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How to word a "No gifts" request for a birthday party? - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Most people want to do something and will likely blow off the no gifts request if not given an alternative, so I would highly recommend giving them a charity they can donate to instead. I haven't seen it for birthdays personally, but it is extremely common for funerals for the "In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in X name to X charity". Oh, and some people will still bring a gift anyway
post #22 of 37
I always say, "Present not necessary". Most people bring a present anyway.
Maya
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post
I did something and it worked really well.

I asked each person to bring their favourite kids book and then we gave each kid a number and when their numbers were called they could pick any book they wanted. That way everyone went home with a new book, including my daughter....but only one new book!

I really like this idea and can't wait to use it. Thanks!
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by berry987 View Post
I thought I was saving these parents trouble for something my son would barely )...

Honsetly, explaining to my child why she does not get to bring a gift would be far more trouble than picking up something small. i think picking a gift is dds favorite part of a party.
post #25 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
I'm a bit confused. It sounds like you're inviting families you don't really know to a party for a kid they don't really know.
You're partially right. They're acquaintances from ds1's preschool. we're new to this city so don't have any friends yet. also, in a sense the party's more for the older one than the 1 yr old, imo.

One of my reasons for asking to donate this time also was because the parents don't really "know" the baby. I mean if the party was for ds1 and brought gifts, fine. But it's a party for his brother so it's not like the kids could have fun choosing age-appropriate gifts, yk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by berry987 View Post


So...I need to loosen up...learned that. Just let it be. I thought I was saving these parents trouble for something my son would barely care about (and he didn't care about the presents...except one Chewbacca shirt he got that he loved)...but they taught me something.
The invites with the no gifts msg are out. I only hope the lesson I learn isn't totally unpleasant :P
post #26 of 37
I am a little confused. You are inviting children from your older child's preschool class to your younger child's first birthday party? These are not people that actually know your soon-to-be one year old other than in passing dropping off and picking up your preschooler. Personally, that would be more off putting than recieving an invitation requesting no gifts.

I have 4 children and I can't imagine inviting my older children's classmates to my younger child's birthday party unless they were sibblings of my younger child's friend. It just seems a little odd to me, but that's JMHO.

This maybe perfectly acceptable in your area and if it is, please just ignore me.
post #27 of 37
I put "no gifts please" on dd's latest invite. That's because I invited people I barely know and in a couple cases, hadn't personally met (friends of friends, through a group I'm in). I didn't want them to feel obligated to bring a gift. Almost everyone brought something anyway, which I appreciated but also a bit awkward because the few who didn't bring something as requested felt bad.

FWIW, it's common in that moms' group to invite the whole group (of like 90 families) out to a park for a party (only about 10% go on average I'd say). A lot of us just moved to the area and don't know anyone yet, or at least anyone well. So we all try to go when there's a party for someone's kid. For me, I had planned only a family party like we always do (we've moved 4 times in the past 5 years and are new to the state) and then dd announced less than a week before her party that she wanted "a big party with lots of friends." We got about 10 pizzas, a huge cake, party favors and lots of crafts and just sucked it up and invited our group acquaintances.
post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauletoy View Post
I am a little confused. You are inviting children from your older child's preschool class to your younger child's first birthday party? These are not people that actually know your soon-to-be one year old other than in passing dropping off and picking up your preschooler. Personally, that would be more off putting than recieving an invitation requesting no gifts.
I wouldn't do it either if I were living in my old city or if we had family/friends here. Since we don't, and we wanted to have some kind of celebration for the baby's 1st, I decided to invite ds1's couple friends from preschool whose moms I kind of know (as in we talk more than I talk to the others, one's house we've been to on a playdate).

Just curious: why would that be off-putting? People are just obligated to come eat some cake Or they could decline...?
post #29 of 37
A close friend of mine had a party for her two year and also did not want gifts. On the invitation she wrote a sweet little message stating something like (I can't remember the exact wording) "We want to invite you to help celebrate X's 2nd birthday. X has wonderful grandparents who have been generous to him with both love and gifts. As a result, X has an abundance of toys and clothes and has no need of anything from you except your joyful presence."

She had the outcome she desired and no one felt funny about it at all.
post #30 of 37
I wouldn't invite people who didn't really know my child to his birthday party and specify anything about donations or gifts. How about having an open house at your home or at a park and sing Happy Birthday while you're there but not advertise it as a birthday party.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by wookie View Post
I wouldn't do it either if I were living in my old city or if we had family/friends here. Since we don't, and we wanted to have some kind of celebration for the baby's 1st, I decided to invite ds1's couple friends from preschool whose moms I kind of know (as in we talk more than I talk to the others, one's house we've been to on a playdate).

