No Gifts at kids parties — The Bump
Pre-School

No Gifts at kids parties

74dragonfly74dragonfly member
edited January 2014 in Pre-School
About half the kids parties here (Northen California) say no gifts on the invite. DD has a party in a week. I didn't say that in the invite. What percentage of kids parties say no gifts in your area.




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Gifts at kids parties 183 votes

100%
2% 5 votes
50%
8% 15 votes
25%
17% 32 votes
None of them
67% 123 votes
SS
4% 8 votes

Re: No Gifts at kids parties

  • DS1 has only had one kids' party, and I made it no gifts. We do not have a lot of space and don't need a bunch more junk, particularly since my mom goes way overboard with gifts for them every year at Christmas. On the receiving end of "no gift" invites, I personally really appreciate it - working full time with two kids the last thing I have time for is to purchase a gift for a child I barely know.

    What some people do, which I like and may do at DS1's next birthday party, is to do a book exchange - everybody brings a wrapped book and everybody takes one home (usually the host gets a couple extra just to make sure nobody winds up with something they have already). That also eliminates the need for the host to do goody bags, another phenomenon I can't stand.
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  • jetgrrrl said:

    DS1 has only had one kids' party, and I made it no gifts. We do not have a lot of space and don't need a bunch more junk, particularly since my mom goes way overboard with gifts for them every year at Christmas. On the receiving end of "no gift" invites, I personally really appreciate it - working full time with two kids the last thing I have time for is to purchase a gift for a child I barely know.

    What some people do, which I like and may do at DS1's next birthday party, is to do a book exchange - everybody brings a wrapped book and everybody takes one home (usually the host gets a couple extra just to make sure nobody winds up with something they have already). That also eliminates the need for the host to do goody bags, another phenomenon I can't stand.

    I hate goody bags too. I gave books as the favor last year and will again.




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  • groovygrlgroovygrl member
    edited January 2014
    I voted 25% but I would say it is less than 25%. None of hte daycare parties had it, but 2 other friends did. I tried it at their first bday (which was not a party, we just did cake at our neighborhood pool & had some munchies, we didn't want a 'party' and  just wanted some ppl around to watch the first bday cake destruction. About 50% actually didn't bring a gift and those that did brought something pretty small. We didn't have a party for 2 or 3 and at 4 b/c it was mostly preschool kids I didn't write it since it is not hte norm...however, I did email my 2 other friends individually and asked them to please not bring gifts (b/c I respected their wishes on their party and wanted to extend the same thing to them).

    ETA I like the no gifts concept if it is the norm & ppl actually adhere to it, but my observations ahve been that a lot of ppl don't and then the ppl who respect it & arrive w/ nothing feel really weird/uncomfortable about not having a gift... The other problem is that before a certain age I feel like kids don't get it & if they see their friends getting gifts at their parties, and they help pick out or give gifts & then at their party, you're like, sorry, we told ppl not to bring you anything, it is just tough for a 4 yr old to understand.
    jf198400[Deleted User]
  • I'm in Northern California as well and have a almost six year old and a 3 year old and never have gotten an invite that says no gifts. 
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  • I put 25%, but it's less than that.  We do 'no gift' parties, we have a good friend who does them and my BIL's family does them for the first birthday, but not after.  It's working for right now, so I just let it ride, I can't stand all that junk, we have a small place and we get enough gifts from family!  We have also yet to do 'goody bags' though I think I'm going to have to start doing them soon, I'm sure kids will start to miss them.  I like the book exchange idea though!
  • I would prefer no gifts, and I would love for my kids to be selfless enough not to care about gifts, but a big part of the excitement about birthdays for a kid is the presents.  I see how DD loves shopping for gifts for her friends and is amazed when she sees all the gifts, and often disappointed when they're not opened at the party.  I'm not going to deny my kids that part of the excitement.  In all likelyhood many of the gifts will be stored away and regifted, although I've even moved away from that this Christmas now that DD is really at the age when she wants to open everything right away and check it all out.  Eventually things will be donated and we'll make room for more.  I'll deal with a little clutter and unnecessary stuff twice a year so my kids can enjoy the magic they get out of birthdays and Christmas for a few years.
    74dragonfly[Deleted User]
  • I've only had 1 bday invite that said "no gifts" from a good friend.  So we went to the party without a gift.  There were a shit ton of gifts on their dining room table which made me feel like an ass, but oh well.  I'm not a fan of no gift parties for this reason.
    Wendy Twins 1/27/06. DS and DD
  • neverblushedneverblushed member
    edited January 2014
    I'm torn about this concept.  As a parent, I felt it was a nice experience for my kids to think about their friends and learn to pick out and give a gift.  But when my kids' birthdays rolled around, I understood why parents want to de-emphasize gifts.  You just want it to be about celebrating and having a good time with friends -- not about gifts.  

    I never requested "no gifts" at my kids' parties, though.  It's just not the norm in our area.

