My wife and I come from different gift giving traditions, and we have fairly successfully blended them in our approach to our children’s birthdays. We share things we would like our kids to have with family and anyone who asks. For those who we invite to parties and other celebrations, we note that gifts are not needed. This results, hopefully, in less stress for families attending, and for those that cannot pass up a gifting opportunity, we are happy to receive. This strategy results in a very manageable number of gifts for our young children to process. We also haven’t opened presents at the party time. The party itself is so overwhelming that adding a whole collection of new things into the mix just doesn’t feel right at this time. I am sure that could change over time.
For her fifth birthday, my daughter got the big family gifts on her actual birthday. Surrounded by family, my daughter received her new bike and doll house. Then on Saturday, we had a party and a few of the guests brought presents. Sunday night, my daughter opened them. The choices of gifts really made me happy. Everything was great from a cooking chemistry set to Scrabble Jr. It is just another mark of finding our way into a community of friends who know us and share values with us.