Friday, July 6, 2012

Aquarium

I remember being at a children's party many years ago and to this day I don't think I've ever seen so many presents gifted to one little person. At the time it made me feel slightly nauseous. The sheer excess staggered me and I left feeling quite uneasy about the scene I had just witnessed. Since becoming a Mama, I've started to understand the indulgence aspect somewhat... or at least more than I did back then. Grandparents and other relatives, friends and neighbours, all want to spoil babies and children. And it is their prerogative to do so. But excess when it comes to my children, still bothers me. For this reason, I generally set aside a portion of birthday and Christmas presents and gradually farm them out throughout the year. My way of helping the boys to appreciate each and every gift and the people who gave it to them. It's a personal opinion, one I feel strongly about.

I am also a firm believer that experiences can often be more enriching and rewarding than material possessions. So, for Felix's second birthday, we didn't buy any presents at all. And he was none the wiser. What we did do, was venture to the Sydney Aquarium, as a family, to celebrate in the loveliest of ways. A first for all of us and the excited squeals and wide-eyed wonder were not reserved just for the little ones. Scott and I had as much fun watching the boy's reactions, as they did experiencing them. And though Felix will almost certainly have no memory of his second birthday celebrations in the years to come. We most definitely will. 














13 comments:

  1. Hi Julie,
    I am in agreeance with the excess gifts that my 20 month old son receives. We are so fortunate that people love our son and wish to give him gifts to celebrate througout the year. We also gradually give his gifts out over a period of time. When his is a little older we will get him to give / select a gift that can be placed under one of the charity Xmas trees (his birthday is a month before Xmas, so it will be a timely gesture).
    I also agree that it is often the memories that are remembered long after any gifts.

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  2. It's a hard one birthday gifting. I'm with you on how much excess there is and I personally am not a huge fan of plastic mass produced presents, but most of our friends know this and think wisely about the gifts they buy for my kids.
    I also, believe you don't need to go over board, although I do think it's important to open a present on your day.....theres something special about opening a gift all of your own that been chosen just for you. Thinking about this.....you could perhaps incorporate a pressie relating to the upcoming event (like an under the sea story or bath fish toy to link the Aqarium visit) Just a thought??
    Looks liked a fun way to celebrate your birthday xx

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  3. So lovely, they look mesmorised!

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  4. Such a good idea to have a birthday experience as a family! Look how enthralled they both are!

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  5. How cute! I love the hair dos!! Its nice when the boys are little and you can decide what they wear etc! Mine are too fussy and i dont get to choose!!! I totally agree about the excess... Its certainly a tricky thing to control...
    hope you have had a great week,
    laura x

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  6. is he licking the water off his hand? 2 year olds can get away with so much :) sydney aquarium is a wonderful place. i hope the crowds were not too overwhelming for you on this special day. happy birthday to felix. xo

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  7. Gorgeous! Love that big smile! I do the same thing - Bring the gifts out gradually throughout the year. xx

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  8. One day in the future he'll probably pore over these photos and 'remember' the day! He'll see his own smiling face and the look of wonder when he gazed at the fish and know that he had a fabulous second birthday, thoughtfully organised by his loving family. I think he'll remember his huge rainbow cake for years to come as well.

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  9. What a brilliant day.
    Yep - I would happily take an experience/outing over a piece of plastic any day.
    Gorgeous photos - those priceless faces.
    :-) xxx

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  10. Such a great idea. Our kids get waayyyy to much 'stuff' too. Santa may have to remember this one x

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  11. Awesome Idea J. A nice family outing will win hands down, except maybe a water spray bottle and umbrella??
    Glad you got to spend the day together.

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  12. Happy 2nd birthday gorgeous Felix! I bet you can't believe he is 2 already?
    Yes, I am buying less and less each year for birthdays and Christmas now for the girls. I know family and friends will give them so much, I do ask for them to not go crazy. Some listen, some dont. I also ask for home made pressies, they are so special. I try to ask for less plastic, more natural toys too. I culled lots of stuff before we moved to HK, but lots more stuff has found its way into our home. How do you deal with the stuff all the time?

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  13. Greatest idea to stagger pressies throught the year. Works even better with children with birthdays mid year. I have one born in January and the excess seems even more so when only a few weeks after Christmas! Love the activity as a gift too. My Mum has started giving those kinds of gifts to her grandchildren and they all look forward to their own special time with Granny.

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