Weighing in on the trend of child’s birthday gift registries

WASHINGTON –  It’s a request local toy stores say they are getting more and more — parents who want to create a registry for their child’s birthday gifts. Some parents find it crass, while others call it convenient.

Amazon.com has long offered the service as do other major retailers like Toys R Us, but local toy stores say they’re getting requests for kids’ party registries.

“Not surprising,” says Gay Cioffi after hearing parents are creating online registries for their child’s birthday gifts. Cioffi is the director of the Little Folks School in Georgetown and has worked with kids and parents for 36 years.

“I could see a parent feeling like it makes things easier and the convenience trumps that it’s presumptuous,” she says.

But as parent, Cioffi wonders what important gift-giving lessons her children would have lost by shopping via registry.

“It was this opportunity to be thoughtful … and to teach them every time we went to the toy store, we weren’t buying  [them] a present,” she says.

There’s also the question of a child’s expectations and the lessons learned in accepting a gift you didn’t want.

Independent toy stores Barston’s Child’s Play and Sullivan’s say they’ve had requests from parents asking about a registry service,  but neither has plans to offer it.

The trend has taken hold in New York where parents like Darline MacEwan of Hillsdale, New Jersey, who uses online registries for her three children.

“Our lives are so hectic right now, and anything that can save us a little bit of time, we’re all in for,” she said.

Read more about the parents using gift registries in New York here.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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