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Is this too tacky? 1st Birthday/wish list - Page 4

post #61 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprons_and_acorns View Post
Sorry to make you mad. I see what you mean, a book theme is different from the parties where they ask you to bring the birthday child a book as a gift.


ETA: I see what happened now. I didn't read your last post before I replied to what Oonah said. Sorry!

It's ok no worries I wasnt mad at you, I was just irritated that it was misunderstood. It was hard to explain but its meant to be an intimate personal party which I should have clarified at first its supposed to be fun and get guests interacting like a dressup party. I am partly to blame because I didnt clarify. Its water under the bridge (oops LOL) as far as I am concerned
post #62 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post
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.
Not to be rude, because I do understand the whole invitation quandary thing, but why not rethink the party? It makes no sense to me to withhold a birthday party from your child because he won't get the gifts YOU want.

What about the sheer delight children get from having their friends over, eating cake and knowing that the party is for them? Sure, oftentimes junk toys are involved, but they are just that: Junk. They break. Throw 'em out! The batteries die. Throw 'em out! Or donate them to charity later....it's not like you wasted any money on them.

But the memory that will last in his mind will be the party, not the gifts. I'd hate to tell my kiddo later that he didn't get a party because I didn't think people would give him what I wanted or do things my way....cuz it's not about ME.
post #63 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
Not to be rude, because I do understand the whole invitation quandary thing, but why not rethink the party? It makes no sense to me to withhold a birthday party from your child because he won't get the gifts YOU want.

What about the sheer delight children get from having their friends over, eating cake and knowing that the party is for them? Sure, oftentimes junk toys are involved, but they are just that: Junk. They break. Throw 'em out! The batteries die. Throw 'em out! Or donate them to charity later....it's not like you wasted any money on them.

But the memory that will last in his mind will be the party, not the gifts. I'd hate to tell my kiddo later that he didn't get a party because I didn't think people would give him what I wanted or do things my way....cuz it's not about ME.
Now this I like and totally agree with ! Parties are much more than toys for sure!
post #64 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
Not to be rude, because I do understand the whole invitation quandary thing, but why not rethink the party? It makes no sense to me to withhold a birthday party from your child because he won't get the gifts YOU want.
We have small, family parties every year. We do not have "full" birthday parties every year where we invite friends. We didn't do that in my family. Maybe I would change the family tradition and do it every year if kids' birthday parties weren't so crazy. My son is actually in a peer class of kids who are better off financially than us. He gets invited to numerous parties that are obviously $300 affairs...

This is not about getting the gifts I want. It's about the fact that I hate that the emphasis is on THINGS. I don't want stuff for stuff's sake. I don't want my kids to develop a mindset like that either. My husband and I don't even buy eachother gifts on special occasions. I just want a party with no gifts because I want the basis to be fun and play not navigating expectations.

The actual reason I posted though was because I wanted people to examine why they are saying no, this is tacky. Do you say it because it "breaks the rules" or because you truly believe it is inconsiderate of other people? It's fine if you think it is truly rude but I don't. And I suspect that a lot of people who would never go against etiquette or who are offended by breaches of etiquette are actually thinking "I don't want people to think I am ignorant of the rules." or "The people who sent this are so ignorant." That type of thoughtless following of etiquette is about style, not consideration.
post #65 of 128
I wouldn't do it. Nope. My children have never been disappointed with any gifts they have gotten from family and friends over the years. They always enjoy the party the most anyway. IMO, gifts are optional on the guests part.
post #66 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post
This is not about getting the gifts I want. It's about the fact that I hate that the emphasis is on THINGS. I don't want stuff for stuff's sake. I don't want my kids to develop a mindset like that either. My husband and I don't even buy eachother gifts on special occasions. I just want a party with no gifts because I want the basis to be fun and play not navigating expectations.

The actual reason I posted though was because I wanted people to examine why they are saying no, this is tacky. Do you say it because it "breaks the rules" or because you truly believe it is inconsiderate of other people? It's fine if you think it is truly rude but I don't. And I suspect that a lot of people who would never go against etiquette or who are offended by breaches of etiquette are actually thinking "I don't want people to think I am ignorant of the rules." or "The people who sent this are so ignorant." That type of thoughtless following of etiquette is about style, not consideration.
Well the question is about tackiness, not about whether it's morally reprehensible. I do think it's tacky. I don't think it would be the end of the world. You know?

