1st Birthday Present

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1st Birthday Present

Postby HTownCowboy » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:19 pm

Strange question perhaps, but the wife and I are having a terrible time deciding on a 1st birthday gift for our little girl. The grandparents and various other family members & friends will deluge us with clothing, toys, stuffed animals etc. so we don't really want to go that route. We want something that is memorable and lasting. In Boglehead fashion, we have already opened a 529 account for her...was thinking about adding a Coverdell if Vanguard ever starts offering those again. Not sure I'm on the right track here though.

I am hoping the combined wisdom of this board can help guide us. Any ideas for a darling little girl who probably will not remember this day at all?????
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby sscritic » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:40 pm

A sterling silver spoon.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby MN Finance » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:42 pm

We have little kids and are constantly "debating" this. I would prefer not to spend any money on things that will end up in the vast array of toy boxes or used clothes bins, but my spouse usually wants something memorable. For the first, my spouse and mother in law usually go in together on some type of engraved silver cup or plate. I think they cost around $50 and then they get pulled out for future birthdays or special occasions (or just when everything else is dirty). It's harder with the first, but we've asked close family to make 529 contributions or buy savings bonds instead of toys/clothes for the kids. Usually everyone needs/wants to buy something fun for the kids to open but then will to those accounts. My dad for example, sends something fun and then includes a check for the 529 account.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby BBL » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:46 pm

Any ideas for a darling little girl who probably will not remember this day at all?????


Biggest sheet cake you can get into your house [french doors at one entry help], one unlit candle, recording device, high chair.

Center high chair in wide open space in kitchen.
Start recording
Place sheet cake directly in front of little girl
Be very encouraging
The rest should take care of itself

Good times - recorded for posterity.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby HTownCowboy » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:07 pm

BBL....we are on the same page with you on this one! I can't wait to see her destroy the cake we give her. Luckily, it will be my wife's turn for bath night duties on that day!!

MN...I think we will do as you suggest for the 529 contributions on the birthdays following this one. My mom is looking forward to spoiling the grandchild for this first one however. I do like the idea of the keepsake...can put it in her Box of Memories.

SS...The wife and I are hoping we avoid the silver spoon syndrome. We are aiming for something between the silver spoon and a strap of leather to bite down on when times are tough. But of course I know I will spoil her...just a question of how much :)
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby livesoft » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:15 pm

I would make it a family tradition not to have birthday gifts. This is one reason why kids are inexpensive or expensive depending on which side you fall on.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Toons » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:18 pm

A professionally done photo of the 3 of you . It will last a lifetime :happy
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby bottlecap » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:36 pm

She's one. She won't appreciate anything, unless you get her a toy or a blanket she decides is her favorite. Don't overthink it. You don't even have to get her anything since everyone else will. Just enjoy the milestone.

You can get her the Coverdell, but don't bother explaining it!

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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:39 pm

One or a roll of US Silver Dollars in the current year "2013". The intention is not to spend or sell it, but to pull it out every now and then and view it's beauty - either purchase one uncirculated version or buy the proof encapuslated in plastic from the US Mint. It has a certain kind of "heft" to it when you pick it up in your hand.

Or.....do you have a videocamera? Get one and record her childhood, those memories will be priceless down the road of her and her loved ones celebrating her birthday with her.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Savvy » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:40 pm

I would simply recommend quality time with her parents.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:43 pm

livesoft wrote:I would make it a family tradition not to have birthday gifts. This is one reason why kids are inexpensive or expensive depending on which side you fall on.


I can just imagine the battles your wife had with you........... :wink:
Mrs. Livesoft: We should go to ToysRUs and pick up that $100 dollhouse, with my 50% off coupon it will only cost $50. :happy

Mr. Livesoft: :shock: Honey, I don't think that's a good idea, if we instead send that $50 to the Emerging Markets fund, we could probably quintuple our contribution in value by the time it's our daughters Sweet 16. :greedy

Mrs. Livesoft: That's nice honey, now what time are we going to ToysRUs? :D
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby livesoft » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:55 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:...
Or.....do you have a videocamera? Get one and record her childhood, those memories will be priceless down the road of her and her loved ones celebrating her birthday with her.

Better yet: Have the relatives take all the video pictures, but then get your daughter a new 65" flat-screen 240 Hz LED TV to watch the videos on. I can recommend the Samsung with voice-control, so that can also be an incentive for increasing the vocabulary of your daughter, "Hi TV! Power on!"
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby hsv_climber » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:02 pm

Take your daughter on a 2 weeks European vacation. She can still fly free and you will enjoy the trip while having all the memorable video & pictures that were discussed above.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby NoVa Lurker » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:07 pm

+1 to BBL. Cake is the best, especially if they've never experienced chocolate or cake before.

