Originally Posted by KirstenMary
I think no mention or suggestion of gifts should be made of gifts in any way, shape, or form.
I don't mean to single you out since many of the others are expressing the same sentiment, but I have a question about the statement above. Why? Why should "no mention of gifts be made"? To me, it's disengenuous. It is a stupid circular game that just frustrates me. We all know that gifts are "expected" at certain types of parties. Why do we, as a society, all go around pretending its not true?
This is what invitations say to me: I am inviting you to a birthday party. (I know through cultural experience you will probably bring a gift but I am not allowed by social convention to mention it. Even if you don't want to bring a gift and I don't want to receive a gift, we can't talk about it.
When our cousin sent us her wedding invitation, it had her registry info in it. My sister was aghast at the tackiness. I told her I thought it was refreshingly bullsh*t-free. My sister then realized that she actually was judging them for not following etiquette. It didn't matter to her that they were expecting a gift. It just bothered her that they were ignorant of the rule. (Which they weren't actually. They just didn't care about the rule.)
I am not having a birthday party for my son this year because I feel it is impossibly for me to have the party I want. I want his friends to come over and sing happy birthday and have cake. I don't want a bunch of crappy dollar store gifts. I don't want to give out stupid grab bags. And since I am not allowed by etiquette to explain that in a party invite, I am just not having a party. I thought about just having a summer party and surprising everyone with his birthday cake. However, I think his preschool classmates (and their parent/s) wouldn't come to a Labor Day party when they would otherwise come to a birthday party.
The other problem I have is the fact that I am not "allowed" to say "no gifts please" on invitations. My relatives read too much into an invitation. I live far away from them but I would like to send them invites because it is possible that a few of them could travel for a party. However, some of my siblings would get the invite and say, "She knows I can't travel that far and she is just sending me an invite because she is fishing for a gift." Sigh. I have to call them, ask each of them if there is any possibility they can come and then send an invite. I feel like I need permission to send them an invitation.
Why can't we just all be honest with eachother?!