What I don't get about your approach to the party is that in fact you have made the "things" the emphasis - to the point that you won't even have a party because things might appear. That's fine but - wow.
post #67 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post

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?!
The party you want? Or the party your son wants? I have a feeling that even if you don't get "your" party, your son would still be happy with whatever he ended up with.

And I love what a PP put in an invite - something like, "Your presence is presents enough." I think that's a great idea, and chances are, the guest will bring a gift anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundAbout View Post
Look at it this way: rules of etiquette are there to spare hard feelings and to avoid offending. By mentioning gifts on the invite you might make people feel bad if they can't provide a gift. By putting registry information upfront you might make someone feel bad if they can't provide the quality of gift you would like.

I remember times as a child where I was sent to a friends birthday party with a homemade card and $2 inside because that's all we could afford to give. No one ever made me feel bad about it, but if registries and wish lists had been the norm back then we all would have been self-conscious about it and I probably would have stayed home more.

Registries used to exist only for newlyweds so that all of the plates and silverware matched, now they've become generic wish lists. That bugs me. If you are hosting a party it should be about the party, not about the stuff. I also disagree that gifts are always expected. I would never expect gifts from anyone invited to my birthday parties and if I were invited to a party for a one-year old I might bring only a small token gift depending on how close I was to the child.

BTW, I think information about gift preferences should be disseminated, but just not through the invitation. People who care will ask about gifts. My family almost always coordinate heavily with me on gift giving to our son by I always wait until they ask.
Yes. A registry, especially for a b-day party, says that X, Y, and Z gifts are okay, and anything else is not (imo, anyway). Some of the most treasured gifts my kids have ever received were homemade gifts. Knitted blankets, hats, scarves - things that they have had for years and still have and treasure. Things that cannot go on a registry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthie's momma View Post
I think that would be quite impolite. A birthday invitation should be about gathering friends and family together to celebrate a big milstone in your (and your LO's) life. It isn't about "fishing" for gifts. No one should feel obligated to supply a present (let alone the right present) when attending a party. If you are in need of a particular something, speak privately to a close friend or family member. Otherwise, graciously accept what others choose for you. It is no one's duty but your own to supply your child with certain clothing and toys.
Yes. I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
Not to be rude, because I do understand the whole invitation quandary thing, but why not rethink the party? It makes no sense to me to withhold a birthday party from your child because he won't get the gifts YOU want.

What about the sheer delight children get from having their friends over, eating cake and knowing that the party is for them? Sure, oftentimes junk toys are involved, but they are just that: Junk. They break. Throw 'em out! The batteries die. Throw 'em out! Or donate them to charity later....it's not like you wasted any money on them.

But the memory that will last in his mind will be the party, not the gifts. I'd hate to tell my kiddo later that he didn't get a party because I didn't think people would give him what I wanted or do things my way....cuz it's not about ME.
I agree. I remember every party I ever had as a child. I remember my guests, the games, the cake, the fun, the love - but for the life of me, I can't remember the gifts, lol. In the end, the gifts don't matter. The memories of the party, however, are priceless.
post #68 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Well the question is about tackiness, not about whether it's morally reprehensible. I do think it's tacky. I don't think it would be the end of the world. You know?

What I don't get about your approach to the party is that in fact you have made the "things" the emphasis - to the point that you won't even have a party because things might appear. That's fine but - wow.
Maybe you misunderstand. I am not cancelling all celebration. I am just not having a "standard" party. This is the type of party that has only become "standard" in recent years. The type of party where there has to be a theme, there are planned activities and the kids get grab bags, etc. or there is a destination and we pay for a party space at a gym or the children's museum or whatnot. When I was young, we had parties with no theme and the kids came over to play unstructured. That's it, and we had cake. We are having this type of party-with 6 guests, 4 of whom are our nuclear family. There are several reasons I am not having the "standard" theme party. This etiquette thing is just one of them. I can not have a party where I can live up to what's expected so I am not doing that type of party. And what's expected in my kids' circle of friends is this big grand theme. The kids will expect grab bags. My son will expect to have a party as cool as his friend Connor's...

