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Birthday Party Etiquette - Page 2

post #21 of 28
For my son's second birthday, I did that. It was 7 days after DD was born and I knew that I would be hugely preggers or have an extremely new baby - and I just didn't want to deal with the STUFF.

My invitations said something like... The best gift you can offer is the gift of your presense. (Then in smaller font: No gifts please)

When people questioned us, I said - look he's gonna get plenty from his grandparents and from us. We don't want him to be overloaded with toys. We just want a day to celebrate "Ethan". Most people didn't question it after that.
post #22 of 28
Originally Posted by paula_bear View Post
Wow, this is one of my pet peeves. For DD's first birthday, we only invited immediate family (who would have given gifts anyway), godparents, and a few close friends. Everyone enjoyed it and we weren't overloaded with gifts. We didn't do anything special - no games, clown, etc. Just good food and clean old-fashioned fun! Cheap goodie bags for the kids consisted of dollar store items, nothing fancy.

At the peds office, I was talking to a woman who invited more than 50 people for her DD's first birthday. I thought it was not only unnecessary, but gluttonous! When the kids get older, I think we should still limit their birthday parties. It seems that each year they get more elaborate and costly. What does this teach the kids? Not the sort of values I want to pass on... What makes it difficult is explaining to your child why you don't want to spend a fortune celebrating their birthday. I guess this is as good a time as any to talk about the futility of "keeping up with the Joneses."
I have an honest question. My husband has a big family, I have a small family but I have lots of friends, close friends. They have children. We LOVE to have birthday parties for our kids. We invite family and friends. We invite our kids friends from school and their parents and siblings.

We have a giant barbeque in the back yard. The kids play on the swing set, play games, hit a pinata, scramble for candy, get goody bags, eat hamburgers and cake, give presents, splash in the kiddie pool and play on the slip and slide.

The adults socialize, relax, look after one another's kids, have a burger, drink a beer.

There is usually somewhere between 30- 50 people. They bring presents. I bring presents to their kids when they have a party.

Why does the fact that I "have a party with 50 people" become a pet peeve of yours? It may not be "necessary, but no party is. Why is it gluttonous? It' s a party! I love providing my friends with food, drink, frivolity and fun. I don't know why I would be criticized or judged for that.

I see the "value" of it like this: we have friends and family with whom we love to play and spend time with. We like to feed them, and enjoy their company at a party. What is wrong with the "values" of thowing a party? I love to give them, I love to go to them. It's how relationships develop.

Could you explain more clearly? I love big parties, you like small. A matter of taste, or opinion, I think, don't you?
post #23 of 28
right on.
post #24 of 28
Not a big party person myself. For DS's first birthday, my DH wanted to invite everyone we had ever met! I don't know, big parties for little kids just scream, please buy us stuff. It is my own issue, I know.

It was just grandparents and an uncle and I just asked that they either skip the gifts or get something small, since his birthday was following Christmas. He got small items from everyone. But, they all had to travel and pay for hotels so that was a gift in itself.
post #25 of 28
I include, "Please no presents, just your presence" on the invitations.
Most people get my daughter something anyway though.
post #26 of 28
When I sent out the invites to my daughter's (large) first birthday party I wrote "Your presence is present enough!" We got a few cards, and a very few toys, and a great party!
post #27 of 28
Originally Posted by Starling View Post

My son will be one year old in March. I would like to have a celebration in honor of his birthday; however, I don't want to be perceived as wanting gifts.

Most of our friends and family have more $$ than we do. When my son was born, our friends and family were really super generous. A friend threw me a shower and we got an embarrassing amount of great stuff. Other friends gave us wonderful hand-me-downs. We're set for toys and clothes.

I'm thinking of writing "no gifts, please" on the invitations. Is that weird? Awkward?

What have others done to celebrate a first birthday?
It's definitely a different way of doing things. Some people may not understand and/or be offended.

You could always suggest gifts that don't take up space for those who really really want to buy a present for your baby.
Gifts like a pass to an indoor playground, zoo admission, or membership at a local children's museum would be gifts your child could experience and yet not create extra clutter.
post #28 of 28
Originally Posted by kezia View Post
Well, if you really want to talk about etiquette, it's technically considered rude to say "no gifts, please" on an invitation, because in saying that you're assuming that people would bring gifts, and it's never polite to assume someone will give you a present. I believe this would also apply to requests to make donations, etc. "in lieu of gifts". I've heard Miss Manners expound on this on numerous occasions, and basically it isn't polite to talk about gifts at all.


If I did not want gifts I would not have a party but instead would do something small. For a first bday, a small family gathering or maybe just a few friends is great.

For our first dd's first, we invited all of our friends who also had kids that age and all of our family and it was huge and overwhelming and dd got too much stuff. She had so many toys it was ridiculous. For this baby's first birthday this summer, we will just have immediate family. They do not remember the first bday anyway.
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