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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 8 yr old was attended a no gift birthday party a couple months back and ended up being th eoNLY one (out of 7 kids) who didn't bring a gift. The parents, IMO, handled it very poorly by having their dd open all the gifts in front of the kids - despite the very prominent NO GIFTS PLEASE on the party invites. Of course my dd was humiliated - (especially when the birthday girl asked her in front of all the others what she had brought!) The parents just stood there sheepishly giggling.
Anyway, she's been invited to another no-gift party this month and is feeling really leary - as am I - about attending w/o a gift.
I'd like to hear any experiences and suggestions frim others about how to handle this type of thing.
TIA
 

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Well, it seems that the birthday girls parents wanted no gifts, but that the attending guests and their parents weren't comfortable coming to a party empty handed. Giggling was a crappy and immature response though. Personally, I may put a $5-$10 gc to blockbuster or something in a card for your daughter to have in "back up" in case the situation arises again.
 

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My kids usually bring a small bouquet of flowers(hand picked or just one nice bloom if we go to the store), or a tiny potted plant, to no gift parties. We've arrived at this decision for two reasons. The first is that my kids truly want to give something meaningful at the party. A bouquet of flowers hasn't seemed to offend anyone yet. The second is that in several cases we've seen the b-day child seem sad about the "no gift" rule, or express that the parents wouldn't allow presents to be given. I'm all for less comercialization and "stuff", but the kids were sad about it. Anyway, for better or worse that's what we now do.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by karne View Post
My kids usually bring a small bouquet of flowers(hand picked or just one nice bloom if we go to the store), or a tiny potted plant, to no gift parties. We've arrived at this decision for two reasons. The first is that my kids truly want to give something meaningful at the party. A bouquet of flowers hasn't seemed to offend anyone yet. The second is that in several cases we've seen the b-day child seem sad about the "no gift" rule, or express that the parents wouldn't allow presents to be given. I'm all for less comercialization and "stuff", but the kids were sad about it. Anyway, for better or worse that's what we now do.
That's a really good idea too.
 

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Karne,

I love your idea, regardless of the "gift policy" Flowers are always appropriate!

I also agree that the birthday child feels gypped. Clearly not his/her choice not to receive gifts and probably can't understand the parents' reasoning.

My ds (4y) just happened to go to his first "no gifts" party this past weekend. The birthday girl was clearly distraught. Apparently she was having a family party a few days later and there would be gifts there (I assume) but she wasn't really interested in that reasoning. I felt sad watching her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great ideas about flowers and/or card w/ gc for a back-up.
I had already kind of decided to have something on hand "in case".
You know, that last no-gift party we went to - I did call the parents and they were very adamant about not wanting gifts (religious reasons - they don't celebrate birthdays- ??? why the party then you ask? Got me!) But obviously the other guests didn't feel comfortable showing up empty handed.

I think I'll have dd bring flowrs and I'll have a card in my purse!


Thanks again, all.
 

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I do always feel bad for the child at no-gift birthday parties because clearly, it's about the parents and not the child. The last one we went to, we burned a cd compilation of my child's favorite songs so we didn't come empty-handed. Another thing we thought of was to make a tie-dyed t-shirt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by peachweenie View Post
I do always feel bad for the child at no-gift birthday parties because clearly, it's about the parents and not the child. The last one we went to, we burned a cd compilation of my child's favorite songs so we didn't come empty-handed. Another thing we thought of was to make a tie-dyed t-shirt.
You know, I wonder about that also... it does kind of seem to be more about the parents - or at least, it seems like the children don't understand what's going on, you know?
Lots of mixed signals going on for the birthday dc and for the guests. When trying to explain to my dd what was up after that last party I was completely perplexed! She just wanted to know how she had somehow comitted this major social faux paux and I had no idea how to explain it to her other than to say there was a lot of miscommunication on the part of the adults. But to her - an 8 yr old - it didn't seem that way - it seemed like all the other kids had done the expected thing and that the (giggling) adults were all totally in on it. Very annoying.
:
 

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For no gift parties my kids would always bring at least a (hand made) card. I don't think hand made cards cross the "no gifts" line, personally (just like if I went to a No Gifts adult party I would feel fine bringing a card).

