to think it's bloody rude to send your DC to a birthday party with NO card or present for the birthday child?

(290 Posts)
ScaredyKnickers Fri 08-Mar-13 10:44:14

This has happened a few times now with different parties for my DC where one or two of the invitees have turned without even a card. On one occasion, the parent had not even replied, DC just turned up empty handed. These parents have never struck me as struggling for money and card can cost only 50p anyway. I would never send my DCs to a birthday celebration without a card and a present. Smacks of 'can't be bothered' to me and complete arrogance.

AIBU?

riverboat Tue 12-Mar-13 15:53:54

DP is shocking at making sure DSS has a gift to take to parties. Nothing to do with arrogance or money woes, just complete scatterbrainedness.

At least twice a gift has been bought and then left at home. Leading to panicked attempts to buy a substitute in the vicinity of the party.

At least twice I have caught him wrapping birthday gifts in Xmas wrapping paper, and intervened...

Thank god cards arent 'done' here, twould only add to the palava...

Mother2many Tue 12-Mar-13 15:20:07

I agree, at least a CARD...it can even be homemade...just to show YOUR child is thinking about the party child. It's not a play date... It's a birthday party.

YET, will put my own foot in mouth here

My DD was invited by her BFF's divorced parents by BOTH parents. They both had a spur of moment birthday party. She went to the mother's party on Fri, and the father's side on Sat. I would not send a card/gift to BOTH homes... Since it was last minute invite, my DD made her something, and took it too school on Monday... (after party)

crashdoll Tue 12-Mar-13 09:36:33

It is very sad that some households don't even have a few crayons and pieces of paper

I am surprised about it TBH

Six months ago, I would have said I was suprised. I now work with people with disabilities in a very deprived area. It's shocking what some families go through in a first world country.

Eliza22 Tue 12-Mar-13 08:28:03

These are tough times for many many families. I guess you could argue that a home made card doesn't cost anything really so, in a way, YANBU. I think the whole kid's party thing has become a minefield. Lots of parents trying to outdo each other.

I just hope the child who didn't bring anything didn't feel bad and enjoyed the party. I know parents who can't let their kids go on school trips or buy the school photos because they need the money more for day to day living.

INeverSaidThat Tue 12-Mar-13 08:27:11

It is very sad that some households don't even have a few crayons and pieces of paper sad

I am surprised about it TBH

DoTheStrand Tue 12-Mar-13 08:15:54

Kungfutea your SIL sounds v grabby, and your friend bringing the nanny is very rude. I find the opposite with (non birthday) parties, or dinner / lunch parties though, in that people bring too much stuff, it's almost as if they think they  have to pay for their meal there and then with presents. Recently we have had more than one couple bringing flowers, wine, chocolates, AND presents for the children. It is very generous of them but quite unnecessary - usually there is some kind of reciprocity anyway so we will be visiting them for a meal in a few weeks or months, and of course it makes me think I should do the same when I visit them. When did this start happening? I am sure when I was growing up it was quite usual to just bring one bottle of wine, or nothing - and just say thank you!  

Turnipsoup we live in an affluent area too, I find it very expensive and it must be really hard when you are on a strict budget. It is a lovely place to live but the whole town is geared towards people with money, and transport. You certainly couldn't get 10 cards for £1 round here.  I wouldn't worry about spending a lot on your DCs' generous friends, I find the very well off working parents buy more expensive presents as they are so short of time - just enjoy it!

I do however think its bad manners not to thank people for presents they get you/your child, no matter how much was spent on them

Turnipsoup Tue 12-Mar-13 01:59:32

What I find really difficult is when children who come to DC's birthday parties give very expensive presents. Although we live hand to mouth we live in quite an affluent area. While my DC's are obviously delighted, it leaves me with the dilemma of what to give the child on their birthday.
Give something we can afford i.e. £5-£8 or to try and match their present back? I'd hate to think the parents were judging the presents.

But I have to say I wouldn't send DC to a party empty handed.

Morloth Tue 12-Mar-13 00:55:49

Would suit me just fine. I hate cards, stupid waste of trees IMO, I don't give them and pretty much have everyone trained not to give me any.

