16th birthday, so I have birthdays on the brain. As I was wrapping his presents, I was reminded of all the birthday parties my boys have attended over the years. And all the gifts I've bought. Lego sets and Nerf guns and board games and basketballs and Hot Wheels and. . . gift cards. When all else fails, gift cards. Know what I mean?

One gift, though, is always a hit, whether I give it to my own kids or let them take it to a birthday party.

When my oldest son was turning five, I needed one more present for him. But it was late and all the stores were closed and I didn't have much money to spend, anyway. Still, I wanted one more little thing for him to unwrap.

So I gave him five $1 bills, five quarters, five dimes, five nickels, and five pennies. I put them all in a little gift bag and tied it with ribbon.

He was thrilled.

Since then, on every birthday, I've given each of my boys a dollar, a quarter, a dime, a nickel, and a penny for every year he's celebrating.

Here's the loot for my son's gift bag for tomorrow. By the time the recipient is 16, it's a nice little haul. But that's the nice thing about this gift: it grows as the child grows, so it's a nice amount of money for whatever age child. For instance, for an 8-year-old, the total gift is $11.28. That's enough for an 8-year-old to buy something he or she might really like (or several things, if the lucky kid has a mom who frequents garage sales!). But it doesn't break the giver's bank.

I just keep a stash of those cello loot bags that you buy at Dollar Tree, pop in some colored tissue paper, pour in the cash, and tie it all up with a ribbon.

Presto! A gift that always fits and never needs to be returned.


  1. Hi, Richella, I have to tell you it's been years since I had bologna. We grew up on it, but it's not around our house now. Just me & hubby, so no kids to feed.

    And I have to have my wheat bread, I just can't stand white bread anymore. My parents switched us over when we were young & I love that wheat flavor. I know some would argue on white bread with tomatoe sandwiches, but I can only go for the wheat myself.

  2. What a wonderful idea!
    I love it!
    I am sure it is the gift that your son looks forward to!
    I had an uncle who would frame our baby pictures with a penny, a nickle, a dime, a quarter, a one and two dollar bill taped behind the frame from the year we were born
    I have my series from 1974
    It is too cool!

  3. My MIL has a similar tradition. She gives the birthday boy or girl a dollar bill for each year.

    I think your idea is a nice one for family and friends because it gives them something to unwrap.

  4. What a sweet idea...reminds me of the time my Mom...bought me a James Dean poster (love the man) taped a 20.oo bill to his pocket like it ws inside. I thought that was sooo cool...first time over here....you have a lovely blog. cherry

  5. Neat! As I was growing up, my grandmother would always give me a dollar for each year I'd been alive. I always loved that. :) I like the idea of adding the change. Who doesn't have change lying around? I may have to steal this idea for the next kid's party we're invited to!

  6. Maybe I should invite you to my next birthday party! That would be quite a gift!! :)

  7. Oh!! Really, it is fabulous idea... I would like to receive this kind of birthday gift :)

  8. What a FABULOUS idea!! I love this and think I'll start using this for my sons third birthday on up!!


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