No presents request for birthday party? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 11-05-2012, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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My DD turns one next week and we had originally not planned to do any type of party for her birthday. But we are getting asked by friends and family what is going on and have thoughts to do an "open house" type get together at a local restaurant. The other reason I didn't want to have a party is because of the presents! I know that sounds weird but she already has so many toys and clothes that I either bought on clearance/second hand or we got as hand-me-downs. She probably could go a month and not wear the same outfit twice! Plus we have a very small house as far as toys go and limited storage space.
Is it rude to state no presents in the invite (which at this late date will be an e-mail and Facebook event invite)? Perhaps list several local children's charities and say they could give donations of money or items? Or should I just let people bring what they want and potentially donate to Toy for Tots or return what is a duplicate or not needed (what a hassle for me though!)? I did make an Amazon wish list to, well, make sure my MIL didn't buy anything crazy, but there is barely anything left on it and even at that I put practical things like jammies and socks in several sizes up.
Thanks for any advice :)
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#2 of 7 Old 11-05-2012, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by seekingsun View Post
Is it rude to state no presents in the invite (which at this late date will be an e-mail and Facebook event invite)? Perhaps list several local children's charities and say they could give donations of money or items?


If you really want to split hairs, yes it would be rude to state no presents or direct any presents to donations as this simple act implies you are expecting presents.  That being said, most people don't view it that way so I wouldn't worry too much about offending someone by requesting they not spend money.


We did a "no presents please" party when DS was 4yo and everyone honored our request.  I have since come to learn that this was a freak occurance. 


I think the age of your LO might work to your advantage.  You could word the invitation in way that says something like "your presence is the best present for LO.  If you would like to mark the occasion, consider a contribution to XYZ, an organization close to our heart..."


Not to complicate matters but who is footing the bill for the restaurant gathering?  You or do the guests pay for their own food/drinks?  I would make sure that is clearly outlined in the invitation.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#3 of 7 Old 11-09-2012, 10:51 AM
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I.. personally would probably just let people bring presents if they like. I figure if we don't want the kids to have something/have duplicates/isn't "their" thing.. we can either return it for store credit or donate it.

If you're really adamant on no gifts maybe something like "In lieu of gifts, please consider donating to x, y, z." With some people expect presents for DD AND them telling you they made a donation.. I know my MIL would NEVER let the kids not have presents at a birthday lol.

Wife to DH dh_malesling.GIF(12.10.2009), Anchorage based doula joy.gif, Proud mama to Autumnblahblah.gif (09.03.2008), Sylas bouncy.gif(04.25.2010), angel1.gif(06.11.2012), Callioperainbow1284.gif(04.23.2013)

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#4 of 7 Old 11-25-2012, 06:19 AM
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In the past, I 've put something like this on the invite:


"Please feel no obligation to bring a gift, we are so blessed to have your presence as our gift :)"


Some people got the hint and honored that, some brought a gift anyway to which I accepted gracefully and gratefully because they thought enough of my child to spend their time and money choosing something they felt my kid(s) would like -- and that is sweet to me. If my kids have duplicates or it's something that didn't fit our family's beliefs we simply donated it later (quietly lol).


The one thing I don't do is open gifts in front of everyone. I just explain to people it's overwhelming for my kids (it is) and I don't want other children to feel left out or whatever. People accept this with no issue.


I think gently and lovingly expressing to people that you value their attendance more than a gift can be received well if done right, but outright saying NO PRESENTS or something similar is rude (imo).

Grace-based wife & mama to 2 unschoolers! One & . We live simply & mindfully. Expecting another blessing Feb 2015 Praying for another
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#5 of 7 Old 11-30-2012, 11:53 AM
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I've started doing this for my kids (started at age 8 for one and 7 for the other).


I state no presents necessary on the invitation. There are several reasons...One, the house isn't getting any bigger. Two, with the state of most people and jobs...I want them to come celebrate, not feel obligated to bring a present.


Sometimes people ask if it's ok to bring something and I tell them that we'd prefer something that is consumable (like paper), educational,handmade, or used.  Those things don't bother me as much.


Mostly, I just just want my daughters to have people to celebrate with.   Mine are older so we've started moving towards fun events out with one friend like skating or tonight my seven year old is celebrating with dinner with two friends and their families.  When it's small, it's easy to ask that people not bring presents. We just want their company.

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#6 of 7 Old 02-04-2013, 07:11 PM
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Here is what we did for one of DD's birthday parties, and it worked: we stated in the invitation that instead of traditional new gifts, we were having a secondhand book swap. That is, each child brings a secondhand book (either from their own collection, or thrifted) wrapped if they like, and each child receives a secondhand book.

That takes care of avoiding landfill-bound icky plastic "favors", and sweatshop-labor toys, in one fell swoop. Every kid gives something, and every kid gets something, and parents on both ends are happy. 


If a kid gets a book they already have or don't care for, often they can find someone to swap with, or we can swap out something else for them.


To be more special, making pretty cloth Furoshiki wraps for the books, that the kids get to keep and use as gift wraps, themselves, to someone else, is nice.

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#7 of 7 Old 02-24-2013, 03:32 PM
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A popular party around us is a "toonie party" ($2 for the nonCanadians!). Instead of a present, each child brings 2 toonies to give to the birthday child. The birthday child keeps one of the toonies, and then gets to buy themselves a present afterwards; the other toonie is donated to a charity/cause of the birthday child's choice. Every parent I know is happy to receive one of these invitations for their child!  The guests often put a lot of effort into making the wrapping for the coins - lots of homemade artwork. And then the kids also get to choose a cause to donate to.

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