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No presents please, but....

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121 replies to this topic

#1 Jekaho

Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:52 AM

Ok, please don't flame me for wanting to ask people to not give our son presents for his birthday. I am looking for helpful suggestions of wording, rather than people telling me off for ripping off our child on his special day.

So, my son is having his first birthday "big" party with friends as well as family two days before Christmas. He's turning 4. We are very excited about it - he is excited. We want to it be a time of celebration and fun - something that he will love, special memories with friends and family etc. We don't want lots of presents - we don't have room and he doesn't need them. We know friends and family will want to give presents and that is lovely. But we don't see the need for presents from 70-odd people.

We don't want to ask for money, or for particular gifts. So I was thinking about somehow putting on the invite something about if you're wanting to buy a present for his birthday, please consider bringing along a present to be donated to the Kmart Wishing Tree instead.

But I really don't know how to word it.

I had been thinking about a can of food or something to donate, but because the wishing tree is still open on Christmas Eve, the timing is good.

How do you think I can work it in to the invite:
1. so it makes sense and people get on board with it
2. so it isn't presumptuous about a gift being given or rude asking for something

Any wordsmiths out there??

PS. Yes, he will be getting presents from us, and from family, but not at the party.

Edited by Jekaho, 03 November 2012 - 10:54 AM.

#2 SlinkyMalinki

Posted 03 November 2012 - 10:59 AM

I really don't like being dictated to donate to charity.  

I also don't like coming empty handed to a party.  There's always 'that person' who brings a gift anyway and makes everyone else feel bad.  

I'd much rather a request like 'we're building a library of books' or 'collection of matchbox cars' or similar.

#3 smithsholidayroad

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:04 AM

I think it is a fantastic idea! We have done similar things for birthdays and Christmas.

Maybe something like:

" My son has everything he needs, his present is your prescence at his party to celebrate. Please consider a donation for children in need either by placing a gift at Kmarts wishing tree or donate to your favourite charity to share the love this birthday and festive season"


#4 idignantlyright

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:05 AM

Is there a big ticket item you think he would like, such as an outdoor swing or cubby house set?

You could layby it and ask people to contribute whatever they could afford to the layby. Or give him a gift card in an anonymous envelope.

#5 MrsLexiK

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:07 AM

I don't think it is fair to your child. I also don't like being told who to donate to.

#6 Wineandchocolate

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:08 AM

How about something like:

"You are welcome to bring a present but please note that as our DS already has everything he needs, we will be donating your gift to the Kmart wishing tree"

(obviously you need to somehow do this so that your little one doesn't see gifts that he thinks may be for him original.gif )

#7 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

Is your son old enough to agree that some of his presents should go to help others?  If so, ask him about it and write what he says on the invitation.  

If not then its his birthday (not yours) and I think you should let people do what they want with their own time and money.

Edited by meggs1, 03 November 2012 - 11:12 AM.

#8 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:11 AM

QUOTE (Mummy2907 @ 03/11/2012, 12:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How about something like:

"You are welcome to bring a present but please note that as our DS already has everything he needs, we will be donating your gift to the Kmart wishing tree"

(obviously you need to somehow do this so that your little one doesn't see gifts that he thinks may be for him original.gif )

That's horrid.  I wouldn't come to the party.

#9 harryboy

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

I would respect your request if you asked but I would still bring a little present along for your son.

#10 namie

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:13 AM

I agree with SlinkMalinki but I'm firmly of the opinion that one can never have too many books.

I think I would just happily receive what was given and then donate anything we don't need or don't have room for to charity. But I would never have 70-odd people at a child's birthday party so it will never be a problem for me. I don't reckon I'd even get 70 at my wedding even if flew in DPs family.

You could just suggest that people purchase a gift from Oxfam which helps other people - it was mentioned in another thread and is a great idea. Your son would probably get a kick out of his great-aunt Alice (or whoever) buying a goat for a village.

Edited by namie, 03 November 2012 - 11:16 AM.

#11 bakesgirls

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

QUOTE (MrsLexiK @ 03/11/2012, 11:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think it is fair to your child. I also don't like being told who to donate to.


QUOTE (Mummy2907 @ 03/11/2012, 11:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How about something like:

"You are welcome to bring a present but please note that as our DS already has everything he needs, we will be donating your gift to the Kmart wishing tree"

(obviously you need to somehow do this so that your little one doesn't see gifts that he thinks may be for him original.gif )

I would not be impressed to read or be told this.

#12 Leha

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:19 AM

I tried to do this for my sons first birthday. It made no difference. Everybody came and bought a gift anyway. Honestly, I would t bother and maybe you and our son could take a few of the presents  to the needy.

#13 BetteBoop

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:20 AM

EB is bizarre on this issue. You can't win OP.

You're mentally traumatising your kid if you don't let them get acres of crap from everyone who comes.

If you ask for charity donations, you're a w*n*er.

If you ask for a specific gift, it's a gift grab.

