Georgie loves to talk about her birthday party. Loves it! At least six months beforehand she mentioned that maybe she'd ask that her party guests not bring her presents. Her explanation was that she has "too many toys" and that she never plays with them. Georgie actually has very few toys so that part wasn't true but she was correct that she never plays with them. Georgie is all about scissors, paper, tape, markers, crayons and glue... she can entertain herself for hours with these things. Anyway, I mentioned to her that maybe she could ask her guests to bring donations for something... she thought for a second and then said she'd like to ask them to bring things for "dogs and cats that don't have homes".
Over the next couple months, we'd talk about it occasionally. I was thinking that she'd change her mind. But no, as her birthday drew closer, she became more and more committed to the idea. Even as we were getting ready to send out the invites, I gave her another chance to change her mind. Nope. She stuck with it. Although I still worried a bit about what would happen when her guests arrived without gifts for her.
Finally, the big day arrived! Georgie's friends generously brought cat and dog food, pet toys, a kitty litter box, cat treats, old towels and throw rugs, and even kitty litter. My concern that Georgie would be unhappy with no gifts was completely unwarranted; she didn't seem to mind at all. A few friends brought small things anyway so that was kind of nice but G enjoyed opening the bags of pet supplies.
We were a little busy but finally got the time to make a visit to the local animal shelter to deliver the items a few weeks later. It was nice. We carried all the stuff in and I mentioned to the clerk there that this was a donation from Georgie and how the items were accumulated. She told us to hold on and a few minutes later the supervisor and another clerk came out and they all thanked Georgie and told her how helpful it would be to the animals to have the things we brought. Georgie had a big smile on her face and it was obvious that she felt proud of herself. Then, which was a big surprise, they brought Georgie out a stuffed animal. Jackpot! Georgie loves nothing more than stuffed animals so she was pretty much in heaven :-)
I don't know what Georgie will do about gifts next year. I kind of hope she does the donation thing again... she really doesn't need any toys and I think its good for her to learn to think outside herself a bit. But, I'd be fine if she chose differently.