Just curious: why would that be off-putting? People are just obligated to come eat some cake Or they could decline...?
Your reasoning sounds very reasonable. If that even makes sense.

In your original post you stated that this would be your first "personal" interaction with some of the moms. In my opinion, a first birthday party for a younger sibbling is an odd time to have a "get to know you" with your older child's friend's parents. Again, this is just my opinion, I would most likely just decline the invitation. Now, if you left the first birthday party out of it and invited the children and parents to a spring type party or end of the school year party, I would totally do that.

I can't really put my finger on why it would bother me so I may just not see things the way other moms would.

Anyway, I hope this didn't come across as rude because it was not my intention.

I hope you have a wonderful party. Enjoy celebrating 1 year of life with your little one.
post #32 of 37
I know you've already sent out the invitations but I just thought I'd mention what we did in case anyone else is curious about the same question. For the first years of birthday parties for DS1 I wrote "No gifts, please" on the invitations. What inevitably happened was that a few people brought gifts and the people who had actually tried to follow our request felt bad (even though we opened them only after the party). This year I wrote "No gifts expected: your presence is present enough". I felt a little awkward about the "expected" part, thinking that it was a bit rude to imply that we would expect presents otherwise, but I figured that really, we all know that presents are usually expected at these parties so why pretend differently? I think it worked out really well because since we had not said "NO GIFTS" flat-out, then the people who really wanted to bring a gift brought one and I don't think it made anyone feel bad because we had made the presents sound optional. Almost all the kids brought home-made cards so they didn't come empty handed, and we loved that.

BTW, I'd feel very awkward asking for donations for a particular charity or something like that. I wouldn't even ask for home-made cards (the families came up with that on their own). I felt that this is a celebration and we don't *need* anything from the other families... we just wanted them to come celebrate with us!

OP, hope you have a fun party!!
post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatermom View Post
I know you've already sent out the invitations but I just thought I'd mention what we did in case anyone else is curious about the same question. For the first years of birthday parties for DS1 I wrote "No gifts, please" on the invitations. What inevitably happened was that a few people brought gifts and the people who had actually tried to follow our request felt bad (even though we opened them only after the party). This year I wrote "No gifts expected: your presence is present enough". I felt a little awkward about the "expected" part, thinking that it was a bit rude to imply that we would expect presents otherwise, but I figured that really, we all know that presents are usually expected at these parties so why pretend differently? I think it worked out really well because since we had not said "NO GIFTS" flat-out, then the people who really wanted to bring a gift brought one and I don't think it made anyone feel bad because we had made the presents sound optional. Almost all the kids brought home-made cards so they didn't come empty handed, and we loved that.

BTW, I'd feel very awkward asking for donations for a particular charity or something like that. I wouldn't even ask for home-made cards (the families came up with that on their own). I felt that this is a celebration and we don't *need* anything from the other families... we just wanted them to come celebrate with us!
OP, hope you have a fun party!!
thanks tatermom, your post made much sense to me. i like the idea of "expected" gifts...it does make it sound optional but still gets across your idea of not wanting gifts. i say, brilliant. i will use this next time if i don't use the (another brilliant) book exchange idea.

the bolded part is exactly my intention with this party. we'll see how it goes.

thanks, all, for your valuable input.
post #34 of 37
We did a no gift party this year. My 2 middle kids wanted a bowling party. We told everyone no gifts and that we just simply wanted to have fun w/our friends and neighbors. It went over very well, partly because several of these families are struggling. They seemed very appreciative of the opportunity to just go have fun, with no pressure. They did seem like they thought it was strange at first until we explained that the kids just want to have fun w/their friends for their gift. Worked great!
post #35 of 37
We invited a couple of DS1's closest friends on a trip to the park with us to celebrate his birthday. One brought a card with a small amount of cash, but apart from that we avoided the big gift thing.
post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to provide an update. The party ROCKED! One person brought donatable stuff, 2 brought cash (a little odd but somehow not embarassing) and 2 brought a card each. Nothing was said about the whole idea in terms of weirdness and the kids all went home happy. The kids didn't even miss opening the presents or anything. I've already taken the donations to the women's house (who were so grateful) and I don't have more toys. Win-win.
post #37 of 37
Glad everything worked out the way you planned. It sounds like everyone had fun. I hope you were able to make a few new friends also.
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