When it comes time to open a birthday gift, kids care about the card as much as they care about the nutritional values on the side of their box of Froot Loops. It usually gets tossed aside, the message lost in a mountain of discarded wrapping paper.
That’s why I love this idea from Reddit user fouronthedice: Instead of dragging yourself to the greeting card aisle, grab an inexpensive children’s book and write your birthday message inside the cover. The book now serves as the card.
It’s utilitarian and meaningful — every time the child reads the story, she’ll see your special note.
Greeting cards are overpriced anyway, costing you about $7 — more if you get one of the ones that pop out at you and sing. You can find classic books for around that same price, such as The Story of Ferdinand, The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! Or, if your child is a friend of the birthday recipient, he might share a book from his own library.
In your message, include why you chose the book and note the year. You can drop it in a large envelope or just put a sticky note on the cover so the kid knows to look inside. And then include it with your gift. The sentiment will last much longer than an expensive card with a cat on it saying “Happy Purr-thday!”