The first week of school is in the books. You know what that means? Classmate's and friend's birthday invites pile up like a  South Dakota March snowfall.

So it got us to thinking. How much do you typically spend on a birthday gift?
I don't mean for your child or a relative, but for one of your children's friends.

So we asked around. Moms in a local play group and daycare answered with a range from $5 to $30 and you could tell some of the bigger spenders were irritated with those who said they wouldn't spend as much.

My kids are 20, 19 and 15. I remember we averaged $20-$25. I like the old adage put some thought into the gift. Admittedly, at one time, it seemed there was an urge for a couple of parents to go in on a PlayStation video game of $39-$69. Are boys easier to buy for than girls?

How about writing "no gifts please" on the invitations? Is that an option? Or can we teach our kids a lesson or two? If you would like to bring a gift, please consider an item for our local women & children's shelter. They currently have a need for socks and underwear.