I am teaching my son that you don't get a big party every year. Every other year or every 3 years you get one. And on the odd years you get a small family party.

And about the original question. I guess you're right. In our culture, it is seen as tacky. I wish I wouldn't be judged as crude, or tasteless if I did it, however. I would wish that people would assume the best about me, that I know about the "rules" and that I prefer to be straightforward and think, in this case, it is beneficial to break with tradition. In an alternative universe, it could be seen as considerate to provide guests with helpful information on choosing a gift. We should all agree that when you receive an invite, you expect to buy a gift. I don't see anything wrong with me, as the invitee, acknowledging that. [/B]This is not about fishing for gifts. This is about style.[/B]

In the end, I do follow etiquette. I find it to be a bit of a curse though. I just can't stop myself.

p.s. I don't want gifts. I don't care about receiving gifts. I get much more pleasure at gift giving. And, of course, I would graciously receive any gift given and I will teach my children to, too. I know people that think of these events as some type of bartering system. Like, I spent $30 a plate for this wedding. I should receive a gift worth at least $30. That astounds me. I want my kids to grow up to have the same values as me. Eventually, I hope they don't expect gifts.
post #69 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post
Maybe you misunderstand. I am not cancelling all celebration. I am just not having a "standard" party. This is the type of party that has only become "standard" in recent years. The type of party where there has to be a theme, there are planned activities and the kids get grab bags, etc. or there is a destination and we pay for a party space at a gym or the children's museum or whatnot. When I was young, we had parties with no theme and the kids came over to play unstructured. That's it, and we had cake. We are having this type of party-with 6 guests, 4 of whom are our nuclear family. There are several reasons I am not having the "standard" theme party. This etiquette thing is just one of them. I can not have a party where I can live up to what's expected so I am not doing that type of party. And what's expected in my kids' circle of friends is this big grand theme. The kids will expect grab bags. My son will expect to have a party as cool as his friend Connor's...
I did misunderstand you. I think that sounds like fun.

We're just finished planning my son's party and it's sort of a hybrid - we are inviting 6 kids, and calling it a 'pirate party' which means it will be on a beach with a few games, snacks and a cake. For me it helps to have a theme just for ideas.

I don't feel much pressure about it even though we've been to some elaborate ones. It helps that my son's turning 4 I think.
post #70 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post
Maybe you misunderstand. I am not cancelling all celebration. I am just not having a "standard" party. This is the type of party that has only become "standard" in recent years. The type of party where there has to be a theme, there are planned activities and the kids get grab bags, etc. or there is a destination and we pay for a party space at a gym or the children's museum or whatnot.
If that kind of party is the norm where you are, then I agree with you. I would definintely NOT EVER do the themed party/grab bag thing either.

Around here, a birthday party is just this: " When I was young, we had parties with no theme and the kids came over to play unstructured. That's it, and we had cake."

That's all we do, all my kids have ever been to, and I agree that it's a much more pleasant experience. No expectations of the guests or the hosts.

So, thanks for the clarification.
post #71 of 128
Tacky. Can't compare it to a wedding registry IMO b/c of the intent--a young couple (presumably) needs to be outfitted for their new married life. Baby shower=items for new baby. But a birthday party? The point isn't gifts, it's a celebration of life, etc., time to be w/ friends and family, games, cake and balloons, etc.

My brother always has an Amazon wish list that he distributes (unasked ) and gets offended if you don't buy off it. I do it since it's a big deal to him, but it seems so stupid to me. Why not just send him a check? Or even better, we can pass the same $20 bill back and forth.

I think almost all celebrations have now been co-opted by Big Buisness. It wasn't even until the last century that people even GAVE gifts at b'day parties. Now it's gimme gimme gimme. (Not you, OP or other posters, children's parties we've been to).

