500 dollars & 15 hours on Birthday gifts

This year I spent over 500 dollars and countless hours buying birthday gifts for parties my child attended and I have secretly thought: “GEEZ! Stop making friends already!”


This got me thinking about alternatives to the traditional gift-giving for birthday parties that are unique and won’t empty the bank account.

As a mom I think my daughter has way too many toys and getting 5-10 gifts at her birthday party is just too much and completely overwhelming. You see, I am a minimalist, and with a child, that can be a challenge. I want her to value experiences over stuff and the connection of giving to others within her community.



So, this year I decided to find an alternative that focuses on the birthday girl and her friends enjoying the party and not on the gifts.

We started by asking her what she would truly like if she could have one gift for her birthday and she declared: “a new bike, pink of course!”  That made me really happy because firstly, she needed one and, secondly, biking is all about experience and spending time with family.

So, we used the site ECHOage which is an online birthday party website with a charitable focus. Together we customized her invitation and chose a charity. Guests were then invited to make a contribution to her gift knowing that half of the funds raised will go to the charity selected.


After careful consideration, my daughter decided to donate to Make-A-Wish Canada, knowing that she wanted other children to have a fun day too. Going over the charities really opened a dialogue about the importance of giving and supporting others within our community.

In the end, the party was a huge success in every way. The moms loved the fact that they could simply RSVP and show up. They remarked on how much time they saved by not searching for the perfect present at the perfect price point. Everything was taken care of, their kids were excited to be part of buying a bike for their friend, and giving to others.



It was a real win for all!

Invitations/Gift/Donation/Thank You Notes: 

ECHOage  $150 for Make-A-Wish Canada &  $150 towards pink bike

Cake: Strawberry Blonde Bakery (nut free- vegan)

Entertainment: Michael The Magician

Party favors: Eva’s Bath Bomb Bakery

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