Why I’m NOT Asking for Presents for my Kids’ Birthday

Before I go any further with this I’ll give my disclaimer.  To each their own and you can go on with your bad self if you disagree.  I ain’t mad at cha!


This past year as we were preparing for my son and daughter’s 3rd and 5th birthdays, I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to do a “no gifts” party.  Let me add that we combine their birthday parties in January because my daughter is about 12 days shy of Christmas and my son is less than 6 weeks after Christmas.  So the hustle of the holidays adds to the madness.  He responded like all husbands do with the “sure honey whatever you think is best,” reply.  I for sure thought he’d come back at me telling me that I was robbing my kids of their childhood, just like when I told him I didn’t allow the kids to eat any fast food (story for another day) but he didn’t. 

I decided to talk with him further, even though I received his blessing making sure that I wasn’t the “crazy mom.”  After a good conversation weighing out our reasons why, we came to a few conclusions that left us feeling more than satisfied with our decision and some hopes for our kids as we shared with them this idea…


  1. Find the “gift” in time with a friend. 

We want our kids to foster and appreciate friendships that will last them throughout their lifetime.  Sure friends may come and go, but learning to genuinely appreciate time with someone special is a valuable lesson we want our kids to know. 


  1. Find value in giving instead of receiving.

We want our kids to value giving to others first.  Opening our home, sharing our food, laughter, smiles, and all the messy things in between.  We’d like our kids to see the invitation to our home to celebrate as a gift in itself.  That we value that persons friendship so much that we genuinely want to spend the day with them.


  1. Memories can’t be bought.

We would like our children to find value in the memory over the stuff.  Yes, I know gadgets and toys and all those “things” are nice.  They occupy the kids and teach them so many things.  BUT we can’t buy memories that can be made with friends and family.  We can’t buy the smiles and laughter while taking our friends bowling, swimming in the pool, playing a game of pickup baseball in the backyard, or just running around playing pretend until dark.  This one stuck with me the most because I can think back on my childhood birthdays and not once can I recall a special gift.  I can however recall that party where my friends showed up in frilly dresses, we had a piñata, and in the middle of April it started to blizzard like crazy.  And then another time when we went bowling, or the time we got locked in a freezer at McDonald’s for their famous birthday tour.  We want our kids to remember the memories because those gifts are priceless.


Now don’t get me wrong…we (mom & dad) bought each child a few gifts for their birthdays.  We also knew that grandparents and some friends would end up buying gifts anyways.  We truly wanted to set the tone for our kids and our birthday guests that gifts were NOT necessary or required.  Rather their gift was their time spent with us at the birthday party.

And if you’re wondering what we did for their birthday, it was a repeat of the year before because the kids had so much fun.  A giant bounce house setup in our yard with homemade food and ice cream cake to top everything off!!!







Katie is a 34 year old wife, mom, mathematics educational consultant, health and fitness coach, and LIVE INSANITY fitness instructor. Katie has been married to her husband Jon for 7 years and they have 3 children ~ Micah who is 5, Joella who is 3, and new baby Ezra Grace who is 3 months old. Katie and her family moved to Tampa, Florida in September of 2014 and LOVE the freedom the sunshine and blue skies bring to their lives. Katie has a passion for helping others whether it's in the classroom working with teachers and students, behind the screen virtually coaching others to meet their health and fitness goals, or teaching a LIVE fitness class. Katie is the crazy combination of a WAHM (work at home mom) and part-time corporate gal. Katie enjoys spending time outside with her kids, going to the beach, working out, and cooking. You can follow her on Instagram at fitmomma_isaac for motivation and foodie tips!


  1. I love this so much! My son is only 1 so we have yet to put this into play. But we did ask for no gifts at his 1st bday. It was a dog theme because our son loves dogs so we asked if you feel inclined to bring a donation for the Humane Society. The outcome was BEAUTIFUL! We were able to take our son to donate them the day after and we had a full wagon of stuff to give. Our hearts were bursting and the people that helped us create that act of kindness appreciated it just as much as we did. Your doing awesome!! Keep it up! Your kids will appreciate your decision so much one day if they don’t already! ❤️

Comments are closed.