First Birthday Party- requesting no gifts — The Bump
Birthday Parties

First Birthday Party- requesting no gifts

Hi Everyone!  I was hoping for a little bit of guidance as my husband and I plan our daughter's first birthday. 

We would like to request that our guests make donations to a charitable cause instead of bringing gifts to the party.  I don't want to be rude and assume that everyone is bringing a gift and I certainly don't want people to feel there is an expectation of gifts.  Our daughter is very blessed and has more than she needs already!  We really just want to celebrate and have a great time with our friends and family.  However, a birthday party is typically considered a 'gift giving event' and  I wasn't sure how to handle it most tactfully.

What would be the best solution in your opinion?

1.) include wording on the invitation that reads something like, "in lieu of gifts, DD requests any generosity be directed to xyz charity" 

2.) Include a separate card in the invitation with the request and information

3.) Just tell people if they ask what we would prefer

4.) say nothing at all (I don't think my husband would go for this, he's pretty adamant, but I can try!)

Also, I know we cannot dictate what people do and if someone still decides to bring a gift, I will be gracious and grateful! 

 Thank you so much for your input/opinions!  I really appreciate it!  

Re: First Birthday Party- requesting no gifts

  • All I can say is "Good luck!!!!".  We tried this w/ DS.  Yeah... it doesn't work.  People WANT to bring gifts to a kids birthday party. 

    I really am not a fan, though, of directing them to give a donation. That IS telling them how to spend their money.  And at the age of 1, it really isn't your DD asking this.  It's you.

    I have a friend whose son, when he was only 6, really did request this. HE very much wanted  people to give to a charity instead of giving him something.  That  I could totally get on board with - supporting the child's wish to give to charity.  But at the age of 1?   I'd just rather you say something to the effect of "no gifts" (I personally abide by this when asked because I totally get the problem w/ too many toys!!).

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  • imageEastCoastBride:

    I really am not a fan, though, of directing them to give a donation. That IS telling them how to spend their money.  And at the age of 1, it really isn't your DD asking this.  It's you.

    This, if they ask what to get her you could tell them she's set and that no gifts are needed or that YOU rather have them giving a donation to xyz on her behalf. 

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  • I think you should definitely tell people your intentions, whatever they are.  I would suggest choosing a charity that takes children's toys and on the invitation say something like:  We have been blessed with so many gifts this year, no gifts are necessary or expected.  Any toys or clothes [CHILD] receives will be donated to [CHARITY]. 

    Just a thought.


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  • imagejcrising:

    I think you should definitely tell people your intentions, whatever they are.  I would suggest choosing a charity that takes children's toys and on the invitation say something like:  We have been blessed with so many gifts this year, no gifts are necessary or expected.  Any toys or clothes [CHILD] receives will be donated to [CHARITY]. 

    Just a thought.

    If you do anything at all, I would take this approach.  I think it is better than asking guests to make donations to a charity at your DD's request, because we all know your one-yr-old is not requesting any such thing. 

    But, to be honest, I would probably not do anything at all and just graciously accept people's gifts.  People want to shower your one-yr-old with presents and telling everyone not to be gifts, or that their gift will be donated, is just awkward for everyone.

    And if you tell people to make a donation instead of gifts, I guarantee some will still bring a gift because that is what they want to do.  That leaves the people who comply with your wishes feeling awkward. 

    I was once invited to a party where the mom requested no gifts.  I knew she meant it, and instead I helped her with the party and made some food, etc.  Well, I showed up at the party empty handed and the dining room was filled with gifts.  So I felt like a complete jerk because it seemed like I was pretty much the only one who read that part of the invitation.

    It was made even worse by the fact that she called me a few days later to ask what I had given her son because some cards had fallen off some of the gifts and she did not know who had given what (I think she was BSing a little but whatever).  So then I had to say to her "Oh I didn't bring a present."  So once again I felt like a complete jerk...

     

  • Thank you everyone for the suggestions & input!  You provided some new perspective and it is very much appreciated!
  • I really think option 4 is the only option... The thing is, people buy babies gifts because they like to buy babies gifts, not just because they want to spend money. The only "nice" thing you could really do would be to donate the gifts you receive to charity...
    [Deleted User]lexusolsen
  • Tell your husband to get over it-- she's little, she's getting presents. I think the best thing you can do is when people ask what she wants/needs-- tell them things she actually needs like child silverware (that nonsense is expensive!) sippy cups, board books, potty chair, winter coat, small puzzles, etc.
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    [Deleted User]Meagan0528[Deleted User]whenwillieversleep
  • If you don't want presents, don't have a party.  The reality is people want to bring gifts to a kid's party. But really, I wouldn't include anything on the invite.  If people ask you what LO wants/needs, that would be the time to express your wishes for the charity.
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  • I wouldn't say anything in the invite, if I planned to bring a gift if you didn't want one I wouldn't want to give to a charity instead. Just me. I do like the idea of just waiting for people to ask. Then they start the conversation and you can pose the charity as an option. 