Check out the Birthdays Without Pressure website. http://www.birthdayswithoutpressure.org/

For Heaven's sake, let's all fight against letting BabiesRUs et al dictate our attitudes towards celebrations!
post #72 of 128
Super-major etiquette breach where I live, but I'm Canadian, and I don't know what the practice is in your area. Never done here, and when it is done, I make a point of purchasing a charitable donation or some such thing similar instead.
post #73 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post
<snip>

My brother always has an Amazon wish list that he distributes (unasked ) and gets offended if you don't buy off it. I do it since it's a big deal to him, but it seems so stupid to me. Why not just send him a check? Or even better, we can pass the same $20 bill back and forth.

<snip>
Oh my goodness...I cannot imagine anything more awful!!! How OLD is he??? Someone should really have a stern talk with him...that is truly atrocious behavior...somewhat forgivable if he's a child...but completely out of control if he is an adult. :
post #74 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post
This etiquette thing is just one of them. I can not have a party where I can live up to what's expected so I am not doing that type of party. And what's expected in my kids' circle of friends is this big grand theme. The kids will expect grab bags. My son will expect to have a party as cool as his friend Connor's...

I am teaching my son that you don't get a big party every year. Every other year or every 3 years you get one. And on the odd years you get a small family party.

I want my kids to grow up to have the same values as me. Eventually, I hope they don't expect gifts.
Hi there, I copied parts of your response above and this may take the conversation in a whole different direction, but there were many things I found interesting about what you say above and because I can relate to wanting my kids to have the same values as me when they grow up I just had to post and say... most of us WANT our kids to have the same values, but because each child is an individual, be very careful of *expecting* that they will. To me, that's just a set up for disappointment, because at some point they probably will do things majorly differently and as parents we gotta be able to manage that, still love them, and figure out how to balance our values with how their values develop.

Don't get me wrong, if I lived where you do and kids had extravagant parties all the time, I'd also want my child to understand that that is NOT an entitlement and I'd go out of my way to do different kinds of cool parties that are more accessible to more families. That's how I was raised, and even if I am able to afford something ritzy that is not what I'd want to do. I fully expect to have a Christmas tradition with my DD and DH where no matter what we buy each other, we always make one gift for each other every year. I have a feeling those gifts will last and be worth more as time goes on than any purchased gift ever could.

Not to ramble, but I had to cheer you on with your efforts to have your kids develop your values, but please be ready for some things not to go as planned!
post #75 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post
Tacky. Can't compare it to a wedding registry IMO b/c of the intent--a young couple (presumably) needs to be outfitted for their new married life. Baby shower=items for new baby. But a birthday party? The point isn't gifts, it's a celebration of life, etc., time to be w/ friends and family, games, cake and balloons, etc.

My brother always has an Amazon wish list that he distributes (unasked ) and gets offended if you don't buy off it. I do it since it's a big deal to him, but it seems so stupid to me. Why not just send him a check? Or even better, we can pass the same $20 bill back and forth.

I think almost all celebrations have now been co-opted by Big Buisness. It wasn't even until the last century that people even GAVE gifts at b'day parties. Now it's gimme gimme gimme. (Not you, OP or other posters, children's parties we've been to).

Check out the Birthdays Without Pressure website. http://www.birthdayswithoutpressure.org/

For Heaven's sake, let's all fight against letting BabiesRUs et al dictate our attitudes towards celebrations!

lol @ your brother that is pretty messed up but its also funny to me for some reason maybe because its so ridiculous I dunno lol. I myself however like the idea of gifts at a party because I like to give gifts! I really do like to give gifts because I have given some really cool ones that I put a lot of heart into so I dont think there is anything wrong with giving gifts at all. I think expecting gifts is where things go wrong. If my kids didnt get anything from anyone I wouldnt be unhappy. I'm mostly unhappy when someone doesnt show up to the party to be with us but that happens to us a lot because we are military and do not live near family. We always tell people they dont have to get a gift but we would like them to show up if they can because that is what is important to us plus it makes it easier so we know how much food to have lol.
post #76 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post
Why can't we just all be honest with eachother?!
I really feel ya on this. In my family I could totally tell them I was registering or not and tell them I was wanting gifts or not and they would just go with it because it's easiest in their collecitve opinions to ust be told what to do and I actually like that aspecgt about them all.
I feel like I am lucky in that my relationships with friends are such that I could also be upfront with them about what we wanted in these regards as well.
But it seems like for the most part this is not the case for people and I am just not into it.
Of course people don't want to come to a party sans gift, do they? That, to me seems un-fun. And un-fun for the kiddos, I mean gifts don't have to be fancy or anything, but it's fun to gift birthday kids isn't it? I personally love gifts and while I don't always buy of off people's registry it's not because I don't like them, but rather because I prefer to make things for people and I have always been met with lots of happiness over it. And no one was mad I didn't use the registry, ever. I was never mad that they offered one up. It's handy for people who don' like to shop or think about gifts.

