If you are looking for the best 1st birthday gift… you have found it. The best part? It isn’t really a GIFT at all! We had a no-gift birthday party and it came with the BEST gifts…
I love this idea because we already have more toys, clothes and ‘things’ than we need. Years ago, we received the best gift for our daughter. She was turning one at the time.
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I knew that our 12-month-old was not going to remember that rattle or latest Frozen toy that she received on her birthday. This is going to mean SO MUCH MORE. I wanted something that was completely UN-materialistic. Even if you just do this with family, its really more of a treasure than a gift. (Or if you want to bring a gift- do this idea an include it with a gift)
This idea comes from my dear friend, Hillary. Years ago, when Hillary’s daughter, Hazel, turned one, she had each of us bring something unique to her birthday party: She asked for a letter for her daughter to open when she turns 16. She asked that we also include something to represent the time that we are in (a toy that is popular now, a photograph or newspaper article). I just loved this idea!
On our daughter’s first birthday, we had a little celebration with our closest friends and family. We held our own no gift birthday party and it was amazing. I also asked for a letter for our daughter to open when she turns 16. She won’t understand it now, but her Mama will… and one day she will, too. ♥
When our friends and family members arrived, I was overjoyed at the notes and pictures that our guest brought. My friend, Hillary, brought a beautiful letter and a Barbie doll. She attached a note to the Barbie doll that simply said:
“This is what Barbies look like in 2013, but I am sure that when you are 16, they will look much different. Remember, now that you are 16- one thing remains true- no girl ever really looks like her so please please please never hold yourself to that ridiculous standard!”
Our sweet Allie may not know how important those words are until she is 16 and she finds herself comparing herself to many others, like all of the women before her. She may not remember just how beautiful she is until she reads those words written by women even when she was just a beautiful baby.
It wasn’t that note (above) that tug at my heartstrings as much as this… You see, what touched me the most was what she wrote at the end of her letter:
“So, as you read this, chances are great that you will be in the midst of a push-pull relationship with your parents that will feel so real to you and so unique that you will find it hard to believe that for generations before you, this same struggle has marked nearly every parent/child relationship. But remember that your parents love you.
At the end of the day, that is all that truly matters. They love you. They want what is best for you. They want to protect you from harm and from hurt. they make their choices based on that desire. You may not always agree. They may not always be right. But they will always be your parents and they will always love you.”
What great words for a teenager to hear, at the age when they need to hear it the most. It is hard to think that one day this sweet, precious Allie Beth, who at this age won’t let go of my leg, who won’t stop holding my hand even for me to make dinner, who won’t stop asking me to sing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’… will one day think that I have anything other than the desire to help her become the strong woman that I know she will be?
But, when that time comes, she will read those words written by my friend and remember how much I love her and how all of those words of “I love you” that I speak to her have been only the truth.
As Hillary wrote in her letter to our daughter: “Being a mom means loving someone with so much force and might that the thought of that person not being there literally takes the breath right out of you.”
Ps- You can even have your guests write letters at the party. Just grab some craft supplies from the store & have them out. These thoughtful gifts will be cherished for a lifetime.
If you want ACTUAL (hand-held) presents (these would be great to give with a letter)… here are a few that you might like: (click on the picture to see the gift with my affiliate link)
These first ones are FREE…
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