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.


Dannilion Fri 08-Mar-13 10:48:14

YABU. 50p can be the difference to whether those children ate breakfast that day or not.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Fri 08-Mar-13 10:48:15

A little bit U yes. If it was compulsory you should have said so on the invite. Its uncommon to do it but it does happen.

Of course not responding and then just turning up is bloody rude but turning up empty handed isnt rude, or did you only invite them to get pressies?

beenhereayear Fri 08-Mar-13 10:49:40

It's never happened to me but I would probably be relieved as most kids turn up with a load to tat we don't really want.

beenhereayear Fri 08-Mar-13 10:49:50


RobotHamster Fri 08-Mar-13 10:50:57

Of course it's rude.

MammaTJ Fri 08-Mar-13 10:51:12

I had someone turn up to my DSs party without a present. I had been told by the mum that she was skint, so knew not to expect one. My DS had quite enough presents anyway!

livinginwonderland Fri 08-Mar-13 10:51:27

you shouldn't be inviting kids just so your DC get presents...

wonderingsoul Fri 08-Mar-13 10:51:47

a card and a bar of chocolate can cost less then a £1.

Greensleeves Fri 08-Mar-13 10:52:20

Oh gawd it's the "empty handed" thing again.

No I don't think it's rude. Unless your invitation specified an entry fee. I think it's vulgar to expect something tbh. There could be all sorts of reasons why somebody hasn't managed it and I wouldn't be judging my guests, just pleased to see them.

There will be posters along to say "even a bag of Maltesers would do". I find it genuinely ridiculous.

Catsdontcare Fri 08-Mar-13 10:53:07

I would be a little surprised but would assume they couldn't afford it and would certainly prefer them there and empty handed.

Greensleeves Fri 08-Mar-13 10:53:20

Ah, there we are grin

I don't think it's rude.

It's not obligatory, you know.

FannyFifer Fri 08-Mar-13 10:54:32

No need for a pressie, don't think OP was moaning about that, but to turn up without even a card is just bad manners.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 08-Mar-13 10:55:23

YABU just because people dont "seem" to be strapped for cash doesnt mean thats the case.

My DC have never turned up to a birthday party empty handed so far but one time I had to raid DD's piggy bank to buy a present and card (I paid her straight back when DP got paid!) as I had no money to buy the birthday boy something.

leobear Fri 08-Mar-13 10:55:51

I would genuinely be relieved. Children get overwhelmed by too many presents.

BigRedBox Fri 08-Mar-13 10:56:26

I think it's rude but be prepared for a flaming about how you're hideously entitled/rude/wealthy as Croesus etc etc

Shinyshoes1 Fri 08-Mar-13 10:57:27

Maltesers .... Ridiculous ??

Oh don't say that , it's my done thing now thanks to MN, it's a small box though not a bag

Like someone said above you dont know the situation and I'd rather my dd's friend was there and empty handed than not turn up at all because the parents couldn't afford a card and felt embarrassed

georgedawes Fri 08-Mar-13 10:58:11

Why not sell tickets instead? Then you definitely know you're getting something beforehand.

Crinkle77 Fri 08-Mar-13 10:58:15

Not all parents can afford a present but to turn up without even a card is rude. Even if they could not afford to buy a card they could make one

GetOrf Fri 08-Mar-13 10:58:20

I hate cards. I think they should be banned. What a waste of time and effort and paper.

I don't think I would notice if a kid turned up without a present - the start of parties are normally so tumultuous.

I think though that if this happened and I did notice I would be at pains not to make the child in question feel bad. I grew up in skintness and often the presents I took to parties were a bit ropey, I remember distinctly some frosty mothers pursing their lips at me because they thought the presents were not up to scratch.

It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things does it. Kids don't really need all the tat they get at parties anyway. One or two missing won't make any difference.

CockyPants Fri 08-Mar-13 10:59:42

Can't people even be bothered to make a card? Child draw a picture etc? Ask the child to draw a picture of the birthday girl or boy?

I think it's rude. I've done it before but gave massive apologies and then ended up spending more on pressie and card because it's so late.

To do nothing is crap. We got some kid drawn pics for DS 5th birthday. I liked that. And home made cards.


they could make a card out of anything. at least the effort would be made.

i had a child turn up with a handmade card and no present. it was lovely and by far the nicest card because time, effort and thought had been taken.

