Presents or Cash

Earlier this year, I became a stepmom to two amazing boys. This weekend was the 11 year old’s birthday. The problem was, all he wanted was cash.

And last year, all he wanted was cash.

And the year before too.

When did it become this way for kids? I remember birthdays with piles of shiny wrapped presents that tantalized me all afternoon until I got to tear into them and find the gifts inside.

I’m sad that kids nowadays are used to getting a small stack or cards with gift cards and cash inside. Five colored envelopes is not the same as a stack of presents.

To be fair, the 11 year old in question is a very unique kid. He loves computers and programs his own games and websites (yep, we have a super genius in the making on our hands). And he wanted the cash to buy specific parts for a new computer he is building.

But still, the cash-present problem bothered me. I was determined to infuse some classic 11 year old joy into his birthday.  So I found a compromise!

I went out and bought 8 small gifts (each something and 11 year old boy could appreciate). Then I got cash, in $1 and $5 increments a bill or two to each toy. Then I wrapped each one separately.

You should have seen his face! He couldn’t even imagine what it all was. When he opened the first one, he was a bit perplexed at receiving a whoopie cushion, and also $5. However, after the second one, he caught on.

Here was my total list of small items:


Whoopie Cushion


Spider Toy in Goo


Smiley Puffer Toy


Glow in Dark Snake

41kwYhwaYXL._SY300_Solar Powered Dancing Bobble Monkey


Silly String


Ping Pong Gun

186430Nerf Ball

Deutsch: Einzelne Skittles und Skittles-Produk...

Sour Skittles (his fav)

(Images courtesy of either the Target or  Dollar Tree websites)

I got a lot of giggles out of him, and some subsequent fun of watching him utilize the whoopie cushion and spider goo thing to torment his brother. All in all, it was a fun way to give him the cash he wanted, and also put a bit of kid-fun back into his big day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s