Birthdays are a big deal in my husband’s family. Everyone calls with birthday wishes and Happy Birthday is sung before the Polish song, Sto lat. I love that they have so many traditions that make every birthday special and I would like to have some of our own traditions.
We started one for my husband’s birthday last week. At 3 years old, Jackson understands birthdays and anyone who has a 3-year-old will tell you “threenagers” have a mind of their own. I want to encourage his independence so I let him pick out his Dad’s birthday presents “all by himself” (“all by myself” is said a LOT around here).
I told him he can spend $5 on presents from himself and help Sidney spend $5 for Dad’s birthday. We went to our local Dollar Tree, where everything is $1, and I let Jackson pick out 10 items.
It was a great exercise in counting and budgeting. I gave him a $10 bill and we talked about how we could afford to buy 10 things (he’s a little young to talk about taxes, so I paid for those).
We had so much fun going around the store and hearing him exclaim “Daddy LOVES mouses” when he picked out a mouse piggy bank or “Dad LOVES turkeys” when he found a small rooster figurine. The other store shoppers had huge grins listening to him pick out special gifts. Here is what Jackson (& Sidney) picked out for their Dad’s birthday:
- mouse piggy bank
- 2 different eagle figurines
- a rooster figurine
- plush basketball
- bobble head cat
- dice collection
- pink foam hand
- rubber bands
- 2 magic towels
- assorted candy
We went over our $10 budget, so I told Jackson I would pay for a couple of things with my own money. We bought gift bags for $1 and wrapped up the dollar store “haul” to give to their Dad during his birthday dinner. Jackson couldn’t wait for him to open up his “special” birthday presents.We bought a foam board for $1 and colored a GIANT greeting card to decorate the dinner table.
I plan to make this a birthday tradition for the our and let them go on a Dollar Tree “shopping spree” for family birthdays. Jackson couldn’t have been prouder of his gifts and my husband said it was the best birthday ever. I love that it was very budget-friendly and taught my preschooler about how good it feels to give gifts from the heart.