It has to be said that there is a certain amount of competitive parenting that goes around these parts and never does it rear it's ugly head as much as around party season!
My dilemma today comes in the form of a friends daughter's birthday. The said girl is turning 8. She is one of the last birthday's in DinoBoy's class - which means by this point I have totally and utterly exhausted the ideas pile in my brain. The situation is not at all helped by the closing down of our beloved Woolies.
Not a place on my general shopping radar - but for birthday toys it was all our little town had - and now that is gone we are left with a smackering of adult designer wear stores, a couple of kitchen shops and not much else.
To add to my problem - the party is today. Straight from school and I haven't so much as left the house, which is limiting my options even further.
Is it OK to do money in a card - or is that a weak willed - I can't be bothered to shop for you statement? I know that DinoBoy would choose cash any day of the week. So that he can buy more complete rubbish of his choice. Which to be honest does seem a bit more appealing than getting a whole load of rubbish that you don't want.
Case in point - on Sunday he bought a Victorian shell from a Giant Tortoise at the car boot sale (?). This now sits next to his Victorian stuffed Owl.......
ModelGirl on the other hand, would be happy with anything that involved her making stuff - but I know that not all parents (including me to be fair) like messy stuff that they have to clean up.
Then, if you do go down the money route - how much do you give? Is £5 OK or should it be £10? I know without the aid of a Woolies that you certainly couldn't buy a half decent present for under £10 around here.
I welcome your feelings and feedback on this. I am going to try and put together a quality kids gift feature with £10 as my budget. Obviously todays party problem still remains but lets see if we can't help some of you out in the future.