AIBU to think this takes the p*** !

(56 Posts)

One of my kids has two boys in his class who are having a joint birthday party, great, fine, kids will love it.

Then today I get an email, one of the mums friends ( another mum) is having a collection for the 2 children, cash that is, and please will we put our names on the envelope an bring it to her outside the classroom at picking up time.... The message goes on to inform us that she will let us all know how much they collect and let the mums know who contributed what ?? EHHHHHHHHHHHHH .??
I must be getting on a bit because i thought Birthday parties were about kids having fun and mums bringing little gifts along (normally something left over from last party you had ;) lol) Maybe im wrong but WTF ?? Is this not out of hand now or am I just stuck in the past ??

YouTheCat Tue 05-Mar-13 17:57:13

I'd just email back and say you prefer to buy your own gift. Seems a bit bloody cheeky to me.

HecateWhoopass Tue 05-Mar-13 17:58:11

I'd just email back

No thanks. I've already got their gifts.

atthewelles Tue 05-Mar-13 17:58:33

YANBU and the birthday boys would probably prefer to get lots of parcels than one big present from all the party goers.

FlowerTruck Tue 05-Mar-13 17:59:13

How odd. Just take your own gift.

ginmakesitallok Tue 05-Mar-13 17:59:21

I wuoldn't even e-mail her back - just ignore. How odd?

CocacolaMum Tue 05-Mar-13 17:59:33

I wouldn't touch this with a barge pole. Sounds like they are trying to pay for the party with "voluntary" contributions - no way.

Mynewmoniker Tue 05-Mar-13 17:59:38

I would just say you won't need to make a contribution as you have already purchased a prezzy for each, thank you.

A bit cheeky of the other mum to put herself in charge IMO

Euphemia Tue 05-Mar-13 18:00:22


Way to start fights, or what?!

TheFallenNinja Tue 05-Mar-13 18:00:40

Sounds very high pressure. Tell her to get stuffed.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 05-Mar-13 18:01:15

That's so grasping

atthewelles Tue 05-Mar-13 18:02:41

The idea of telling every mum 'who contributed what' shock Nothing like putting pressure on people.

Seriously I would refuse to get involved. Way OTT behaviour from that other mum.

DeepPurple Tue 05-Mar-13 18:06:48

WTAF? shock

asleb Tue 05-Mar-13 18:14:19

That's really weird. I would just say you already got pressies. How rude!

flangledoodle Tue 05-Mar-13 18:23:38

WTF I can't stand things like that. YANBU

BramshawHill Tue 05-Mar-13 18:45:39

That's awful and greedy. Have a quiet word with the other mums? They might be feeling the same as you but be going along with it for fear of being the odd one out, get everyone to just get presents!

BramshawHill Tue 05-Mar-13 18:45:41

That's awful and greedy. Have a quiet word with the other mums? They might be feeling the same as you but be going along with it for fear of being the odd one out, get everyone to just get presents!

NeverWinsMNComps Tue 05-Mar-13 19:53:08

That is one of the oddest things I've ever heard. It's not like a collection for a leaving present! I hope nobody goes along with it.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Tue 05-Mar-13 19:54:52

Yeeurgh, that's just cringey behaviour. YANBU at all, and I would probably ignore the email and turn up with something nice for the children that I had picked out myself.

NeverWinsMNComps Tue 05-Mar-13 19:58:30

Also, what kind of message does that send to the kids invited to the party? I encourage my kids to think about their mates and choose a gift that they will enjoy. If the parents just chuck money in an envelope, the children are completely removed from the process.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Tue 05-Mar-13 20:02:51

Wow, talk about grabby and rude. Its about the bloody kids, some people.

Molehillmountain Tue 05-Mar-13 20:04:18

Sorry-all gifts for parties are chosen by the dc from my present stash. I assume most people operate like this.

TickledOnion Tue 05-Mar-13 20:05:34

I have heard of this before. I think the idea is that the birthday child gets 1 or 2 big presents that they actually want rather than 20 small presents that they (or rather, their parents) don't want.

PuggyMum Tue 05-Mar-13 20:07:07

Is everyone copied into the email? I'd reply to all saying you have already sorted prezzies. Very cheeky and grasping!

kinkyfuckery Tue 05-Mar-13 20:08:19

Wow. Just tell them you'd rather buy the gifts. I'd probably just give cash to the collection, because it's easier for me blush

Floggingmolly Tue 05-Mar-13 20:08:41

If you don't want 20 small presents, don't invite 20 small children to your party...

