Requesting recycled birthday gifts? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-22-2008, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
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DD's 2nd bday is coming up and I am dreading the onslaught of useless plastic toys --or really, just the onslaught of toys. We don't need them and it just seems so wasteful to me. I've tried the "no gifts, please," and everyone always ignores it. So, I was thinking this year of finding some way of asking people to bring a toy their child has outgrown (and maybe taking one home? I don't know how that would work, though), or maybe buying a used toy instead of a new one. I just can't think of a tactful way of doing it. I know it will most likely be ignored and that people will roll their eyes at it, but I don't care. Has anyone else tried something like this? If so, how did you phrase it and how well did it work?

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#2 of 5 Old 08-22-2008, 01:05 AM
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I think it would work if you made recycling the theme of the party. Print invites on recycled paper, use old junk to make arts and crafts at the party (my ds is just 2 and I know that he likes it if I put dots of glue on paper and he can stick things to the glue), maybe read a story about recycling. How about having a toy swap? Everybody brings a toy they no longer want and then they can pick a new toy to take home. That way everybody gets something new and your dd doesn't get a ton of things either. For ds' party we went through our stuffed animal collection (we have big rubbermaid tubs full) and had a whole tubful that we sat by the door and each child could pick a toy on the way out. The kids loved it and the parents thought it was a good idea too. The rest we are going to give either to the local fire station or a friend who's bil works at a children's hospital.
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#3 of 5 Old 08-27-2008, 11:45 PM
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I would do a toy-trade rather than asking for all gifts for your DD. At Christmas, it's usually called a White Elephant Gift Exchange - you could parody that name somehow. Encourage trading out toys from their own toyboxes rather than buy new, but that might be more difficult.

Personally, I've always had plenty of success saying NO gifts. I seem to be the only person who does, though. I don't think it's an indication of my community, either - but probably more of a fear of making "Janis" mad by disobeying I'm pretty outspoken about it. My kids actually think it's weird when they go to parties where gifts are given. (they've never been to a no-gifts party, but they certainly don't complain about my rules) Of course, the in-laws disregard our request every year.

Another reason why it may be that I'm not having issues with it is that I don't make it a "birthday party" - it's a "unicorn party" or whatever theme that my DD picks. And my DD draws the actual invitation which we hand out in person to our guests. We always have a birthday cake, we have a creative activity, and a pinata, and guests do know it's a birthday celebration, but they also know that it's not going to be your "traditional" sort of party.

It kinda sounds scroogy when I type it out, but everybody does love our parties!

p.s. my dd's get their first "real" birthday party when they turn 5. They get to invite one friend per year of age. Siblings don't count, but they are always included on the invitation. Grandparents and babysitters don't count, either. Prior to that, the date is celebrated with just immediate family and cake.

Mama to 3 girls 12,8,3
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#4 of 5 Old 08-30-2008, 09:27 AM
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I am trying this with my baby shower next month. I hope I won't get a ton of new things, as we don't need them for #2 with the hand-me-downs from relatives already waiting.

I had no success trying this with DD's birthday, as she wanted her toys. Uggh.

I went to a birthday party which was a donate to charity party for a 5 year old, and I saw quite a few gifts, but none (I think) from non-family type people.
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#5 of 5 Old 09-02-2008, 02:17 AM
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At my baby shower for my first dd I had my mom tell everyone, "I love garage sale stuff and didn't mind used gifts". There was a big income difference in some of the people attending and I know a lot of them liked being able to buy used. I got new and used items.

For Christmas every year we make it sort of a game with family to do it inexpensive. Dh's side keeps lowering the price limit and I get a lot of recycled gifts, which I love. And my side of the family has started to shop for gifts at thrift stores.

I guess it depends on who is coming to your dd's birthday. My instances all involved family and I really didn't mind telling them.

*formerly apecaut*, Mom to A, Calliope (stillborn 40 weeks 6/22/07), A and O
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