    Ditto PP who had the experience of bringing no gift and finding that there were a ton of gifts there anyway.  That's another reason I have never done a "no gift" party.  I don't want to make anyone feel like a jerk for following the instructions.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • We do no gift paries... but found people still brought things. After the first part like that we did donations. We let the girls pick who they want to help. I then call or look for a list of donations they need. I include a little not about helping 'x' help others in honor of her special day. Works out great :) I would say 10-20% do something similar...
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  • fredalina said:
    I really don't like them. I understand some people have limited space, but that'a not usually a problem in my area where houses are on the big side. We go through 1-2 times a year and find old toys to donate. No gift parties and especially donation parties are pretty pretentious. I can get away with spending $10 and make a pretty decent gift from sale items or bundling art supplies, but a $10 donation still looks like a $10 donation. I don't know. I guess to me they're kids and it's their birthday. Save the lesson in humility and charity for a different day. It would be a little like going around on Halloween asking for canned goods because it isn't nice to eat so much junk food when there are starving people in the world. All true, but bad timing. It's Halloween and little kids should be out Trick or Treating. They're only little once.
    Whatever did happen to UNICEF at halloween anyway? :)
  • I love the book idea and I HATE goody bags. They always have a bunch of little crap toys that I don't want around fort he kids to choke on and a bunch of candy I won't let them eat. I'm mean like that- enjoy the ice cream and cake at the party kids but I'm not giving you a goody bag filled with candy to eat at home so that the crazy can continue. I thik we have only gotten one or two no gift invites for the kids (we have two in preschool so plenty of parties). One of them was from a very close family friend who actually told me she preferred hand me down items so I brought a bag of clothing that the little one had grown out of and then bought a tin of "thinking putty" which is about ten dollars but for a two year old is still pretty exciting.
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  • We say it but nobody else ever has.
    Me - J.R. - 05/1986
    DH - J.I. - 08/1986
    Married - 09/22/2006
    DD#1 - A.E. - 12/15/2009
    DD#2 - N.R. - 11/07/2011
    DD#3 - S.R. - 05/20/2013
      DS - R.E. - 10/03/2014

    Absolutely in love with our 'big' family!

    I'm also a proud Auntie to a crazy little girl, her brand new baby sister, a little man on his way in the next month, and a sweet little mister we will miss forever!!!
  • groovygrlgroovygrl member
    edited March 2014
    Lol I had to google toonie... So it is like a chipping in party? That is interesting and frankly I would love that, no need to stress out and find a gift for each of the parties! I have never heard of anyone doing that though and can't see it working where I live.
  • neverblushedneverblushed member
    edited March 2014
    ETA:  I already replied to this one -- DUH!
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • I'm in Northern CA too (SF to be exact), so I don't know if it's a thing here or everywhere, but for the first 2 years I said 'please no gifts'...and people brought gifts anyways.  Last year I gave up and didn't put anything.  I feel like my son has so many 'things' as it is - he's spoiled by his grandparents who all live far away and when the visit they show up with gifts and mail care packages throughout the year for no reason.  It's one reason I hesitate to do a big birthday party where I invite his class of 20 kids plus some other family friends.  He gets invited to his friends parties and there are 20+ kids there and the table is stacked with gifts.  It's a bit obscene to be honest.
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  • A few, but not many.
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • Also, I agree with fredalina. :) 
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • Oh and yeah, the first time we went to a no-gift party, with no gift, we were the only people there who didn't bring a gift. Awkward.
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
    [Deleted User]
  • I've been to one party that asked to bring an unwrapped toy to donate rather than for the birthday boy. I was happy to follow the rules because I totally get it and hey who doesn't want to help needy children. But I overheard some people complaining that either 1) they wanted to get him something and felt like the couldn't or 2) they didn't like the dictating of what to bring. I really didn't think it was a big deal either way.

    I will say, I think putting "no gift" is a bad idea. Either people bring one anyway or feel guilty that they didn't bring something. I think if you're going to have a party, expect gifts. If you don't want gifts, don't have a party.




  • Seriously, this is a thing? If you don't want a gift, don't have a party. If you don't want to get gifts for people who invite you to parties, don't go to the party. 
    lexusolsen
  • We successfully had a no gifts please party. We got a couple items I stowed quickly out of sight-and provided thank you notes for. There is absolutely nothing pretentious about save your money---we want to see you. I would never consider a donation party, because their party is not a time to teach altruism or ask others to join in that lesson. I have been part of a book exchange before and it was great. scarlet butler-when you have multiples it is not as easy as saying--well no party for you-or let's cherry pick people from your classes and make some people feel left out so there are less invited-and they really do not need or desire 30 gifts at once. I just don't think it is as cut and dry as that.
  • fredalina said:
    We went to one yesterday. There was some rain in the area so the mom emailed everyone a couple hours before to say it was still on, with a reminder of no gifts. We brought a card with gift card. When we got there there was a big table of gifts. The grandmother said in a voice that sounded a little condescending (but IDK her so maybe not), "Oh, did you bring a card for J?" I heard a kid whose dad brought him (parents are divorced) tell his dad in a lamenting voice that they forgot the gift and dad said he would text the mom and ask her to drop it off at school. The whole thing is just awkward. I hate it.

    People that host NGP still have to use a little common sense too-- like putting any gifts received out of sight. May have eliminated the dad/ kid exchange.
  • fredalina said:

    We went to one yesterday. There was some rain in the area so the mom emailed everyone a couple hours before to say it was still on, with a reminder of no gifts. We brought a card with gift card. When we got there there was a big table of gifts. The grandmother said in a voice that sounded a little condescending (but IDK her so maybe not), "Oh, did you bring a card for J?" I heard a kid whose dad brought him (parents are divorced) tell his dad in a lamenting voice that they forgot the gift and dad said he would text the mom and ask her to drop it off at school. The whole thing is just awkward. I hate it.

    This is my problem with it. It is always uncomfortable




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