Have you read "Too Many Toys" by David Shannon. If not, I highly recommend it. It tells the story of a child who has too many toys, where the toys came from, and the process of choosing which toys stay and which ones go. It is a treatment of a parent's efforts to clean out their children's stuff and perhaps even strive toward minimalism. Most recently, the part of the book that describes the child getting toys just for attending a friend's birthday party really started to resonate with me.
Don't get me wrong. We have a generous spirit in our house. We like to give things to our friends. I've made engineer stashes to give away to party guests and miniature art carts. But this past season I had an idea to give an experience gift as a party favor instead of a bucket of consumables.
How do you give an experience gift to a party's worth of guests? (Besides throwing the party itself.) Well, in our case it was a princess party and the theme lent itself well to giving something small and sparkly to each guest...and that is just what we did.
I used tiny birthstone rings on Etsy for inspiration. I'm crafty and thrifty so I didn't buy any, instead I made them. With some wire, a dowling rod for wrapping the wire around, and a stash of shiny beads, I could make a few dozen of the rings in two different sizes (based on which dowling rod I used) while I watched TV at night.
Then I made a makeshift velvet ring box and placed the rings inside. The experience gift I gave to my daughter's friends was to choose one or two of their very own rings. It was wonderful. Everyone reveled in the experience when I bent down (donning my wedding gown as queen) and offered each child a chance to choose something beautiful for himself or herself.
The children left with a single, small treasure and the memory of choosing it for herself.