I've said it about a million times, but we are anti-stuff. We grow more anti-stuff everyday and so I cringe at the thought of birthday presents on Theo's first birthday. My kid(s) have toys and the things they play with the most are not their toys. Depending on who we are talking about they chew on wallets, garden, do art projects, eat paper, read, play games, chew on water bottle lids, bang kitchen utensils around, play chase, play soccer, empty drawers, tear books apart, explore outside, and build forts... Our kids don't need the toys they currently have - but we parents still can't help ourselves from buying cute wooden block sets and dress up clothes.
We have decided on no more presents (though relatives often have a hard time with this) because our kids don't need more stuff to be happy. They need less of it. We don't want to raise children who don't appreciate what they have and we especially don't want to raise children who think buying something new is what creates happiness.
For the babes first birthday I am asking our friends and family to simply bring a sweet card and I'll set up a "Need Jar" for the people that really feel like they want to give something. That way the money can go toward something that is more useful than the latest flashing firetruck that will honestly be played with for a day. As much as they like it when they first receive it, it is quickly forgotten.
PS. Another toy alternative we have thought about is getting kids something that you can do together. i.e. tickets to a soccer game or the zoo... Make a memory with them instead. Oh, but no tacky souvenirs, please.