My daughter and her friends are doing something I think is absolutely awesome. Their little kid birthday party invitations say "Just come and join the fun - no presents please. Micah will be getting plenty of new things from his family."
When she first told me this I thought - yeah, right! Figured people would show up with presents anyway, but ... mostly not. Between parents and grandparents there were enough gifts to be fun at my grandson's recent three-year-old birthday party, but the emphasis was on playing at the park they used, feeding the ducks on the lake, tossing the frisbies she had for favors... just running around and having fun.
Instead of spending big bucks she rented the pavilion - $25. Bought the frisbies - $1 each for 20 or so. Had fruit (I provided that) a donut cake - wait for the picture - it was SOOO cute - and little pigs in a blanket. Juice boxes and water bottles in a cooler. Baggies of bread for each child to feed the ducks. A few ballons and some plastic tablecloths and they were done.
I hope this trend continues. I remember sacking up some of my kids' toys to bring out later in the year. It was just too much stuff!
had to add this of my two grandboys - cousins - walking back from the ducks