As for presents, my kids have loads of stuff, they don't need anymore. Would be very upset to find out someone didn't come to a party we were holding because they couldn't bring a gift.

It isn't pay per view.

Mimishimi Tue 12-Mar-13 00:30:47

I wouldn't care. I would not think anything of their financial circumstances either. I only invite kids so my DC can have a special day with their friends, not more useless crap.

Kytti Tue 12-Mar-13 00:29:53

It happened to us once. Like some others have said, I don't care about the no present thing, but no card or drawing is rude. DD was invited to this girl's party the following week and we tore our hair out in anguish what we should do. DD made a lovely card for her.

They're only 29p from some shops. I believe you can buy 10 for about a quid in some places. I keep a stock of cheap cards 'just in case.' Planning to go to a party for a child without a card IS rude.

Kungfutea Tue 12-Mar-13 00:24:42

Actually, writing this thread reminded me of an incident with my sil who really is materialistic and grabby. After dd's party, dd was writing who gave what so she could write proper thank you notes. Sil comes up to us and says 'oh, what a good idea to write it down, that way you'll remember who gave you a rubbish present and you can make sure you don't give them anything too good on their birthday'! We were speechless!!!

Kungfutea Tue 12-Mar-13 00:17:16

I think there are very few reasons why a drawing/home-made card can't be given. It is a little rude to turn up anywhere empty handed, be it a children's party or an adult dinner party. Even if it's something token, it's to show that you've thought of the host and a way of thanking them - which is why something handmade is so much more meaningful than the cheap tat which is often given at parties (equally guilty of having given cheap tat, unfortunately, in the days of all class mahoosive parties)

I'm sure there are many reasons why someone may end up not bringing something and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt but in the absence of extenuating circumstances it does smack of being self centered and thoughtless - whether adult or child.

I invited an acquaintance over once for dinner when she was in town with her baby daughter. She turned up empty handed with her daughter's nanny in tow as well. I thought that was quite rude.

But life is really too short to get upset about things like that. This acquaintance is actually very self centered and thinks the sun shines out of her ass. At the same time, she's brilliant, funny, the life and soul of a party so we all had a great evening and that's what's important at the end of the day. Of course I didn't need her to bring me anything but it's a token of appreciation. Then again, a little advance notice about her nanny joining us for dinner would have been appreciated as well!

For some people, life simply gets in the way. Some people don't have a clue how to behave. And some people are so self centered they don't give a shit.

This thread is very sad, some of the responses shock!

I'm not sure if all of DD's friends brought a gift to her party. I think they did, but can't be sure. Typically we'd buy a gift for any party DD is invited to, but we did have one occasion in January where we didn't.

DS had been in hospital twice that week (he has complex disabilities and numerous health issues), DH was working away, my car was away being serviced, and we live rurally so it wasn't as simple was just walking into town... DD was desperate to go to the party so I got her there, but the gift had to wait until the week after. So glad the mum was a lovely, generous hearted fellow mum in the village and not one of the numerous judgey pant wearers from upthread hmm

So whoever said upthread it was a stretch to claim that life difficulties sometimes mean these things slip is, er, wrong smile

girliefriend Mon 11-Mar-13 21:22:03

This hasn't happened at one of my dds bday yet but at a friends dds party one of the mums turned up, dropped her dd off and just said matter of factly 'ain't got her a card or present - sorry' tbh I was quite shock

I am a single parent and skint to the point that at times my heart sinks when dd comes home with a party invite and I have to find the money for a present. However I would never ever dream of sending dd to a party with out something to give. You can buy 10 bday cards for £1 in card factory and I recently picked up a stamp sticker set for £1 in dun elm which will make a lovely present. So card and present done for £1.10.

helenthemadex Mon 11-Mar-13 20:38:22

Its actually sad reading how judgey, materialistic, grabby and entitled some people are being here. Its no wonder that some kids are turning into entitled little brats.

Personally I couldnt give a rats arse if people dont bring presents for my dc when they come to a birthday party, they will have plenty of presents, things I know they want from me and the rest of the family they dont need loads of presents.

