Birthday Invitation question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-26-2014, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Birthday Invitation question

Hello! So my LO is going to be turning 2 soon and I need some suggestions on how to word the invitation. Our family has decided that instead of presents we would like the guests to make donations to the college fund. How do I word this on a invitation so it is clear to the guest, yet polite? I'm not asking for opinions on the subject just how to word it. Thanks!
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#2 of 10 Old 07-27-2014, 02:08 AM
 
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Are they family members? I would probably say something like, "LO has plenty of toys and clothes, so no gifts are necessary. If you feel moved to give a gift, we would love for you to contribute to his college fund."

I'm not really good at these sorts of things, so maybe someone will have a better wording. I have been to parties for my children's classmates, and sometimes I've just given money, so if I knew that this is what they'd want, I'd probably throw $20 or so in a card and call my work done. I've often given gift cards, but cash is easier.
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#3 of 10 Old 07-27-2014, 11:43 AM
 
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Dictating the types of gifts you will receive is a borderline issue in terms of etiquette... When the gifts will be copious and expensive, such as a wedding, quinceañera, confirmation, a wedding anniversary that is a multiple of ten, a bar/bat mitvah, and a school graduation. In those cases the hostess can make a statement such as "Jane has requested that she receive donations to her college fund in lieu of gifts" or "Jane and John have registered their preferences for gifts with Gumphrey's Department Store of Peabody, Ontario."

For a relatively non-important event, such as the ordinary birthday of a child between 2 and 17, the only option you have to impose your preferences on those who wish to honor the event is to redirect gifts to a charity: "Please send donations to XXX charity in lieu of gifts" noted with the invitation. Otherwise, telling your guests what to give is considered to be a breach of etiquette. The point of the event is to allow the guests to express their love and regards to the guest of honor in a way that honors their natural affection. To dictate how they do that is impolite and would diminish the opportunities for unique and meaningful bonds between the guest of honor and those honoring him/her.

(An announcement of the event should be sent *after* it occurs and cannot include a reference to expected gifts. Only persons invited to an event can receive directions about the gifts they will bring.)
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#4 of 10 Old 07-27-2014, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As I said in the original post, I'm not asking for opinions on the matter. Just suggestions on wording. Thanks!
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#5 of 10 Old 07-27-2014, 04:26 PM
 
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You are asking for advice on how to present an impolite request in polite terms. That doesn't make sense.

I hope that you will reconsider and allow those close to your child to express their affection in their own way on this 2nd birthday, and I hope it's joyful for your child and you and all involved!

Puma
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#6 of 10 Old 07-27-2014, 04:29 PM
 
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You asked how to word it *politely*. Pumabearclan has explained that it is not possible to do so. I agree with her, I'm afraid.
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#7 of 10 Old 07-31-2014, 09:12 AM
 
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As others have stated, there is no polite way to direct gift-giving. You don't own the pile of goodwill directed to your kid.

If you receive a gift someone has thoughtfully picked for your child, you say think you. You then choose whether to use it or not. Some people will request a wish list for idea, you can make one or not.

You can tell them you have a lot of clothes/toys/whatnot for this stage if you like and direct them to more durable things like books or college fund IF THEY ASK. But yeah, it is still rude.

It would be extremely rude to tell this to everyone without asking.
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#8 of 10 Old 08-06-2014, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to add to this incase someone sees it in the future. My husband & I decided to put "all gifts are appreciated but a small donation to X ' s college fund would be even better" I also saw " One of the best gifts we can give our daughter is a good education" and adding to it from there. We have gotten such great feedback from people - who are happy their money is going someplace useful. This is the 21st century where people are more about common sense then "invitation etiquette". I know my children aren't going to look back in 20 years and wish they had more plastic toys. They will be enjoying other things because they won't be in college debt.
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#9 of 10 Old 09-08-2014, 10:30 AM
 
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Actually asking for money in place of gifts is a growing trend and I see nothing wrong with it. You know they would be spending that money anyways.
People are also asking for books in place of cards.

I know with our friends and family we would end up with gifts and money from some of them.

I tend to word things very personally. So I would say something like "We would love you to help contribute to _____'s college fund! Here is how it works; if you would like, bring a donation in place of a gift."
Just play around with it until you feel comfortable.

I'm doing DD's 1st, and we are having a weenie roast over a bonfire. I'm asking people to bring their own weenies and buns. We will have drinks and side dishes. Some people would probably frown on that idea, but it took a lot of stress off of us.
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#10 of 10 Old 10-20-2014, 05:19 AM
 
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I agree with OklaFarmMama
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