“I’m getting Will a PC for his birthday. Who wants to go in on it?”
Ah yes…the group gift. I’m all in favor of it, as it offers many advantages:
- More people usually means greater purchasing power
- Great way to afford a gift that would otherwise be unattainable
- Helpful when some of the givers have no idea what to get
- Saves time for those contributing—no shopping, no wrapping
The key to a successful group gift is for the “gift coordinator” to appropriately recognize the people who contributed to the gift. Otherwise, people may feel their contributions weren’t noticed or perhaps they shouldn’t have bothered chipping in. The acknowledgment can be as simple as having people individually sign a card, or even for the “gift coordinator” to sign on their behalf. There are also really creative ways to do this, such as including pictures of the contributors in the card.
In the example above, my sister sent the text to various family members to help defray the costs of an oversized gift for my nephew. I happily contributed to the group gift…but I also wanted a gesture that would help him feel extra special. My criteria for the gift were pretty simple: something fun, something inexpensive and something small enough to fit into the mailing box I had on hand.
I ended up making a giant brownie (a far better traveler than a birthday cake), included some balloons and party plates, and added a popular toy (stacking cups). My kids added some homemade cards and it was off to the post office.
The only thing better than a birthday brownie? A frosted birthday brownie with M&Ms!!
Combining efforts for a gift can certainly work well. But if you want to sweeten the experience a little more, a small token can have a big impact.
My handsome nephew who is now in double digits!