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The Back Present

Are you running out of ideas for what to give your child's friends as a back present? Most mothers rush to the nearest wholesale market and pick up a carton or two of games, masks or whatever strikes their fancy at the moment. After the party, the children take their back present home, play around with it for a couple of days, and forget all about it, which is fine. But if you can spend less and give something a lot more thoughtful and memorable, something the children and the parents will love, wouldn't you rather give that?  

Take a Polaroid photograph of each child that has attended the party. You could take the child along with the birthday boy or girl, alone, or with her best friend. If the child is accompanied by a parent, you could take a snap of the child with the parent. If you have a bigger budget for your party and have hired entertainers or have huge cut outs on the walls in keeping with the theme, you could take a photograph of each child along with the entertainer or cutout. 

Insert this photograph into a simple paper photo frame. You could have each child write his name, the date, and the occasion on the photo frame, with a magic marker. He could also draw a little flower or star or whatever he wants to on the frame. You could turn this into a game, where the child with the best drawing gets a prize. 

You can be sure that this would make for a photograph the child and his parents would cherish, for years to come. 

Now with the advent of digital cameras, you don't even need a Polaroid camera. Simply snap up each child in a digital camera, and take a printout out there and then. You would need to take print outs on special photo paper, which is available at all stationary shops, or your photographs will not come out well. After all, they need to look like actual photographs, and not printouts, so make sure you get the required paper. If you don't have a computer, or if your party is taking place outside your home and it would be inconvenient to transport the computer and printer to the venue, you could simply give someone in your family the duty of getting printouts from the nearby photo studio. You will need to fix up with the studio in advance, so they can give you the printouts immediately. 

Make sure to save the memories of your child's birthday in a videocam. Don't just tape everything that is going on at random. Speak to each child and ask them to say something about themselves, and, more importantly, about the birthday boy. So when your son Rahul is watching the video of his tenth birthday party twenty years from now, and hears his friends say with toothless grins, Rahul is my besthest friend, you can be sure you preserved some magical moments. If you have a digital videocamera, you can record as much as you like without bothering about film. Take it along with you for picnics, and make sure you record antics of Rahul's friends as well. You could then make a CD of your recordings of Rahul's best friend, and give it to him as a birthday present! You can bet it will be the best present he would have received, and it would not have cost you more than 50 rupees. And this is one time when no one will really bother about the cost, and when they say it's the gift that matters, they would really mean it. 


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