For my 8 year old nephew's birthday, his gift from me was a two night sleepover at our house, just him, and he got to pick Friday's dinner, and watch all the movies he wanted, and stay up until 11, and have waffles for breakfast two mornings in a row.
His six year old brother has his birthday weekend next weekend. And don't tell their soon to be 4 year old brother, but he will be getting the same gift!
Meanwhile, one of my other nephews started asking when his sleepover would be. He would drop his baby sister off at our house before his swim lessons and he would ask when he could stay. Well, I don't work on Friday, how about Thursday night after swim lessons? He was pretty excited, let me tell you!
He arrived with his bag and settled in nicely. Toys were everywhere, he quickly got the idea that at Oh-Cho's house, he could eat cold pizza at 8:30 at night if he wanted, and Oh-Cho is a sucker for a plea of 'just one more book' at bedtime so we read 8 books. By that time it was our bedtime too, so Uncle Erik and I went to bed.
Now that all my nephews have graduated from playpens, they sleep on mattresses on my floor. That way I know what they are doing (except that one time when one of them ate an emery board) and if they need me, I am literally right there. My nephew and I made up his bed and read his stories and then we turned off the lights and covered him up and when I came back from changing into my pajamas, he was in our bed.
I put him back in his bed, laid down in mine, and suddenly had a squirming, excessively hot, little body pressed against mine, insisting that all the covers be pulled over us. I decided to let him fall asleep there, then put him in his own bed. And that worked out really well, for about an hour. Then he woke up, crawled back into bed with us, and moved and shifted and all around thrashed about until he was using my arm as a pillow and tucking his cold feet against my legs. I gave up and fell asleep and in the morning, two alarm clocks and three dogs jumping over him didn't wake him.
Well, that sure was different than how any other nephew sleepover has ever gone! But, different isn't bad, and I'm going to carry this memory in my heart for years to come.