Enjoy the waning days before your daughter becomes super-active -- and, inevitably for a time, acquisitive!
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby tyrion » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:17 pm

HTownCowboy wrote:Strange question perhaps, but the wife and I are having a terrible time deciding on a 1st birthday gift for our little girl. The grandparents and various other family members & friends will deluge us with clothing, toys, stuffed animals etc. so we don't really want to go that route. We want something that is memorable and lasting. In Boglehead fashion, we have already opened a 529 account for her...was thinking about adding a Coverdell if Vanguard ever starts offering those again. Not sure I'm on the right track here though.

I am hoping the combined wisdom of this board can help guide us. Any ideas for a darling little girl who probably will not remember this day at all?????


How about a nice bottle of wine that will age gracefully over the next 20 years? Then you can open it and have a glass and a toast on her 21st birthday.

Or- a party for the parents and friends. That's what all of our 1st birthday parties were in my social circle. A chance to get together and celebrate the good things in life.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Rodc » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:58 am

A one year old has no clue and needs no presents.

When our twins were one for their birthday they took out for a early dinner at a nice little outdoor cafe in a trendy neighborhood in town to thank us for keeping them alive for an entire year. :) We all had a nice time.

Earlier in the day we visited some fun kid things to do including playing in very large wading pool with a fountain in the middle and a playground.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Jay69 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:29 am

BBL wrote:
Any ideas for a darling little girl who probably will not remember this day at all?????


Biggest sheet cake you can get into your house [french doors at one entry help], one unlit candle, recording device, high chair.

Center high chair in wide open space in kitchen.
Start recording
Place sheet cake directly in front of little girl
Be very encouraging
The rest should take care of itself

Good times - recorded for posterity.



We did this with our kids, a few years ago I converted the tapes to digital and tossed them on our HTPC. The kids who are now teens watch them often.

Somthing fun, buy a newspaper of her B-day and wrap it in some fashion for long term storage, you can then give it to her when she is older. We got the local paper the day they were born, plan on giving it to them when they hit 40, our oldest was born on a Sunday, so he will get a copy of all the store adds as well. Should be fun.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby WVUGuy275 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:33 am

HTownCowboy wrote:Any ideas for a darling little girl who probably will not remember this day at all?????


Yep, she won't remember it at all. :)

Sit down on a quiet day with a sheet or two of nice paper. Write a letter to your daughter about her first year of life, how you felt, what the process of getting to know her was like. Tell her about the moments that were most important to you in that first year. Give the letter to her when she's old enough to appreciate it - it will be beyond value to her.

Oh yeah, and a smash cake is a great idea too. Spread a cheapie plastic table cloth from the dollar store under the high-chair, and make sure the camcorder is charged!
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby HTownCowboy » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:39 pm

I wanted to thank you all for your replies and ideas. I very much like the suggestions of writing the letter to her, of buying that day's newspaper, and buying a nice bottle of wine that can age for 20 years. And the video of the smash cake should be a blast!

These are all things that will be cherished later in our lives and hers. Thanks guys!
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:54 pm

HTownCowboy wrote:I wanted to thank you all for your replies and ideas. I very much like the suggestions of writing the letter to her, of buying that day's newspaper, and buying a nice bottle of wine that can age for 20 years. And the video of the smash cake should be a blast!

These are all things that will be cherished later in our lives and hers. Thanks guys!


May I recommend a half-bottle or full (depending on the size of your :moneybag ) of Sauternes (Chateau D'Yquem) or some other French vineyard. See if you can find the birth year - but that may not be until next year when they release it. Put it in a dark, cool place and open it in 20 years.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby mrspremise » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:51 pm

With an 18 month old, I have to agree that the party is for you and not for her. Invite who you want to be there and make it relaxing with good food. Make sure the cake is room temperature, because the icing isn't nearly as messy when it's cold.

I don't get my kiddo clothes because, honestly, I will buy them regardless so what's special about that? We did get an overwhelming amount of toys from the family. I can also say none of them were "wasted". Toddlers love toys, and most will take turns really liking one or another. We put ours on rotation, pulling some out for a week, then swapping them out with "newer" toys the next. Hint that it might help to anticipate a bit on the age which will extend the life of the toys, as there's a pretty big difference between what a child plays with at 12 months and what they like a few months later. This could be a good chance to get a bigger/more engaging toy that's kind of a "splurge" but you want her to have because you'll enjoy watching her enjoy it (because honestly kid's toys really aren't that expensive compared to what they want when they're older!)

