Babies: 9 - 12 Months

XP: How would you respond to this?

We're planning DD's first birthday party in June. DH's mother has 5 siblings and they are all very close, we celebrate all holidays together, go to their kids' grad parties, showers, etc. So we were planning to invite these 5 sets of aunts/uncles. When I mentioned it to DH's mom, she stopped me and said that she would like to "feel them out" to see if they would even want to come. (???) The next day, she forwarded me the email response from one of the aunts who was asked. The aunt started out by saying how lucky MIL is to have a grandchild in town, and then said "If a notice went out for cake, ice cream and no gifts, that would be great!"

Not that I am fishing for gifts here, but it struck me as odd that she specified we were to say "no gifts please" in order for them to come. We were just wanting to celebrate our DD's first b-day with about 20 relatives/friends, and then wouldn't have a big shindig like this in the future. I wasn't planning to say anything about gifts on the invitations at all, and if people wanted to bring them or not, we were cool with anything. So now I am wondering, is it best to specify "no gifts please" on first birthday invites? Or do I need to write that on there due to her "requirement" if we are to invite the aunts/uncles? Or do I only write it on that set of aunt/uncle invites -- but then if I do that, would it be weird if other people brought gifts after these aunts/uncles were told not to bring gifts? I really don't know what is best to do for this situation, so any ideas are appreciated! TIA!

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Re: XP: How would you respond to this?

  • That's just plain weird IMO.  Just send out the invites to whomever you want, don't specify "no gifts," and if they want to come they can come.  I think putting no gifts on some invites is silly, because there is always going to be some people who bring them still and others who don't and then feel bad for not bringing one.  All first birthday parties I've been to have been fabulous get togethers with friends, family, and neighbors of the baby turning one.  Celebrate DD's birthday the way you want and have fun!
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  • That's just weird IMO.  I wouldn't put anything about gifts on the invites and those who want to can bring one, and those who don't, oh well!  I think I would just word the invite "Baby is turning 1!  Come celebrate with us!" and they can take that however they want.
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  • Yes, that is weird. If it seems like your MIL really does want you to invite these people, then I would send a regular invite out as planned with no mention of gifts or no gifts. If MIL seems like she doesn't want to invite them, then I would just do as she wishes. Maybe there is some family drama going on that they have kept private and that is where this odd request is coming from.

    I would never say "no gifts" on an invite. Any mention of gifts on an invite is considered tacky, even if you are asking for none. Plus, as pp mentioned, there is always someone who will bring a gift and then others will feel weird. I do think that a first birthday is more of an adult celebration, but it is still a birthday party for pete's sake. There should be presents!

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  • that is so weird! I would just write your MIL back and say "Great I'll send them an invite, and of course we would never expect anyone to bring a gift". Then just send the invite without any mention of gifts.  It is up to them to accept or decline, but since you are invited to showers/graduations etc I would invite them.  BTW - I'm sure you brought gifts to those events!!   I get what you are saying that you don't care about the actual gift but seriously- who can't swing a $5 toy for their baby niece/nephew!  
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  • Yeah I agree that that's a little weird for the aunts/uncles to be like that but obviously your MIL knew they might be put off so she "checked". I wouldn't indicate no gifts and I wouldn't feel bad if they felt awkward when they see other people with gifts but that's just me. My DH family is close like that too. I wanted to have a tiny party but DH would like to have them all so we'll have a big group afterall. I do not like it when my MIL steers anything tho. GL!
  • Sounds like a high-drama family who reads way too far into everything if you ask me.  Aunt probably meant that she'd love to come except that she has a thing against people throwing parties for the babies just for the gifts.  

    But it is much tackier to say you'll only come to a party if no gifts are expected than to throw a party expecting gifts.  What the heck. 

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