I am going to do a joint birthday party for my soon to be 9 (DS) and 5 (DD) next month. (Already reserved a park). Their b.day is 3 weeks apart. Mostly we will invite family and mutual friends that they both know and a few friends that my DS knows from church.
I have another DS who turned 2 in Feb. who didn't have a birthday party (except a small family dinner and a blow on a candle in a cupcake, no gifts were present) so I thought it would be nice to include him in the party and get him a big cake with his own candle to blow.
I am thinking of maybe send separate invites for family, mutual friend (letting them know it is a joint party) and DS's friends/DD's friends for invites (maybe not mentioning the joint party?- I don't know...)
--is not telling guests that it is a joint party a bad or good idea? I don't want them feel obligated to bring gifts to both kids when they only know one kid but then i don't want them feel awkward either.
--Is it ok to include DS2 in the party, should I mention him in the invites (I was thinking only letting family member and close friends know but then again I don't want them feel pressured to bring 3 gifts to all kids). Or should I not mention of him in the invites and just add his cake and let him blow his candle when it is time for cake?
-- How should I phrase the invitation? Do I mention any "gift", like no gift required, no gift please, gift optional, or not mention at all? Again, I don't want guests to feel pressured to bring gifts for all kids but then mentioning "gift" seem awkward too.
---How about asking a toys/books swap instead of gifts. I've been to one party where we all brought our toys/books and it was like a swap meet. Kids went through boxes and chose their new toys.
Any advice is very much appreciated. I've never done joint party or at the park, so this is new to me LOL...
DS 6/2002, DD 5/2006, DS Feb 2009
I've never done a joint party before either, but I'm planning one as well. We're also in the park and my kids (turning 8 and 4) are a week apart in birthdays. Our plan is to invite ds's 1st grade class (oh help me if they all come) and to put on the invite that if they have a younger sibling (which many do) that they may come and help dd celebrate her birthday. I think the whole wording of the gift thing is awkward so I'm just going to leave it off. I realize that's not much help to what you asked, but thought I'd jump in too!
I have been to plenty of bday parties where NO Gifts Please was written on the invitation. I would hesitate to 'outline' any gifts if the no gift thing is not your choice. Like a gift swap or used gifts? To tell you the truth, half the parties I go to that are no gifts, people bring gifts anyway...
I would not include the 2 year old to any large degree on the invitation. I would guess that your child will feel included if you just take a few steps toward making the day special for them as well as your older kids.
I would have a seperate cake for each child. This may seem like overkill but I think it is very important that each child has there own cake.
I have been to several joint sibling parties.
One friend listed all the children and she included a list of sizes, favorite things, etc on the back of the invite.
Another friend mentioned the children on the invite but nothing about gifts.
My neighbor only lists her twins on the invite but I know from previous parties she always includes her other two children born near the same time in the party.
Another party was for a school friend so we only knew one of the siblings but both were listed on the invite.
I always buy for all children who are celebrated - not because I feel obligated, but because I like to do that. I would feel bad if I showed up with a gift for one child not knowing the party was for more than one. For the school party mentioned above, most guests only brought a gift for the child they knew - they opened gifts at the party. The hostess sort of thought it was odd that I brought a gift for the sibling we didn't know. It was just a small gift.
If it were me, I would not say anything about gifts. There have been many threads about 'no, gifts please' and although I understand why people do it, and I do not like to focus on gifts and am fine with no gifts, as are my children, I feel it is sort of rude to mention gifts in any way. And particularly rude to ask people to donate to a charity instead of giving a gift. That said, I have never been offended or angry no matter how a person chooses to word their invite.
When people r.s.v.p. they often ask what the birthday child wants. For my children's parties, I usually say something like..."They will be so excited by your coming to the party; there is no need to bring a gift. We do not open gifts at the party because many of our friends do not give gifts. If you want to get a gift they love everything.' If the person really wants ideas, I'll usually suggest art supplies, etc. (something they can get in any price range and they can find easily.) Also, I have my children send TY's to everyone who attends whether or not a gift was given. I really think it is important to acknowledge the fact that they appreciate and value someone taking the time to celebrate with them.
My children are twins; so far our guests have known both of them since they've always done everything together. But eventually, I can see them having friends from different sources so this might be an issue.