Just when I had been commenting on how few birthday parties we had been invited to this year (which I attributed to the declining economy, not our declining popularity), we received five birthday invitations for the month of June! Fortunately for the budget, the kids were able to shop for presents at "Mom's Store". "Mom's Store" was something I invented for two reasons: 1) to avoid the inevitable last minute dash to the store before a party, and 2) to eliminate the need for discussions on why we were not going to buy her "best friend" the $69.99 Polly Pocket Cruise Ship!
Here's how it works. After Christmas, or at the end of the season, I look for cool things that I know my own kids would love to have. I buy a few and put them on a shelf in my closet. When a Birthday Invitation arrives, I let the kids "shop" in my store for an item they think will best suit their friend. It's a win-win. I stay in control of the purchases and the kids are given the freedom of choice.
Anna went the extra mile and re-crafted a picture frame for her friend, Maia.
HAPPY 7TH BIRTHDAY, ALINA!
HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY, KENNEDY!