Birthdays are great, especially for kids because they CAN’T WAIT to be OLDER! For some reason that part of the thrill fades a bit in time. There are some other side-effects of kid birthdays 1) The presents that are brought in add to the overall clutter of toys in your house 2) The amount of birthdays you may go to and buy presents for, especially if you have more than one child, can add up to significant bucks!
Leave it to a 7 year old to come up with an excellent solution. For his 8th birthday he asked that his guests not bring presents, but make an anonymous donation to an environmental group that was buying rainforest land to preserve it and the endangered species within it. They raised a few hundred dollars! They also asked me to come and perform my Animal Party show at the party so kids could learn about animals in the jungle, do a jungle Limbo and dance around like all kinds of creatures. They also provided a fun craft to do by making animal masks that the kids took home as party favors. A great time was had by all and there wasn’t even any wrapping paper to recycle.