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Mom Asks First Birthday Guests to Bring $5 for Remodel Instead of Gift

As kid’s birthday parties grow more extravagant, one mom is making the case for a new approach. From a 9am start time to $5 for a backyard remodel in lieu of gifts, see all the hot takes.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published April 30, 2024
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Image: Vitalii Stock | Shutterstock

These days, there’s quite the debate over how to celebrate. On TikTok, you can find hundreds of takes from parents talking about why they’ll be going over the top for their little one’s birthday party to those who are completely opting out in pursuit of quieter, and more affordable family affairs.

Most recently, Houston mom Rachel Gibbs @rachonlife, went viral for her opinions on how she’d be celebrating her daughter Hazel Paige’s birthday. As her second little one to hit the big milestone, Gibbs had some clear opinions on what she would and wouldn’t be doing this year.

“Number one is it 9am. It’s only an hour and a half long. I literally put 9-11am on the invitation. I want you all to know I don’t want you at my house all day. I’m giving you a set time. I do not expect you to sacrifice your entire Saturday for a child’s birthday party,” Gibbs begins the now viral video saying. “Please leave my house. My child needs to nap. I don’t know anybody who’s coming to a one-year-old birthday party who isn’t already up at 9am or they can suck it up for one day because it’s over at 11am.”

Gibbs also noted that since the party will be starting at 9am there wouldn’t be a big meal, only snacks and juices, no cake or alcohol. Another thing she won’t be doing—games. “This is gonna be a very 90s vibe birthday party, where I have like a ball pit out and maybe some toys and the trampoline up outside, and that’ll be that,” she notes. “I’m not spending money on this. I’m just not. It’s not going to be expensive,” she added.

Perhaps most controversially, though, was the mom-of-two’s assertion that there would be no gifts at her daughter’s first birthday. Instead of gifts, which Gibbs assured viewers her daughter had plenty of and wouldn’t remember, she asked for guests to bring $5 for the family’s backyard remodel instead.

In the comments, parents had plenty of opinions, from those in favor of Rachel’s unique rules to those who weren’t big fans. “Just cancel the ‘party’ and celebrate as a family,” wrote one viewer. “Okay not wanting people to bring toys is okay at the first birthday I usually ask for them to bring necessities like diapers, wipes, maybe soap, lotions etc or even bigger clothes,” added one mom. “It’s for a safe space for her daughter to play outside… spend the money on something that will last forever vs material things that will go to Goodwill in a couple months,” another user said.

Despite all of the debate, at the end of the day, Gibbs threw her daughter’s first birthday celebration exactly how she wanted. The party started early and was filled with loved ones and friends who brought balloons and ball pits and even a few who took her up on her $5 request. One attendee even added some flair to the ask with a Daily Prophet printed paper with the $5 attached reading, “$5 reward granted to the Gibbs Family for the safe keeping of Hazel Paige for one year.”

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However you choose to celebrate your little one’s birthday, the important thing is that it’s true to you, your little one and your family’s needs. Looking for some inspiration for your little one’s big day? Check out these first birthday outfit ideas and these go-to gifts.

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