KirstyJC Fri 08-Mar-13 11:00:48

We have only had this happen to us once, and although I don't know the mum personally I do know they were struggling as their dad had just buggered off. I was pleased that we able to help her little girl have some fun time away from the difficulties at home and my DS didn't exactly go short of presents.

Another child turned up once with a small packet of chocolate buttons as a gift - DS acutally prefered this present to all the others as it was chocolate! He certainly wasn't bothered that it was cheap.

OP - I think YABU. You can't tell a family's financial circumstances just by looking and if a family is struggling then going to a friend's party may be the only treat the child gets for a while. And if it is just them being tight then so what? It's not the end of the world, is it?

Shinyshoes1 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:01:11

Btw the maltesers thing is because I'm skint , I mean proper skint , I'd rather her turn up with those than empty handed but that's just me and I know how it feels to be really skint so I wouldn't feel bad if a child turned up with nothing

BalloonSlayer Fri 08-Mar-13 11:01:32

Of course it's bloody rude. If you are too skint to buy a present then of course everyone will understand, but you can get your DC to scribble on a piece of paper to create a home made card, surely?

valiumredhead Fri 08-Mar-13 11:01:35

I would be surprised but presume they couldn't afford it or had forgotten and not give it another thought tbh.

Saying that, I am still mystified why some really good friends didn't give us a card or present for our wedding and I know they aren't skint!

ksrwr Fri 08-Mar-13 11:02:48

personally i wouldn't care if a child turned up empty handed. as long as the kids have fun and enjoy themselves. children aren't interested in cards, and only interested in presents for 5 mins. a total non issue in my opinion. if the parents have made the effort to get the child there, in my opinion that's what counts.

TobyLerone Fri 08-Mar-13 11:04:11

YABU. Never having frisked attendees at the door, I have no idea whether or not anyone has ever turned up to one of my DCs' parties 'empty-handed'. And I couldn't give a shite if they did. It's ridiculous.

OurPlanetNeptune Fri 08-Mar-13 11:04:28

No I do not think it's rude. I have taught my children when they have birthday parties they should be glad the guests have attended, presents and cards are a bonus.

A card is a nice gesture but again not compulsory. However expecting presents at anytime time is really greedy and grabby.

BigRedBox Fri 08-Mar-13 11:05:53

valium re the wedding thing. We had the same, not even a card! Some people are just tight. I cannot think of anything worse tbh. I always teach my dc's to be generous. Obviously I do not include those for who money is an issue. I'm referring to people who clearly have cash but are just mean.

manicinsomniac Fri 08-Mar-13 11:07:23

I think you are probably NBU

Very few people want to say it's rude because you end up looking grabby and insensitive.

But turn it around - how many of us would do it ourselves?!

I wouldn't be upset if someone turned up to one of my children's parties with nothing but I would never send one of mine to someone else's party without anything, even if it had to be a homemade card.

Therefore I think it probably is rude

NinaHeart Fri 08-Mar-13 11:07:34

YABU - you don't know the circumstances.

(People turned up to our wedding without a card or a present - now that I do find U!!)

Bobyan Fri 08-Mar-13 11:08:57

Maybe you should credit check the parents and send them a birthday gift list before the party to make sure you are happy to invite them?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 08-Mar-13 11:08:57

Yanbu, and I am shocked at how many YABU's this has received!

Of course it's rude to turn up without even a card!

If someone brought a card and no present, then that would be fine. I'd assume they couldn't afford a present but would be able to see they at least had some manners. It costs nothing to have about of thought, and to make a card or draw a picture with a piece of A4 paper.

Nor does it cost anything to speak to the parent organising the party and say that you can't afford a present but that your child would still live to come. I'm sure any half decent person would be absolutely fine with that.

But to turn up with nothing when nothing has been said is exceptionally rude. Party invitations do not involve compulsory acceptance. If you can't be bothered to get your child to draw on a piece of paper or to talk to the host parent, then don't expect your child to be able to go to parties.

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 11:10:11

I think it's odd, not rude, iyswim.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Fri 08-Mar-13 11:11:38


I wouldn't expect a present, especially of someone can't afford it, but they should bring a card. If they are really so short of money that they can't afford to buy a card then the child can make one, it wouldn't cost anything that way. It is the thought that counts.

To just arrive empty handed is rude.

