Hello! I am desperately in need of some help and/or opinions. I apologize in advance for length.
Our son was born last year with a rare genetic disorder, so from baths, to eating, to birthday parties; NOTHING is what we thought it would be. His birthday is coming up in a few months and I'm starting to think about some logistics.
#1 I know that people seem to have some pretty strong opinions about whether or not requesting "no gifts" is ok. Let me explain my thought process and reasoning. Due to his condition, we have temporarily
moved in with my parents for the extra support and close proximity to the hospital. This means that we have little to no space for more toys,
games, books, etc. Between all of the grandparents, we will be accommodating four sides of the family, which could equal anywhere from 50-100 people.
We were pretty blindsided by his condition, and everyone has been MORE than generous with everything they have given us this past year. I really want this to be, not only a celebration that our son made it through his first year of life, but also a thank you to everyone (aka, please come, hang out, and let us feed you.) I don't want anyone to feel obligated to get us anymore than they already have.
On top of that, our son is really not in a position where he can try and sit up to "open gifts" in front of a large group of people. I don't want anyone to feel slighted that their gift doesn't get shown off to the crowd.
My question is, could this be a special circumstance where it is "ok" to request no gifts? How could I phrase the invitation so that people really take it to heart? Or, is it not even worth it?
#2 My son's disorder means that food is going to be an extremely touchy subject later in life. His brain will tell him that he is always hungry, and he will be on an extremely calorie-restricted diet (AKA no cake). I want to set this precedent early with the family, and not do a "smash cake" or any cake, for that matter. I was thinking of having a sign by the food table that says something like, "Why no cake?" and explain a little bit about why we're doing it. I don't feel like it's necessary to explain myself, but his disorder is pretty rare, and I'm trying to educate as much as I can.
In that same vein, I still want candles somewhere
. Any ideas for an alternative cake/maybe even something non-edible?
Sorry for the length. I'm just trying to get an idea of where I'm going with this