I would love to get your opinion on birthday boxes. If you haven’t run across these before, it’s basically letting your children register for their birthday gifts by putting what they like in a box at the toy store.

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We went to Learning Express Toys this year, and for the first time, let the girls each fill a birthday box for their upcoming party. We’ve never done that before because having children “register” for their own gifts just struck me funny.

Was it a little tacky? Would it make them too acquisitive? Those were my fears, but as the mom of party guests, I have to say … I love shopping from the birthday box. It just takes all the guess work out of gift selection.

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So I gave the girls a price they should not exceed when choosing items and they were really good about respecting that. A few times they saw something above our cut-off price and said, “Oh. That’s too expensive.” They put the item back and walked away without compliant. (So proud of my little stinkers!)

I also had the chance to veto certain options (no play tattoos, thank you very much) and steer parents toward something that might not have occurred to them (like the weather experimenting kit).

Bonus #2: I got to help my brother, who lives up north, by picking up gifts from the birthday boxes. I used the coupon I got from making the birthday boxes, so he saved on the gifts and didn’t have to pay for shipping.

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I really was proud of them, so I surprised them with a visit to Popcorn Haven. They have 250 flavors of popcorn and you get to taste up to three flavors. We each walked away with a mini bag of popcorn for lunch. Yum!

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And when the girls opened their gifts at the party (yes, we do that and here’s why) they were really excited to see some of the items they had been hoping for.

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One thing I did not do was to include the registry notification the store gives you in the invitations. If a mom asked me if we had a box at Learning Express, I said we did. Or if a mom asked for gift ideas, I’d say something like, “They both love crafting and reading. We also made birthday boxes at Learning Express, if that helps.” But I just couldn’t add a note to the invitation that “Baby A and Baby B are registered at …” That felt icky.

Weigh in below in the comments section! Are you pro or con on birthday boxes?

Party manners - to register for birthday gifts or not

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