Thats not me being holier than thou, its me knowing that my dc has given invitations to children they really want to come to their party, not for the gift they may or may not receive but because they want the child there to celebrate with them, and have fun.

Fanjounchained Mon 11-Mar-13 17:27:26

I think YABU. Yes a card would have been nice ( a present is not obligatory in my book...) but as others have pointed out there could be a reason for the the child not having a card too.

DS was recently attending a party and I was hunting down a cheapish present. The mum was lovely enough to say "don't bother, it's enough that your DS can come on the day" which I thought was really nice but still wanted to get a wee thing. I ended up buying a box of face paints that had been reduced by 75% and a box of Maltesers. The woman at the checkout was a right moany cow. We were discussing children's parties at soft play centres and she said it's hardly worth it as you're paying anywhere between £8-£10 a head for the invitees and "sometimes you're only getting a fiver in a birthday card !" For some people it seems to be more of a commercial venture rather than a celebration of their child's birthday.

DS went to a 4yo party yesterday and the parents specifically asked for no presents. We hand-made a card because I think it's just good manners ot say thankyou for feeding and entertaining me/my child. But was grateful I didn't have to search out something within a tight budget (every child at DS's preschool invites everyone to their parties, that's a LOT of presents you have to buy) that the child might not want anyway.

If we do a big party like that I'll def stipulate not to buy presents, friends who are close to DS will anyway but I really don't mind (nor want the extra) stuff from preschool friends

dotty2 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:16:30

'Homemade cards cost nothing'. Well, that's true, assuming you have have paper and crayons and envelopes in the house. There are plenty of people who don't and who really can't afford even 50p. And if one of my DDs' friends was in that situation, I would much rather they came and had a nice time. Parties and birthdays should be about friendship, not 'stuff'.

LittleTurtle Mon 11-Mar-13 16:00:47

I was so greatful when some kids showed up with presents for my lo. Did not expect it at all. One of the moms was not well off,so was especially greatfull to her.

Don't mean to be lazy, but I get a gift card, cause I know what it's like to get something you already have.

smellysocksandchickenpox Mon 11-Mar-13 15:59:30

kungfutea, a lot of social norms have come and gone because people thought about it and decided it was stupid.

I personally think the birthday party present thing is stupid, I want DD to have fun parties without ending up overwhelmed by too many presents, I want her friends to come without it being a PITA because the parents (its not the kids is it?) have to run out and get a gift

I'ld prefer if kids just got gifts from family, because with birthday parties there already is an exchange - the kids have turned up, their parents have given up time on their weekends to take em etc

cumfy Mon 11-Mar-13 15:49:14

or cover petrol costs

Ooooops!

longtallgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 14:46:11

The child probably felt uncomfortable about arriving empty handed. How lucky yours was to have a party, presents etc......

HoneyStepMummy Mon 11-Mar-13 14:04:56

YABNU. It is rude to show up as an invited (or univited!) guest and not acknowledge the person inviting you with a card or a gift. It's about teaching our kids manners and consideration. Homemade cards are lovely, and little homemade gifts or token gifts from the pound shop are just fine too. I think everyone understands that if someone can't even afford a homemade card then they can't and wouldn't even want a struggling parent to part with money they can't afford.
I recently took my 7 year old stepson to a birthday party at a gymnastics place. The parents had invited the whole class and had put a lot of effort in the food and cake, so obviousley had spent quite a bit of money. They requested that instead of toys and gifts the attendees bring dog food (!) or dog toys to go to the local animal shelter. I thought that was lovely, and since my husband wasn't working at the time I just bought 3 toys from the pound (well dollar) store.
I totally agree that it's not the gifts that make a good party, and if you feel the same way include on the invitation to please not to bring any.
Good manners don't cost a penny.

crashdoll Mon 11-Mar-13 07:58:56

A lot of posters seem rather holier than thou on this thread....

Or perhaps we are not tunnel visioned and realise that there are often genuine reasons for not giving a present. I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice but I would not think it rude. That's what has got a lot of us het up.

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