What's a brief, couth way to say, "Bring a gift to my kid's party, or don't, either one is fine. But if you bring one, it's fine if it's something small."
We're inviting all 17 of my son's preschool classmates to his birthday party and there's a good chance they'll all come.
On one hand, I feel like my son (who has 3 older brothers and hand-me-downs) already has an awful lot of nice toys, puzzles, books and dress-up clothes. The thought of up to 17 new things - PLUS gifts from family and neighborhood friends - seems so excessive, even embarrassing.
Plus, nearly half his class have Jan. or Feb. birthdays and I'd hate for anyone not to come because their mom thought, "Sheesh! Another 20 bucks for a gift? We just went to a party last week and I'm still paying off Christmas!"
However, I feel self-conscious asking that people not bring gifts at all, because just last week another mom in my son's class (a friend) threw a party for her kid that was very similar to the one I'll be throwing - and all 17 classmates showed up with gifts. I don't want to come across holier-than-thou, by turning around and handing out invitations to all the same people that seem to say, "I'M not greedy. You don't have to buy a gift for MY kid." You know? (To clarify, I know my friend wasn't greedy. Birthday gifts are perfectly normal. My feeling that my son doesn't need so many this year is just a personal thing.)
I also feel weird saying, "If you want to bring a gift, something little is fine," because it implies that otherwise I'd expect something big. I DO notice people commonly spending $20 and even $30 on birthday gifts for their kids' friends. But I don't want to communicate that I think that's expected, unless an invitation says it's OK to spend less!?
Obviously, I overthink wording. So, which of you can express this more succinctly than I can?????