The only right answer is let everyone come and bring more crap you don't need or want  rolleyes.gif

As someone who has done this 3 years in a row, my advice is to call everyone up individually beforehand and specifically ask for no presents as your son has enough toys already.

It does reduce the number of gifts you get, but some people are incapable of changing their behaviour in any way, regardless of what their host requests.

QUOTE (meggs1 @ 03/11/2012, 11:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's horrid.  I wouldn't come to the party.

If you're utterly incapable of doing something only to please someone else, would you be missed?

#14 Wineandchocolate

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

Ok, perhaps my wording wasn't great, but what I meant was word it in a way that discourages people from bringing a present (since that's what you're aiming to achieve), with the knowledge that if they do bring one it wouldn't actually go to their intended recipient.  Didn't mean to cause offense or discourage people from attending the party sad.gif

#15 50ftqueenie

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:22 AM

70 people for a 4th birthday seems a lot. Could you ask family not to buy anything too big?  As for his friends, at that age surely it's nice for children to help choose and wrap a gift it wouldn't be the same if they bought a gift that was for someone else.

#16 bark

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

You are best off just writing 'No Presents please'.

Then if you wish to donate them thats up to you.

#17 Escapin

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

I really like the 'draw a special picture' idea. That way everyone can still bring something for the birthday boy.

#18 BurningBright

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

I would accept gifts as they come and then donate the lot to charity gift wrap and all. I like keep things extremely simple in my life and dictating party terms to 70 odd people is beyond my reach and I am truly lazy  biggrin.gif

#19 MrsLexiK

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:31 AM

QUOTE (bakesgirls @ 03/11/2012, 12:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would not be impressed to read or be told this.

Stating no gifts for a 4 yr old (who I would probably give puzzles or books play dough etc) would make me think well is there going to be party food? Games? A cake? Also our child would have 50 family at there birthday (beauty of blended close families) add in a few close friends easily 70 people but that doesn't equate 70 presents, to get 70 presents. I'm not going to have my child miss out in a party that their cousins get, I will probably change what I but them ie something big or give them something small and do an experience with them.

#20 OneProudMum

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:32 AM

I wouldn't write anything. Most gifts these days from target, big w and the like can be exchanged at those stores without proof of purchase. I would accept any gift graciously and just exchange what you don't have room for.

Half the excitement of a birthday party is opening up presents. Why would you want to detract that excitement from a party?

I think you're being rude and ungrateful, to be honest.

I probably wouldn't go to be honest.

Edited by OneProudMum, 03 November 2012 - 11:34 AM.

#21 Just Wondering

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

I love the idea of asking friends to bring a picture that can be put into a scrapbook. Kids grow out of toys and with so many never know who gave them what anyway. I know my older boys would still look back on scrapbooks of special pictures from their friends, and have a laugh with the kids that they are still friends with, lol.
Being so close to christmas maybe you can somehow word it to say that you dont want your son overwhelemed by too many gifts

#22 adl

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:34 AM

It's his first big party ? I would just leave it....

I understand Your thinking but I do believe it's rude to dictate gifts, non gifts or charitable donations...
Etiquette and manners are important...

if people ask then you can say it , by talking personally and explain look its close to Christmas, it will sound better and you can judge reaction rather than an arbitrary statement on an invite.

but people will be offended , I may suggest an idea to extended family when they ask but otherwise I let them do and give what they want, it's their relationship with my child not mine....

#23 boost33

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:38 AM

We recently went to a wedding and on the invite it had "our request is for no gifts".

I thought it was a nice and different way of saying "no presents please." It clearly states that that is your request.....

I live in a small place. I totally get the not wanting more stuff you have to find a home for. I don't think it's rude at all. And I don't think your child is missing out - a party with 70 guests at 4! Wow! What a lucky little guy. I bet there will be lots of fabulous photos for him to keep and look back at. Kids get so excited just to have all the people they love around them.

Why does it always have to be about the gifts? Sometimes it's nice, yes. But sometimes it's nice to appreciate that the gift is all those people coming together for little old you.

#24 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:40 AM

QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 03/11/2012, 12:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you're utterly incapable of doing something only to please someone else, would you be missed?

I do my own charity giving, and I'd be happy to donate to whatever cause the birthday child wanted to support.  

But I think making these types of decisions on behalf of your kids ignores the fact that the guests are not your guests, but your child's.  They have their own relationship with the child, and when choosing a gift are usually trying to give the child a particular experience or memory they will enjoy.  Who are you to cut that off?

I repeat if the child themself wants to support a charity that's fine, use their wording, it will be more authentic than some twee poem.  

#25 biscotty

Posted 03 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

How is it "unfair" for a little boy to have a big party with all of his friends and family? He will love that, I highly doubt the absence of plastic crap will affect his birthday...

I also like the suggestion of a drawing original.gif That should appease those who don't like coming empty handed, and will be something special for your DS to keep without taking up too much space!

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