TobyLerone Fri 08-Mar-13 11:12:08

We had a few very good friends turn up to our wedding without a gift or a card. Which was absolutely, perfectly acceptable, considering that we didn't get married for the presents hmm

Acandlelitshadow Fri 08-Mar-13 11:13:01

I'd be a bit surprised and yes, deep down a bit miffed. Don't know if I'd think it was arrogant. Would depend what they were usually like but all things being equal alongside the miffery I would also have a sneaking admiration for the sheer chutzpah involved grin

NotSoNervous Fri 08-Mar-13 11:13:55

Hmm I think YABU. I would expect a card because as you say you can get one for 50p or even get the child to make one but if there wasn't a card I wouldn't bat an eyelid about it

CatelynStark Fri 08-Mar-13 11:14:23

I think I would be more concerned for the child who turned up 'empty handed' as I know mine would be mortified if they were the only ones without a gift.

I have a present stash where I keep bargains from glitches and sales etc and have a dig through that to find something age appropriate whenever my children get invited to a party - they make the birthday cards - as I rarely have the spare cash to go and buy a gift at full price.

I have no idea if anyone's ever come to one of our parties without a gift but I don't think I'd lose much sleep over it if they had.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Fri 08-Mar-13 11:14:46

But would you really give a shiny shit if you had 30 kids running around in a soft play or some such that one of them hadnt turned up with a card? Good grief.

Its not that rude. Rude is bringing 3 siblings along unasked and sticking them down at the table or turning up drunk or some such.

Often in whole class parties the children dont even know eachother that well.

It wouldn't bother me at all, you don't invite people to get something from them.

You don't know the reality of other people's circumstances. Maybe they can't be bothered, maybe they don't come from the same culture and so didn't realise, maybe they are skint, maybe one of the grandparents has terminal cancer and the family are rushing to the hospital every night and just forgot to get something...

Orwellian Fri 08-Mar-13 11:16:54

YANBU. It is very rude.

However, this is Mumsnet so expect answers along the lines of; "How dare you. You should be honoured that this child attended your dc's party and he was probably living in absolute poverty on the streets so couldn't afford 50p for a card" or other such nonsense.

Snazzynewyear Fri 08-Mar-13 11:18:00

While it isn't obligatory in any enforceable sense, of course, it is rude. It is a well established tradition that being invited to celebrate someone's birthday with them, in our culture, usually involves bringing some token item of recognition for the birthday girl or boy. Even if that is a homemade card or picture that cost nothing, the recognition is there.

Some people have pointed out that the empty-handed partygoers are often in fact the ones whose parents are comfortably off. I'd agree with this, and in my experience, the ones who are financially struggling are usually in fact the ones who reliably bring something, even if it is a cheap/homemade card and a chocolate bar - nothing wrong with that anyway.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 08-Mar-13 11:18:27

I never did give out invitations mentally totting up all the goodies my DC would receive in return, but there again if I couldn't afford to send my DC to a party without something to take along, I wouldn't send him/her.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Fri 08-Mar-13 11:20:04

So on the MN rude scale is it better to not take a present at all or to take something that has clearly been regifted/used before etc. I might start a spreadsheet.

TobyLerone Fri 08-Mar-13 11:20:22

Do any of your DC really want a picture, drawn by another child?

Honestly, some of you are barking.

cloudpuff Fri 08-Mar-13 11:26:00

It would not bother me in the slightest, dd invites people she wants to see and she has been taught not to expect cards or gifts.

On the other hand I know not everyone feels the same so sadly I have not taken dd to parties as there have been a few times in the past where I have been so skint and couldnt even afford the basic card, I know other Mums judge and have heard it myself so I decline the invite.

I now buy bulk packs of blank greetings cards so always have some stashed away and Im gonna start a gift draw full of cheap bits for presents, got that idea from mn so thank you.

Dawndonna Fri 08-Mar-13 11:26:53

We know one or two people who really are in a bad way and who wouldn't turn up empty handed. I get a small present and tell them to turn up because it's all sorted, I catch them, either at school or as they come in the door, and slip them something already wrapped, to give to dds. Nobody else knows, not even my dds.

Whydobabiescry Fri 08-Mar-13 11:28:08

YANBU IMO when you go to a party it is traditional to wish the birthday child a happy birthday with at least a card. Its up to you whether you send a card and pressie or just a card is up to you but it's bad manners not to give something.

hamdangle Fri 08-Mar-13 11:28:20

Yes, you should turn up with a box or malteasers and a homemade card so that everyone can know what a pov you are and they can give you that head tilt and feel good about how they're giving your kid a lovely day out. Have you ever thought that maybe not bringing anything is a way of looking like you've forgotten so it doesn't draw attention to the fact you have no money.

