The Best Birthday Gift in the World
by Patricia B. Jensen
Kids Party Paradise
When I was a little girl, my Nana and Grandpa would often give me a "grab bag" full of goodies for my birthday present. This was nothing more than a brown paper shopping bag filled with trinkets and treasures my grandparents had collected or made for me with tender loving care.
I remember such things as toys from cereal boxes, Cracker Jack prizes, and my Nana's special homemade popcorn balls carefully wrapped in waxed paper. I always looked forward to these grab bags, partly because there were so many small surprises in the one gift, and also because it was a very personal present, put together with much thought and love.
To me, the grab bag was simply the best birthday gift in the world!
This wonderful tradition can and should be enjoyed by every little birthday boy and girl. It's easy! Just start with a brown paper bag and decorate it with materials you have on hand, such as markers, ribbons, pictures from magazines, wrapping paper shapes, you get the idea. Choose a theme that your child relates to, such as sports, animals, hobbies, and the like.
Several weeks or even months prior to the birthday, start filling the bag with goodies. The gifts don't have to be big, just thoughtful little items that show you care.
Create a little notebook in which each family member writes a page about the birthday child something special they admire about them, something they've done that makes them proud, or how they've watched them learn and grow. Make the front page a list of milestones and achievements from the past year.
Personalized coupons for special favors are great additions, too. These could include a coupon for a trip to the mall with a friend, for having take-out one night (Hey, Moms will like that one too!), a coupon excusing them from a certain chore for a day or two, or for staying up an extra half hour at bedtime. Once you get going, you'll come up with lots more.
Write them on white paper backed with colorful construction paper which you've trimmed with fancy edged scissors. Or make them on your computer with fancy graphics.
This same "grab bag" concept could be used for college graduations, a friend moving to a new town, Mother's or Father's Day; there are so many possibilities...
The key to the making this the best gift in the world is to have fun, don't spend a lot of money, and think about the recipient a lot while you're putting it together. I'm sure this is what my grandparents did whenever they put together a birthday grab bag for me.
Patricia B. Jensen is a mother of three and kids party enthusiast. She is the webmaster and owner of
http://www.kids-party-paradise.com/ - a comprehensive resource for kids party ideas and complete party plans for many popular themes, including invitations, cakes, decorations, games, costumes, favors, and food.
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