If it is close friend, I talk to the parents before hand and explain that we would be getting their child a present if they had a party or not, so could we give it at a different time? For more of a school friend/acquantance I would have a present wrapped in the car and if most people were bringing presents I would bring it in.

Either way, once it is "no gift" the presents should have NOT been opened at the party. That is completely rude and your daughter is definately owed an appology (I don't think she will get one, but an adult did something that would hurt her).
 

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I agree that the gifts shouldn't have been opened at the party when they said no gifts.

I don't think no gift parties are all about the parents. Everyone in my daughter's class does no gift parties, and none of the kids have a problem with it. Usually the invitations just a charity suggestion if people are really insistent on giving a gift.

My daughter and her best friend gave each other gifts for their birthdays, but not at the parties.
 

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For my DD's 4th birthday party last month, I requested "No gifts, please." Of the nine children that attended, two brought gifts - which I set in another room and DD opened them after the party. I took photos and mailed thank you notes. Four or five brought cards, which DD also opened after the party. One in-between item was a nice card that folded into a castle with punch-out people and in the card they had enclosed several sheets of stickers.

DD's party was a few days after her birthday. She received gifts from family on her birthday. The party was for cake and fun with friends. As far as I can tell DD didn't have any expectation of receiving gifts at her party and was not at all disappointed not to (I hired a tenager to do face painting at her party and DD was all about the face painting! That was some of the best money I ever spent as far as making DD happy).

If the invite says "no gifts" then gift-opening should not be a event. Ugh.

I have no regrets about hosting a "no gifts" party, but maybe having a back-up gift in your car or purse isn't a bad idea if you don't want your child to feel bad if the birthday child does open gifts from everyone. Bleech.
 

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Dd went to a no-gift party recently. A couple of people brought gifts, and the mother thanked them then unobtrusively set them aside for later, so I don't think dd even noticed. She had drawn a card at home for her friend, and was happy having brought that.

We went to another one a few years back where a number of people had brought gifts, and they were opened at the party. I did think that was rather awkward...

I still like the idea of no-gift parties. We haven't done one as dd really values knowing what her friends have picked out for her, but those of her friends who have done them seemed happy enough about it, and like they participated in making the decision.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by peachweenie View Post
I do always feel bad for the child at no-gift birthday parties because clearly, it's about the parents and not the child.
This is not always true. We do no-gift parties with my dd's full consent.

That aside, it is terribly rude to have any gifts opened at a no-gift party. Our guests have mostly complied to the request. But for the few that have not, the gifts were graciously accepted then tucked away to be opened at a later time.
 

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Oh how awkward that they opened gifts in front of everyone. I like the flower suggestion. Or maybe a balloon?

We do "no-gift parties" as do some of our friends. DS just had is 4yo birthday and one person brought a gift. I just saved it for him to open later. This year we also had a book exchange. I asked the parents all to bring a wrapped book and at the end each kid got to pick one out, unwrap it and take it home.

As to the pp's thinking that my kids is gypped-I don't think my child is shortchanged in any way by not having gifts at his party. My parents had a family party for him were he got at least 10 presents and all but 2 of them are sitting around in his closet untouched because he's already lost interest in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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This year we also had a book exchange. I asked the parents all to bring a wrapped book and at the end each kid got to pick one out, unwrap it and take it home.
Oh, I really like that idea!
 

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I went to a no gift--stated on the invitation--and called the mom who reiterated no gift. I was doubtful so I bought and stashed a gift in the car trunk. And guess what? Everyone bought gifts! I was so glad I had one, lol. So that's what I would do again--have aback up gift in case.

I agree that's amazingly rude to have "no gifts" on the invite and then open the gifts at the party.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lisalulu View Post
This year we also had a book exchange. I asked the parents all to bring a wrapped book and at the end each kid got to pick one out, unwrap it and take it home.

We did this for my dds' party as well. I asked them about it first and they were fine with it.
 
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