This is the sort of thing I would have done with DS1. Not just because I was skint, which I was, but also because I was run ragged working 30 hours a week in a bar whilst studying full time, writing essays at 5am and raising a kid on my own. I practically didn't know what day of the week it was and might turn up to a party empty handed. None of my friends would have cared, or even noted this fact. And I wouldn't have cared about any parents who did.

A (now ex) friend of mine had a party for he DD and when she opened the presents (herself not DD!) one mother had given three boxes of cake mix obviously taken out of her cupboard. (Ex) friend found it hilarious and showed everyone. She was obviously a twat but there are some parents who would scoff at a handmade card and chocolate bar.

Did your child even notice, or care, that they didn't have a card? I don't think mine even read the ones he did get at that age.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 08-Mar-13 11:29:18

Children don't really want pictures drawn by other people, but they do love being given a drawing that has been made by their friends. I work with young children, they are forever making things or doing pictures for each other. It's nice, and it's their little child like way of showing each other that they are friends.

And children do like to see the windowsill or shelf all full up with cards after they've had a party or a birthday, so actually, it does make a difference whether they have been given a picture/card or not.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 08-Mar-13 11:30:52

Hamdangle, it doesn't look like you have forgotten when you can remember to actually take your child to the party on time at the right place. It looks rude.

thezebrawearspurple Fri 08-Mar-13 11:31:45

I'd rather have everyone turn up with few presents rather than have children stay away because they have nothing to give. I don't remember any of the presents kids brought to my parties but I remember the parties and the fun we had. That's the experience that's important to your child.

Thumbwitch Fri 08-Mar-13 11:33:33

I think re card, YANB that U. Even if it's a hand-drawn one, it's the thought that counts there.
Re. present - YABU.

ScaredyKnickers Fri 08-Mar-13 11:34:12

Ok then. It seems IABU! Must be projecting my standards onto others!

One recent situation that sticks out was when we had a lunchtime party in a bowling alley. Child arrived without a card/present and was quite quiet and down unusually and it was hard work trying to get her to join in. Her parents were sat in the bar drinking while the party went on so obviously had some cash to spare! I would never say anything to the child or make them feel bad about it but I think she did and I thought the parents had a bloody cheek!

Also recently had a small party where we provided an evening meal, cinema trip and did all pick ups and drop offs. 2 DC turned up with nothing (one we did not know was coming). I just found it breath taking rudeness and yes, probably a bit jealous of the parents gall.

We are not talking young DC here but between 8 and 10 year olds so they are aware. It's not their fault at all but it seems their parents can't be bothered and these are generally 'comfortable' families as well.

GetOrf Fri 08-Mar-13 11:34:30

That said I wouldn't have dreamed of sending dd to a party without a gift. I would assume that it would be noticed and commented upon. So even when on the bones of my arse and eating admiral pies because they were a quid I would buy something for a fiver or so. Which is mad really.

In my experience, kids not interested in the cards at all. Aged under about 7 or 8 had to practically forced to open them and look at them so waste of money. Have had parties where several children came without gifts and some where I wouldn't know as we had a table by the door where people left presents. Doesn't bother me in the least - the kids were invited to have a party. What's more important to me is that the kids have a nice time. For the last two kids parties we had ( aged about 8-9) we did a sort of unofficial "don't worry about gifts" which worked well as her real best/close friends still gave gifts and the rest of the girls who were classmates either came with nothing or very small tokens which was fine.

Fakebook Fri 08-Mar-13 11:35:49

Can't say it would bother me. People may have difficulties that you dony know about. You don't have parties to gain presents, it's for getting together and having fun.

On another topic though, going to someone's house empty handed is rude IMO. If you've been invited around, it's always nice to take some flowers or chocolates.

MarshaBrady Fri 08-Mar-13 11:36:36

Friends have turned up and said sorry I didn't have time to get a present, I have done the same. Doesn't bother me, so much stuff floating around already, so many new gifts for dc they don't even realise.

KurriKurri Fri 08-Mar-13 11:37:19

I'm not sure - I would always give a present of some sort, but on the other hand you invite people to a party, they have made the effort to come and thus you have party guests (and a party with no or very few guests is more upsetting IMO for a child than lack of presents), so they have fulfilled their obligation. I don't think it would bother me particularly, but I would always personally take a gift.