I just think it is so much easier if people would stop being so easily offended about the whole birthday party thing! what a hot mess!
And this is not in regards to any one persons post, its just the whole birthday thing in general.
post #77 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiemommaof4 View Post
I also wanted to add that not too many people can afford upscale stuff right now either so its tacky in reguards to not knowing peoples financial situation too IMO.
To me this is exactly why it might actually be a good idea to include a list or registry of some sort. People won't waste money on something you are going to just give away or not enjoy but keep because they might come over and see its missing.....etc.

I guess ultimately it ust depends on your upbringing, family, friends and what you think it ok.
post #78 of 128
You know, I love giving gifts. I love shopping for birthday parties, and it excites me to give presents. Heck, when I buy presents for my family, I have to sit on my hands to keep from giving them their gifts early.

The registry takes the excitement and the anticipation out of gift giving for me. Now, if I ask the host for suggestions, fine. And I do ask - a lot - especially if I have no idea what to get. But many times, I know exactly what I want to buy for the child, and subsequently, my daughter and I are on the hunt for that perfect gift.

But what if that perfect gift weren't on the registry? Honestly, that would take the fun out of the whole for us, and for us, buying gifts is as much for the giver as it is for the recipient.

And why can't we just be honest? Because sometimes being honest unnecessarily offends people. When I ask my husband if I look fat in those jeans, so you really think I want him to say, "Yes, sweetie, you are looking rather bovine this evening?"
post #79 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfulgrrrl View Post
Super-major etiquette breach where I live, but I'm Canadian, and I don't know what the practice is in your area. Never done here, and when it is done, I make a point of purchasing a charitable donation or some such thing similar instead.
And you do this to people you genuinely like? I mean to me it seems almost vindictive to say, "you did this totally tacky socially inappropriate thing and so I am going to boycott it because you must have been implying something really RUDE by sending me this list of stuff you want and I'm not going to buy into it and instead am going to show you whats what...."
Who needs friends like that?
post #80 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by beru View Post
Maybe you misunderstand. I am not cancelling all celebration. I am just not having a "standard" party. This is the type of party that has only become "standard" in recent years. The type of party where there has to be a theme, there are planned activities and the kids get grab bags, etc. or there is a destination and we pay for a party space at a gym or the children's museum or whatnot. When I was young, we had parties with no theme and the kids came over to play unstructured. That's it, and we had cake. .
Maybe you are creating these expectations in your head... My son has been invited to lots of themed parties, parties at expensive places, etc. We have never, and never will, do that. We just had a BBQ with his friends and their families. People came over, the kids played in the backyard (water play, bubbles, swingset, and just in the woods), parents hung out and bbqed, had lunch, etc. People did bring presents, but nothing big or expensive. Everyone had a great time. I had gotten bubbles (50 cents each bottle, btw) for a party favor, but completely forgot to give them out and no one was offended (at least as far as I can tell) about no favors...

When I go to the big, themed, expensive parties, the kids have fun, but not more fun than at our bbq (although I have to admit, a bbq isn't cheap, it is what we like to do), I don't think. And when I go, I buy a present, but I don't spend anymore than what I can afford to spend (which is usually $10ish). Maybe the people who are having those parties would love to have a simple party, but don't have the house to entertain in (my sister, for example, has the money for a party like that, but since she works alot, her house is usually too messy and she doesn't have the time to get things ready to host a party there... she doesn't judge others for not doing one like that, it is just what she is comfortable hosting). People have those parties for all types of reasons besides wanting to keep up with the Joneses...

I am sure your son and his friends would love to have the type of party you want to have... Maybe you should try it, and who knows... others may follow suit.
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