SecretNutellaFix Tue 05-Mar-13 20:18:06

Wow- have a word with the two mums of the boys involved.

I would be hesitant, especially as neither of them have mentioned it personally. I would be nervous that it wouldn't make it to the children.

Say that you have already picked up the boys presents so aren't able to contribute.

ihearsounds Tue 05-Mar-13 20:20:33

I would have a word, and it wouldn't be a discrete quiet one. I would be asking exactly what this donation is for, because it cannot be for presents as guests bring their own based on conversations between peers.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 05-Mar-13 20:22:25

Control freak comes to mind here grin

Yes, just email her back saying you will do your own thing.

BabyRoger Tue 05-Mar-13 20:22:52

Never heard of such a thing! I would just say, no thanks, I have already bought them a present each.

This happens at my DCs school, and I don't mind, but it does run slightly differently! Basically if it is a whole class party one of the mums will usually email round to volunteer to buy a voucher. Usually about half the parents say no thanks as they prefer to buy a gift (or like me have a stash of gifts bought in the sales), and half will agree to contribute. There is a limit of £5 per person, and I think that's pretty reasonable -it's hard to buy a decent gift for less than that once the birthday child gets to 8 or 9. There's no pressure to be involved, and it saves people time.

oldraver Tue 05-Mar-13 20:42:26

Is it usual then for school Mums to have email addresses of others ?

ENormaSnob Tue 05-Mar-13 20:59:13

Wtf? shock

DontmindifIdo Tue 05-Mar-13 21:03:09

Yep, e-mail back (ccing everyone if she did a group e-mail) saying "no thanks, I've already got gifts for the birthday boys."

I bet you aren't the only thinking this is a bit dodgy...

Beepbeep1 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:32:19

Sounds like someone's 'bright idea' gone desperately wrong. Ignore take recycled present take your own present.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 05-Mar-13 23:24:52

A collection for a birthday party hmm? Tell them you've already bought the presents so won't be contributing anything.

ripsishere Wed 06-Mar-13 02:40:51

I can see the other side though. Until last year, DD always had whole class parties. She was overwhelmed with tat. Imagine 25+ presents made of plastic.
One of the mums in the class had the brilliant idea of a collection and a big present or two smaller ones. It worked out well.
I can understand not wanting to put in and certainly not if the sum is to be made public.

Monty27 Wed 06-Mar-13 02:42:23

do the mums know? confused

MammaTJ Wed 06-Mar-13 05:42:49

As the total opposite, my DD is going to a party soon and when I text confirmation she would be there, the reply was 'Lovely, DS does not need presents, we are asking all guests to sponsor him in swimathon. 1 or 2 £ would be fine'.

Lovely idea.


Emilythornesbff Wed 06-Mar-13 07:32:06

I think this sounds like a good idea. Low on hassle IMHO.
I would e mail her asking what the recommended contribution is and what kind of gift is planned.
But then I find it tricky to think of reasonably priced gift ideas for school age children, so it would help me out.

HollyBerryBush Wed 06-Mar-13 07:37:31

Would there be a reason behind it - ie the child would like a large item like a bike?

I've done it before, in a small group of 4 or 5, each put in a tenner and the resulting 50 quid bought a decent present. But I wouldnt be involved in a round robin off the cuff collection

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 07:40:47

Emily in effect I agree but the fact that the woman is going to tell the parents who gave what makes it an abhorrent idea! OP....definitely email and say you have already bought the gifts for the wont be the only one!

Emilythornesbff Wed 06-Mar-13 07:46:59

I see your point mrs m about outing parents on their contribution, which is not ideal, but probs ppl would give 5 or 10 quid? Maybe they think it's a way of personalising it a bit????????
Maybe they think it's unfair if someone gives 50p and another £10 that it's not recognised???????
I would enter a dialogue with her.

ClairesTravellingCircus Wed 06-Mar-13 07:57:27

We do a collection in one of my dds classes, and it works well BUT we all put the same amount, which is roughly the same for all the kids.

