The Secret to Becoming a Gift Hero

The Secret to Becoming a Gift Hero

Oh goodie, another birthday party. What is that, the twelfth one this month? Instead of making the usual pilgrimage to Toys R Us, Target, or Walmart with your hair on fire at the last minute, consider a much saner alternative: creating a birthday closet. Your budget will remain unscathed, and you’ll have something on hand the next time your kid is off to a party. And the time after that, and the time after that.

If you’re not familiar with the term “birthday closet” and you’re worried you don’t have an entire closet to spare for birthday gifts, fret not. It’s just shorthand for a stash of birthday gifts that you buy once or twice a year rather than one at a time. If you live in a small apartment, you could store them in a bin or box under the bed, or like I do, on the top shelf of my linen closet.

I like to stock up on age-appropriate gifts every September, once I get the class list (my boys are still young enough that they get invited to every classmate’s birthday party). Rather than heading to the generic superstores (online or offline) to comb through mountains of toys in the hopes that I’ll find something I can actually feel good about giving, I do all my gift shopping at It’s a lovely site created by two busy moms who were tired of the birthday gift scramble – and decided to do something about it. They’ve carefully curated their toy selection and have made it really easy to shop by gender, age, price…or all three. They also always offer free shipping on orders over $75 – perfect for people like me who buy in bulk!

I also am in love with their gift bag, which is a wonderful eco-friendly (and inexpensive) alternative to gift wrapping. It’s a reusable, drawstring bag that’s actually useful for the recipient because they can then use it as a tote bag or as storage for toys. It also allows me to “sneak-a-peek” in the gift bag to make sure I’m grabbing an appropriate one for the party I’m headed to.

Here are my top picks for boys

Magic Shakes Magnetic Construction Blocks $18

Stacking Construction Vehicles $20

Pretend & Play Emergency Rescue Set $28

Zoobmobile Dragster $25

Top picks for girls

Pretty Purse Fill and Spill $20

Abby & Emma dress up doll set $20

Slice & Bake Cookie Set $20

Decorate Your Own Jewelry Box $13

Top picks for unisex

Smart Snacks Trail Mix $17

TOMY water symphony $24

Chickyboom game $25

Quercetti Filo Design Set $25