Author Katy Flynn
I never told my kids that I could not afford birthday gifts, when they were little. They did not need to know or worry about it. I just got creative.
I gave a pet rock one year, complete with a tiny cardboard house that we decorated together.
I took old dresses and shoes made dress-up out-fits, or clothes for their dolls or stuffed animals.
We went to the library and got books about birthdays and some fun videos.
I made puppet wash rags, pom-poms and silly octopus from yarn.
We baked cookies and had a tea party.
We made a scrap-book with favorite pictures from their childhood.
We planned the day all about their favorite things to do, starting with a favorite breakfast, packed a lunch and went to the park with favorite people and ended the day with their favorite dinner. Half the fun was in the planning.
My daughter told me recently that she never knew that we were struggling to get by during those times and felt very special. She has even asked that I create some of the items that I gave her back then for her own daughter, as she loved that I spent the time to make them just for her and has fond memories of these gifts and being made to feel special on her birthday.