    We said on our invite "Please no presents, your presence is present enough". We know immediate family will bring gifts, no stopping it: kids are fun to shop for. But I didn't want friends to feel like they had to. LO has more than enough anyway.

     GL! 

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  • imageEastCoastBride:

    All I can say is "Good luck!!!!".  We tried this w/ DS.  Yeah... it doesn't work.  People WANT to bring gifts to a kids birthday party. 

    I really am not a fan, though, of directing them to give a donation. That IS telling them how to spend their money.  And at the age of 1, it really isn't your DD asking this.  It's you.

    I have a friend whose son, when he was only 6, really did request this. HE very much wanted  people to give to a charity instead of giving him something.  That  I could totally get on board with - supporting the child's wish to give to charity.  But at the age of 1?   I'd just rather you say something to the effect of "no gifts" (I personally abide by this when asked because I totally get the problem w/ too many toys!!).

    ALL OF THIS
  • imageBootsyLou:
    If you don't want presents, don't have a party.  The reality is people want to bring gifts to a kid's party. But really, I wouldn't include anything on the invite.  If people ask you what LO wants/needs, that would be the time to express your wishes for the charity.

     

    Ditto.  

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  • Ok so we'll see how this goes - but we decided to put no gifts on the invite - then if people showed up with a gift we would take the gift to another room and open AFTER everyone left (and send thank yous) - I've been prepping family and friends and when they say SHaw we are getting her a gift - I say yeah - just be warned we won't be opening so if you want to see her open it - then lets plan another time.

    My DH is with yours - he doesn't want the gifts.

     

    We did a gender reveal party and asked for no gifts and only had like 2 - and we are trying to do the same type of party this time around - same people - same idea.. except instead of cutting the cake being the big reveal - she'll smash hers :) 

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  • Ok so we'll see how this goes - but we decided to put no gifts on the invite - then if people showed up with a gift we would take the gift to another room and open AFTER everyone left (and send thank yous) - I've been prepping family and friends and when they say SHaw we are getting her a gift - I say yeah - just be warned we won't be opening so if you want to see her open it - then lets plan another time.

    My DH is with yours - he doesn't want the gifts.

     

    We did a gender reveal party and asked for no gifts and only had like 2 - and we are trying to do the same type of party this time around - same people - same idea.. except instead of cutting the cake being the big reveal - she'll smash hers :) 

    I'm sorry, the not opening gifts at a birthday party is just rude. People like to see the child open the gift.

    People don't often bring gifts to a gender reveal party. It is not a shower, it is a gender reveal. It is usually done fairly early and obviously noone knows the gender. Assuming people would bring gifts and asking them not to us just as rude.

    [Deleted User]MrsTucker2011[Deleted User]whenwillieversleep
  • We do this for DD's parties. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This year when we had a combo DD's birthday party and just fun summer party, I invited mostly family friends and they all ignored it and brought her gifts. LOL When it's friends from school, they tend to listen more. Some people say it's tacky to say no gifts, but I don't agree and have never had a negative reaction in all the years we've done it and we've also been invited to many parties with similar requests. We usually pick a kid's charity and request people bring items from their wish list to donate. We did Camp Smile a Mile one year and another year we did the reading tutoring program at our church.
  • I think its good way to collect gifts from the people who donate.
  • We just had my two year old's party this weekend and wrote "no gifts" on the invite. Most people complied but a few brought something anyway for which I'll just send a t.y. note
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  • I've seen this done successfully. A friend printed on her daughters invite "baby's got gadgets and gizmos aplenty, she's got whozits and whatsits galore. So we're collecting donations for :::insert charity here:::, for children who need more". Asking for donations to their county's job and family services. The response was HUGE. I think they for something like 5000 diapers total! In addition to other things. They delivered it as a family on their daughters bday (party was weekend before). Some people brought gifts for the bday girl, but many more people brought a donation. I was skeptical at first, but it was a huge success.


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  • I am in the "say nothing" camp.

    My almost two year old has more toys than any child should have because she gets tons of hand me down toys from cousins. We decided not to write anything on the invite, and if people asked what she wanted/needed, we told them she didn't need anything but if they wanted to still get something "a handful of pennies for her piggy bank". She loves putting money in her piggy banks...even at age one. In the end, everyone heard about the pennies thing (all 75 people), and everyone but my uncle brought a toy. My uncle was mortified and text me later that he was embarrassed because he thought everyone was giving her pennies. I told him not to worry about it because out of all of the toys she WASN'T playing with, she liked the pennies the best.

    So I would just say nothing and donate the toys later or return the toys and put the money in her college fund or piggy bank.
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  • I bought chocolates and toys for my niece at his birthday.
  • All I can say is "Good luck!!!!".  We tried this w/ DS.  Yeah... it doesn't work.  People WANT to bring gifts to a kids birthday party. 

    I really am not a fan, though, of directing them to give a donation. That IS telling them how to spend their money.  And at the age of 1, it really isn't your DD asking this.  It's you.