What is more offensive is what happened when DS (aged about 13) went to the party of girl in his class at the village hall. Birthday girl stood in the doorway, took presents of people, opened them and if she wasn't impressed told them they couldn't come in shock - little baggage.

midastouch Fri 08-Mar-13 11:39:07

I always send DC with card and a gift (size depends on whose birthday it is) but i wouldnt expect presents for my DCs thats not what a party is for, i would however think its polite to give a birthday card, they're not expensive!

hamdangle Fri 08-Mar-13 11:43:26

Yes, Clouds, but maybe that person thought the OP wouldn't notice if they didn't bring anything but if they brought a chocolate bar and homemade card then it might just draw attention to their situation. If mum in my post had not brought boxes of cake mix no one would have noticed the missing present but as she did my twatty friend made fun of her.

Maybe the people in OP's post were just rude or arrogant or maybe they just forgot because they were in a rush but who cares and why would you even notice? I think people care so much about doing what is right or polite and forget about real people.

lottieandmia Fri 08-Mar-13 11:44:00

I think YABU because personally, we invite people to parties because we want them to come. If a child came without a card or present I would not be at all bothered.

Snazzynewyear Fri 08-Mar-13 11:46:32

KurriKurri That is breathtakingly rude of the girl! There are expectations on both sides and the expectation of the birthday girl or boy is that they are gracious about the gifts they get - anything less is unspeakably rude on their part. I can't believe her parents allowed that!

lottieandmia Fri 08-Mar-13 11:48:54

I thought the whole point of parties is for the birthday child to have a good time and to reinforce friendships?

If presents are so important you may as well buy more instead of paying for the party imo.

So are parties all about the presents? I know at least one Mum who invited the whole class as in her words 'think of all the presents'. sad

everlong Fri 08-Mar-13 11:54:33

I think it's weird tbh. I wouldn't send ds to a party empty handed.
And of course it's not about what you get it's just etiquette to turn up to any party with a card/present.

KurriKurri Fri 08-Mar-13 11:55:13

Snazzy - because they were teenagers, I think the parents were not that much in evidence, (plus they were under the impression that their DD was perfect in every way <bitter>) and DS went on his own and only told me about when he got back.
It was rather typical behaviour from this particular girl, if I had been there I would have told her what I thought (and embarrassed DS so much he would never speak to me again grin)

ohforfoxsake Fri 08-Mar-13 11:55:54

Yes it's rude.

If would not dream of turning up empty handed. DCs would make a card, or at the very least make a picture. Or not go.

I would say to you I'm skint (I have no pride wink) but would love to give your DC a gift. I enjoy gift giving and that's the message I want to get across to my children. It's a privilege to be invited, and we should take a token of our appreciation.

I find the 'you are grabby' responses odd.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 08-Mar-13 12:00:35

YABU - do you invite the children to get cheap tat presents or so your DS can have fun with his frieds.

Sometiems if we are really hard up i end up having to buy total crap presents - i am sure they would rahther have nothing tbh

I agree it's odd. But not the end of the world and there's not much you can do. Apart from maybe put 'don't forget to bring a present' on the invitation.

Alligatorpie Fri 08-Mar-13 12:01:06

I think it is rude. YANBU

BarbarianMum Fri 08-Mar-13 12:01:30

Well we invite children to parties cause my kids like them and want some company celebrating their birthdays. I would be very sad if some didn't turn up because they couldn't afford a present and their mum didn't fancy explaining their family finances to me at length.

Snoopingforsoup Fri 08-Mar-13 12:04:54

Hmm. It's a tough one.
It's happened to me before and the Mum actually got my DC a gift a couple of weeks later. I felt for her more than I did for DC because it must have been embarrassing for her. She actually gave a beautiful gift and I assumed she must have been skint at the time of the party. I didn't expect her to give anything. TBH, I was delighted her DD was there because she means a lot to my DC. I don't believe she was being rude or arrogant.
Not RSVPing is rude and annoying, but kids get so much at parties, and I'd rather the kids were there and having fun than not go because of a gift and card. The parents got them there to celebrate my DC's birthday and I appreciate that effort more than any gift or card. Let's face it, parties take a couple of hours out of your day, they eat crap, bring home party bags of utter tat, but they love going. They love having a party.
I have actually considered saying 'no gifts' on my DC's invitations because they get so much but then realised that I was being pretty mean!
I'm not sure if YABU, I understand both sides.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 08-Mar-13 12:04:56

"Ok then. It seems IABU! Must be projecting my standards onto others! " hmm

So you think you are better than these people now?