To name and shame sounds absolutely horrible!shock

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:14:42

Emily it very much depends on the school demographic. When my DD was in a private prep people thought nothing of bringing gifts for DC that cost twenty or thirty pounds.

Party bags were so over the top it was embarrasing if you'd spent 7 quid on a doll!

In most state schools, 5 t0 10 pounds would be usual though...but some parents are single or unemployed and could only buy something from a pound shop...they would be humiliated to offer a pound!

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:16:06

Emily I think that what THEY think is "unfair" if that were the case, would be irrelevant!

It's not about how much people pay!

MrsEricBana Wed 06-Mar-13 08:28:52

The trouble with joint parties is that instead of one pressie to buy there are two or more and friends and I have clubbed together in the past like this to get each of the children a slightly more expensive gift than we would have been able to justify alone. I guess this mum (who isn't one of the party mums if I've read it right) is trying to help and take pressure of people thinking they have to buy two gifts. Maybe in terms of telling the mums what people have contributed she just meant that she'll say this gift is from X, Y & Z and then individual gifts will come from others ie to make it clear you have given a gift at all, not the specific amount. This is the sort of thing I'd do - only for it to spectacularly backfire like this!!!

MrsEricBana Wed 06-Mar-13 08:32:51

Party gift giving is a minefield - I have been hugely embarrassed by how generous and thoughtful people have been to my dc in the past when I usually take something nice and hopefully appropriate but not madly expensive like an annual or somesuch. Have also got back in a party bag the same thing plus other bits as I have just given as the party gift! (not the actual same thing!)

Emilythornesbff Wed 06-Mar-13 08:40:11

Well gift giving is a bit of a minefield. Monetary differences in presents exist anyway.
No one should be compelled to join in a communal contribution, obviously, but I still would find it helpful. A recommended contribution might be helpful?i

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:44:49

MrsEric most parents in my DC school who are having joint parties splut the class in half and each birthday child invites half...the invitations say "Please only buy gift for child who invited you."

Which is a good way of dealing with it.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:45:37

Emily the point is that these women are saying they will reveal the amounts spent...that's terrible....and they've not reccomended an amount either.

Emilythornesbff Wed 06-Mar-13 08:48:40

Yes I see.
That's why I'd have a word.
Unless I'd already bought a gift, then I'd politely bow out of the scheme.

BegoniaBampot Wed 06-Mar-13 08:51:39

Not a bad idea if it's only, say, a fiver per guest and it could get the children one decent present rather than all the crap they usually get. Has to be your choice though and telling what people contributed is crazy. I've collected for a class present for the teacher, a few kids didn't contribute but they were included on the card and gift with everyone else.

atthewelles Wed 06-Mar-13 10:52:25

I suppose, on reflection, it depends on how the email was worded. If it was a kind of 'Hi, a few of us are thinking of clubbing together to buy a present each for Josh and Ben. If any of you would like to be included in this, please let me know and I'll add your name to the list.' then I wouldn't find it offensive.

But if it was a bossy 'It has been decided to do a collection in order to buy one large present each for Josh and Ben. Can you please put your donation for this in an envelope and hand to me outside the school before next Friday. I will circulate you all with the names and individual amounts donated once the collection is complete and the presents have been bought' then I would think 'sod off'.

babanouche Wed 06-Mar-13 11:07:59

This is stupid. I've had parents say to me before that an amazon voucher would be handy because the child can put them towards something expensive, but cash like this is horrible. You can't be sure the child is going to receive it.

I'd do as others have suggested and say you already have the presents. Then in the playground I'd very loudly tell them, with a smile on your face, what an unusual approach to birthdays they've taken.

Writehand Wed 06-Mar-13 11:20:22

YANBU. I wouldn't ignore the email because that sort of super-bossy person will make a mental note that you're being "unco-operative" and, at some point, may well make you pay. I'd just say you've already got the presents.

I might also ask (out of malicious curiosity) "Was there any special reason for taking up a collection?" I can see that if all the £5/£10 spent on pressies by each family was gathered together the birthday child could get one big present. However I also think this is a very greedy, materialistic way of looking things.

The only time this might seem OK is if the child is desperate for specific items needed to pursue a very important interest -- say a child was passionate about ice hockey but parents can't afford all the various bits of equipment. Maybe...

But it's still a weird thing to do.

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