On the other hand, if you want something she's enjoy and be able to appreciate years from now, take a different approach. Personally I don't like to do something I would do anyway and call it a gift, so contributing to the 529 wouldn't be that special for me. In fact, since we have the means and plan to provide our child with a debt-free college education I wouldn't consider asking other to contribute to his 529 because it would be more of a gift to us than him. (This would be different if we couldn't afford to pay for his degree). If you are in that boat and want to do something with money, I'd consider doing something different, where in the end they money is theirs to spend how they want/need rather than conditionally. I have a friend who had a bottle of wine (it was a very good year) and he really enjoyed it. The idea of something that gets used on every birthday is also cute. I personally like the idea of something you can enjoy when you're older rather than a knick knack which probably gets stuck in a box and only taken out to show their own kids one day and then put back in the box.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby mnnice » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:23 pm

Not all kids dig into the smash cake. DS1 who in general is messy and leaves a huge wake was not a fan of his first cake. Anyway it didn't make for the most interesting photos (and the ones we had burnt in our house fire anyway :( )

I didn't get my kids anything although I have always got EE bonds for my nieces and nephews.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Easy Rhino » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:32 pm

My daughter's only 7 months, but the wife and extended family are all bonkers for the first birthday, and I'm pretty indifferent.

It's a good thing they don't do paper savings bonds any more, because she would just drool it into oblivion. :beer
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Jordana » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:22 pm

After my son's first birthday party, we left all the decorations up--including the big poster on the door saying happy birthday--until we moved. We just loved the first birthday party. And, whenever we got pizza delivered, they thought that we were having a party.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Juniormint » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:54 am

You can do a charm bracelet and add a charm every year on her birthday until she's 16 or so.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby FrugalInvestor » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:01 am

bottlecap wrote:She's one. She won't appreciate anything, unless you get her a toy or a blanket she decides is her favorite. Don't overthink it. You don't even have to get her anything since everyone else will. Just enjoy the milestone.

You can get her the Coverdell, but don't bother explaining it!

JT


+1. She won't have any appreciation for what's going on or why and will not remember it. The fact that you're spending time with her is the most important thing.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby Lilly » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:45 am

Make it a tradition to do something special on the birthday that is age approperiate. That has always been the gift I love to recieve, so that is what we give. Maybe a little something to open. Like a book.

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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby sscritic » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:18 pm

Follow up on silver spoons:

I am giving my most recent granddaughter a sterling silver spoon from Georg Jensen of Copenhagen tomorrow on the occasion of her baptism. I hope she will still have it when she is seventy and will remember being told that her Lolo gave it to her on the occasion. I still have my sterling silver porringer from not-quite-yet seventy years ago. Sterling silver is indeed long lasting and memorable.

Not a first birthday, but silver still works for me.

P.S. True confession: I don't know who gave me the porringer. :(
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby kitteh » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:44 pm

hsv_climber wrote:Take your daughter on a 2 weeks European vacation. She can still fly free and you will enjoy the trip while having all the memorable video & pictures that were discussed above.


Not sure if this is a serious suggestion, but note that no one remembers what happened when they were one.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby pennstater2005 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:36 pm

We bought our little boy a used blackberry from Ebay. It still worked and he loved all the buttons and noises. He got tired of it after about a month. I was out all of seven bucks :) The rest went into his 529.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby OAG » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:57 pm

This will probably not help OP but after 10 Grand Children and 1 Great Grand Child (with another due this summer) we went the toy, Bond, Cash route (not all at the same time). Toys are gone as are most of the bonds the cash usually gets put into a savings account and then given to the kids at some point usually when they reach college age. So I would suggest CASH and today maybe 529 plans. In so far as memorizing the occasion take lots of pictures and make a album for each year would be my suggestion (other than the Cash/529 thing).
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby grabiner » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:24 pm

OAG wrote:This will probably not help OP but after 10 Grand Children and 1 Great Grand Child (with another due this summer) we went the toy, Bond, Cash route (not all at the same time). Toys are gone as are most of the bonds the cash usually gets put into a savings account and then given to the kids at some point usually when they reach college age.


As a young child, I didn't like cash as a gift, precisely because of this; the cash disappeared into my bank account and I didn't get anything tangible.

When I went to college, I did appreciate the cash, because I could use it for my own purposes, and then give a proper thank-you to the giver by making a purchase connected with the gift; my grandmother's check became a gift of a book.
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Re: 1st Birthday Present

Postby imbogled » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:59 am

We bought a "fine" bottle of wine 15 years ago for my son. Made a video presenting it to him and saying that we will share this when you are 21 years old. I hope that it ages properly or we will need to put it on a salad with olive oil instead. :sharebeer vs :oops:
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