Gift registries simplify birthday present paralysis
As my kids get older, the number of birthday party invitations seems to be increasing exponentially. I'll save my birthday party rant for later (hint: Birthdays Without Pressure), and for now, will simply complain about the discomfort of choosing presents for kids I hardly know. Waaah!
Fate's straightforward hack is a two-fer: it takes the pain out of wandering the toy aisles, and you can feel more confident putting the invitee in charge of choosing the present:
Maintain a gift registry for your child. Toys R' Us has an in-store registry, but it's not connected to an online registry. Amazon has an online registry, but you lose the kid shopping fun factor [some would call it fear factor. -- Ed.]. Target has both and they are connected (I believe). I've maintained a registry since my daughter was 2 years old and we update it just before her birthday (in Nov) just in time for her birthday AND the holidays. If your child's bday falls more than four months away from the holidays I would recommend updating it twice a year.