Birthday season feels like an entire year and it never ends. Every month another birthday, another party, and another afternoon full of laughter and good cheer. Lucky for me, we don’t have to navigate the gift giving anymore because my friends have embraced the Fiver Birthday (not the original article – I couldn’t find it).
I instantly fell in love with the Fiver Birthday Party…
…because I hate shopping for gifts.
What is the Fiver? It’s just giving a five dollar bill. Hold the gifts. Let’s just do cash. Sounds crude, but we’re talking about the simplification of motherhood and childhood and skipping the bull shit that comes from gift giving at birthday time.
Gift giving is not my love language, and I dread every single minute of the shopping experience and gift-giving process. Not only do I hate buying gifts, I’m terrible gift wrapper and I’d rather poke my eyeballs out with a fork than watch gifts be open. Maybe, I’m just not a very gracious person? Maybe, I just don’t care. Maybe, I shouldn’t write things when my snarky.
Besides the personal inclinations to love the idea of giving simple cash for a birthday present, I also love the Fiver Birthday for a few environmental reasons. Let’s hash those out below.
4 Ways Fiver Birthday’s Help Save the Environment
- Less Stuff = Less Waste.
- Blunt Bailey here for you to tell you most of the gifts kids get on their birthday will one day land in a landfill waiting to decompose in many hundreds of years. Sure, you can love it forever, and pass it down and around, but most things other mainstream mamas will buy will one day be broken garbage. #truestory
- Minimalism is good for the environment if you use it to make conscious decisions to buy less, buy ethically, and to reduce your consumption of things.
- Less stuff is good for your playroom.
- Less stuff = less stuff to pick up off the floor every day – or to step on.
- No Wrapping Paper = Less Waste.
- Fiver’s ask for one thing – a birthday card with a five dollar bill inside. You could also just hand the mom five bucks and say “this is for John’s education fund or new helmet” I’ve had that happen.
- Without wrapping paper to have to be produced, delivered to a store, bought by you, brought home, packaging removed, used to wrap gifts with and then later discarded, you’re doing the Earth a solid favour. Maybe you have some crunchy friends who wrap things in old newspapers and fabric bags, but we can’t all have perfect Pinterest worthy crunchy mom friends, can we?
- Fewer Cheap Frills.
- I’m going to assume other everyday mama’s shopping for a friends birthday have a similar budget to mine: $10 – 30. Tight budgets make it bloody hard to shopping eco-consciously. Especially in Canada, where things cost a lot of money.
- Fiver Birthday’s discourage the mindless shopping spree of cheap frill toys from the bargain bin at your major big box store. I don’t need it, you dont’ need it, and the world should just stop producing that crap. Damn kids and their love of plastic Paw Patrol and my need for Netflix to clean the kitchen without losing my ever loving mind.
- Acquire Something the Kid actually Wants.
- As much as I want to be a total Scrooge and not give my kids any gifts with the Fiver it let’s decide what to do with the money. That could mean squirrelling it away into his savings account, going in on a bigger purchase item that he needs, or picking out a toy that best aligns with my families value.
- We might pick out a favourite learning toy, or maybe we will check out Modern Rascals and pick out one piece of ethically manufactured clothing for the next year. We don’t need more toys and things, just a few well-curated items. I’m so thankful my friends have given us the space to make these decisions.
- You could even donate it or do one of those donation parties.
The Fiver Birthday is Amazing.
My environmental inclinations towards the Fiver is just the tip of the iceberg on why this is the best birthday idea ever. I have thoroughly enjoyed two birthday seasons of just spending time together as friends with friends.
I really don’t want more stuff for the kids and I could care less about them “needing the gift opening experience.” Embracing the fiver birthday party freed my soul from the depths of a dark scary hole of kids birthdays parties. I dreaded birthdays both as a gift giver and a receiver but with the Fiver Birthday party I can celebrate, rejoice, and spend time with the people I love without the pressure, guilt, anxiety, and other emotions that come from gift giving and receiving.
It sounds easy to say “NO GIFTS” but it’s not that easy.
People want to give because for some people it’s part of how they express love and caring for the people around us. The Fiver Birthday allows us to acknowledge the positive relationships with others and spoil the people we care about without the financial and emotional burden of the gift giving situation.
Now I can go to all the birthday parties because I’ll still be able to pay for groceries.
Now I can invite everyone to my kids birthday party without the anxiety people can’t afford a gift, or thinking “I don’t know them well enough to ask them to buy a gift for my child for his birthday, but I would love to spend more time together with them”.”
I can also just enjoy my journey in motherhood without the stress of taking two young children to the toy store to buy a gift. I could order things online, but that requires at least 3-4 days planning, and my mind is pretty much a jumbled fog. I solo parent most of the time, so my kids would have to join me in the hunt for the perfect birthday gift.
Now, I just rummage in my couch cushions till I find $5 in change (usually a couple loonies and twoonies) and get the kids to have a craft moment before hitting up a birthday party.
Best part, the fiver birthday gives me peace of mind as a crunchy mom who over analyzes most of what she purchases and brings into the home. It helps me stay true to my values as a conscious consumer of goods and products without being too demanding.
We typically put the money towards one big gift. Last year, we used the money to buy a bike helmet for the kid. This year, I’m tucking them into his bike fund because we want to get him onto some pedals.
Truthfully, all my kid needs is a hand drawn birthday card.
Feel free to skip the $5 gift. He loves reading his cards. We had his birthday party this weekend and he keeps bringing me the hand-drawn cards and pointing at the pictures his friends drew.