    I have a friend whose son, when he was only 6, really did request this. HE very much wanted  people to give to a charity instead of giving him something.  That  I could totally get on board with - supporting the child's wish to give to charity.  But at the age of 1?   I'd just rather you say something to the effect of "no gifts" (I personally abide by this when asked because I totally get the problem w/ too many toys!!).

    This. We tried to do this at my baby shower, because my baby shower was a week after a devastating storm destroyed my home state. It didn't really work out.

    If they give you a gift, then you can donate that gift however you want or take it back to the store and use the money from the return to donate to charity. Or sell it on ebay using Giving Works, and donate 100% of the profit to any charity you like.
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  • *sparky* said:
    imagejcrising:

    I think you should definitely tell people your intentions, whatever they are.  I would suggest choosing a charity that takes children's toys and on the invitation say something like:  We have been blessed with so many gifts this year, no gifts are necessary or expected.  Any toys or clothes [CHILD] receives will be donated to [CHARITY]. 

    Just a thought.

    It was made even worse by the fact that she called me a few days later to ask what I had given her son because some cards had fallen off some of the gifts and she did not know who had given what (I think she was BSing a little but whatever).  So then I had to say to her "Oh I didn't bring a present."  So once again I felt like a complete jerk...

    Sorry, but I think it's your friend that is the jerk. If you showed up early to help her, she knew you didn't bring a gift. 
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  • I wanted to go this route but my mother and MIL got upset and gave the whole "This is my grandkid, I'll give them whatever they want" speech. My siblings understood where I was coming from (having kids themselves, they know how quickly it all piles up) so they gave money for my son's savings accoun, which we didn't expect but greatly appreciated. We didn't put anything on the invite and just donated the toys that didn't get opened that day.
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  • I decided to do this for our Little Ones invite. We put it in the envelope as a seperate note. Hope this helps!


    Family and Friends,


    We are looking forward to celebrating John's big ONE with our close family and friends. He has been so blessed with lots of toys, clothes, and love that his only wish for his birthday is to see your smiling face!


    However, he would love it if you would bring an appetite as well as some wisdom to impart to him in his first year scrapbook!
  • Hea0307 said:


    What would be the best solution in your opinion?

    1.) include wording on the invitation that reads something like, "in lieu of gifts, DD requests any generosity be directed to xyz charity" 

    2.) Include a separate card in the invitation with the request and information

    3.) Just tell people if they ask what we would prefer

    4.) say nothing at all (I don't think my husband would go for this, he's pretty adamant, but I can try!)


    I really like your first idea. It's not pushy and it lets people know that you do think wanting to give a gift is generous on their part and makes it clear that you don't wish for gifts. I would be almost willing to bet that some people may still bring a gift but this will cut that down dramatically. Good luck!
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  • depending on the charity (animal shelter, nicu, children's hospital, homeless shelter) - make a list of needs/ideas.

     

    suggest that people bring a book only to add to child's library at home and the rest will be donated due to being given lots of generous items during the year, or something along those lines.


    maybe have a box at the door with a paragraph above it, explaining your intentions to donate and welcome them to drop the present in the box. 

     
     
     

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  • I wouldn't mention gifts at all.  It's very awkward for guests to know what to do, and people don't want to donate to a charity, let's be honest.  I would just accept the presents if you are going to throw a party.
  • We're asking for unwrapped toys to be donated to the local homeless preschool's Santa toy drive for DS's December birthday. If any of my friends think it's tacky, they don't need to be my friends anyway. Considering two are on the board of said charity and another worked for them for years, I think we're good though.
  • I am against a crap load of plastic, so we always write " kindly, no toys. "
    Fwiw, we have big families, so end up with 50-70+ people.. imagine all the toys! Worked well for dds. . Triplets 1st is next Saturday. . Hope it works there too!


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  • loveymayloveymay member
    edited May 2015
    I wouldnt say anything at all. If she gets a lot of toys, just switch out the old toys for the new and take the old toys to a charity or Goodwill or something. That way its a win for all. Guests can bring gifts, nobody will feel obligated/awkward/left out, you wont have a million more toys in your house, and you can still have something to donate! :)

    Edited because i didnt realize this was a zombie thread. Oops, sorry for bringing it back up!
  • Ok so I'm only very newly pregnant, but we really don't like clutter and plastic junk and my husband is adamant that we will select birthday presents for our children and tell guests no gifts. (I laugh because I know especially grandparents and such are just not going to listen to this haha and think it's probably one of those "when we're parents things" At least when a child is younger and not used to seeing other kids parties you can get away with it.

    I would just place on the invite "please no gifts" or maybe just tell people you are close with they really do not need to bring a gift but you prefer books if they do. 

    I own a birthday party company and I have a few customers who throw beautiful parties for their children but request that gifts be unwrapped toys for donation. Then, with their child they deliver the gifts to a shelter, hospital, etc. I think it's a lovely thing to do and you can really get kids involved and feeling good about themselves by being generous to others, while still hosting a nice party for them. 

    If you are planning on donating any birthday presents, definitely let your guests know ahead of time as they would be specifically picking that gift for your child. 
  • edited December 2015
    @mommyMMJ Love that, worded so well :)
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