It seems to be birthday party season around here. Or maybe it's just because Aaron is in school, and so our pool of potential birthday invites has increased.
Either way, I thought this would be a good opportunity to give everyone this fair warning: We give books as birthday presents.
I know this is a small source of embarrassment for Aaron. He watches the gifts being opened . . . he sees the cool action figures and craft kits and dart guns and Lego sets; he hears the exclamations from the birthday kid and guests over each new gift; he joins in the fun of playing with the new toys.
And he knows there will be no such excitement over his gift.
I've debated whether or not I should change my gift-giving tradition. After all, what if the birthday kid doesn't like books? Should I succumb to the fads and whims of the day? Should I try to be the cool mom?
But every time, I give myself a resounding NO!
Reading is important. And one of the best ways to learn to love reading is to live in a home that is filled with books. I want to contribute to the home library.
I take pride in giving good books--high quality children's literature that our family has read and loved. You won't see any Sesame Street or Dora books coming from me, I promise. (Okay, I take that back. I think one time I did give a Dora book to a little friend who was madly in love with her, BUT I also gave What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? to make up for it.)
I would love it for my own children to receive books for their birthdays. In fact, I always use their birthdays as an excuse to buy a couple of our recent favorites.
I think this has been on my mind because Aaron went to a birthday party just yesterday afternoon. It was a Lego party. I was this close to going out and buying a Legos set for this little boy. But at the last minute I decided to hold my ground.
Instead, Aaron gave him the complete set of My Father's Dragon (all three books bound into one hardback) and The Escape of Marvin the Ape. (I seriously had a hard time giving up the copy of My Father's Dragon.)
When I picked up Aaron from the birthday party, all the kids were in the backyard playing with the new toys. Not surprisingly, not one of them was sitting under the tree looking at the new books.
But that's okay. Books have a way of giving long after the other toys are broken or retired.
What do you think? Are books a good birthday gift? Or do they brand you as a loser?