If your school age child has a summer time birthday, let your relatives purchase their needed school supplies such as lunch boxes, backpacks, notebooks as their gifts. Be sure to give important details as to certain favorite colors, sizes needed, favorite cartoon characters (or teen idol groups), and maybe the store or location your child has found a specific item they like and needed. So your child gets something that they like and you're not out the money for the school supplies and the gift giver has given a much appreciated gift that will be used.
Although this sounds like a great idea, I think that as a child I would feel cheated. Somehow that just don't sound like a real b-day. Sorry!
I think that is an excellent idea. My youngest son has never shown any interest in buying school supplies. He started the seventh grade this year and just drug around the school supply isles with me giving noncommited answers to what he wanted. I wanted to choke him lol.
My Grandparents used to do this with use Grandkids. My Mom would tell them what we needed (school clothes, gym shoes, etc.) & my Grandparents would buy it for us. It worked out fine. Maybe we didn't get some things we wanted, but at least my parents weren't out any money at the time. It's the thought that counts anyhow, then if you get something useful, then that's just icing on the cake.
I agree with Barbara...birthdays are too special for something that's so ordinary, and reminds a kid that the end of summer vacation is near. Nothing ruins a kid's special day like underwear at Christmas, and not getting toys for their birthday. :-(
Give them summer toys, so they can enjoy their vacation. Save the school supplies for later, when the stuff's on sale. Being thrifty is one thing, cheating your kid out of a fun birthday is another. ;-)
I agree that it's not a good idea to give school supplies and clothes for birthday gifts, unless it's something really special, like a special t-shirt or character item that the kid knows Mom and Dad can't afford to buy. My cousin, who is probably 45 yrs old now, still talks about how his siblings used to give him a hard time about getting more birthday gifts than any of them did, but the reason he got more gifts was that his parents gift-wrapped his school supplies. His brothers and sisters all got as many school clothes and supplies as he did, but they weren't wrapped up. So, he never really felt like he got a birthday gift!
This is a helpful idea IF you are buying something particularly fancy as a school supply. However, as a teacher, I would like to remind people that school supplies do not have to be all new every year. And many times you can get useable items -- binders, for example, at yard sales. My school supply list, after the first year or two, was merely a checklist to see if my sons needed anything new for the next grade and replenish things like pencils and gluesticks (which I hope are not being given as birthday presents, although some really fancy pencils might be a treat, instead of standard yellow!)
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