Here's a present for you biscuit

Greensleeves Fri 08-Mar-13 12:05:12

I actually saw someone on here years ago post that children who turned up "empty-handed" shouldn't get a party bag

I hate bloody party bags anyway but that's a different thread. I find it baffling that adults go on about presents and "turning up empty-handed". My kids have more maturity and generosity of spirit than that, thank goodness.

everlong Fri 08-Mar-13 12:06:38

Yes, I'd rather a child turn up without a present than a no show.

I'm saying that I wouldn't do it. It's weird.

Loa Fri 08-Mar-13 12:08:42


I'm just happy roughly the right amout of people turn up - or at least enough so my DC aren't upset and very happy if my DC have enjoyed their parties.

I know more than one person who has thrown a party and had no one turn up and ended up with a very distressed DC. Something I'm aware we could face due to my DC birthdates.

hamdangle Fri 08-Mar-13 12:14:31

Agree with green sleeves and lucyellensmum. What would really upset me would be if DS actually noticed that there was a present missing or cared.

But then DS's ideal gift actually was a box of malteasers, partly because he is a sweet fiend and partly because he never really played with toys except -- Barbie dolls-- paper and pens.

hamdangle Fri 08-Mar-13 12:14:53

Strike through fail!

peppersaunt Fri 08-Mar-13 12:17:00

Good timing on this thread - need to vent. DD going to party this weekend. Birthday girl has come to at least 3 of my DDs whole class parties with no gift or card. It's not her fault but having trouble getting motivated to get a gift. It's definitely not financial, just rudeness IMO.

If you think it's rude then you will have to get a present and card peppers.

pigletmania Fri 08-Mar-13 12:23:16

Yanbu at all. Even if they cannot afford presents,it a handmade card is good. asda and pound shop does lovely things. I would rather my chi,d nt go to the party than turning up with absolutely nothing, it's very rude

superfluouscurves Fri 08-Mar-13 12:24:07

Totally agree with Greensleeves

How awful to expect something in return when sending out an invitation

Blowin Fri 08-Mar-13 12:24:11

You certainly cant get a card for 50p anywhere around here. Maybe if you live in a big town near a poundland, but round here in our small town all cards are upward of £1.50.

OP You are being ridiculous, who cares if child doesnt bring a pressie fgs, your child prob has enough tat anyhow!

StoicButStressed Fri 08-Mar-13 12:24:58

Fanny (great name btwgrin) 'No need for a pressie, don't think OP was moaning about that, but to turn up without even a card is just bad manners.' confused as what OP actually wrote WAS moaning about that very thing?hmm As OP vereee clearly described her thoughts in her post? IE 'to think it's bloody rude to send your DC to a birthday party with NO card or present for the birthday child?'

Clouds: 'Nor does it cost anything to speak to the parent organising the party and say that you can't afford a present but that your child would still live to come. I'm sure any half decent person would be absolutely fine with that.'

WTF???! So the presumption there is that IF a child/the parent cannot afford a present, they should ring first to check their invite still stands? That's bonkers (& what on earth does it teach children - OP's or others - that it's the material present that matters more than the presence of the people they like & wanted to invite?)

I think OP is B.uber.U (& a tad skewed in the value system if honest). Ditto those who 'presume' what another parent can/cannot afford when none of us can have a CLUE re others circs? IE, I am right now bricking it that will run out of funds before end of month to feed my DCs & afford fuel to get them to school, but know for certain that anyone 'looking at me'/other things about us WOULD - if they were judgemental and shallow enough to do so - absolutely have NO clue that is my reality. Only thing I DO think & agree is very U/rude is not responding/rsvp'ing and then rocking up.

As for the 'free' Plan B of DC making a card, i) it's not 'free'.. IE, right now I cannot even afford the printing paper I need desperately for legal stuff, funeral stuff, etc; ii) I wouldn't, in the very practical sense, have REMOTEST chance right now of helping him do that; & iii) KNOW youngest DS(11) would be mortified at rocking up with that in any event. I've never given a toss about what gifts my DC's have or have not got; I've just been glad they have had great parties with their lovely friends - whether said friends are rich, doing ok, skint, or absolutely just about struggling to get by. And - way more importantly - being really clear with them about presents etc being a bonus and having the manners to thank people for them, and that they grow up with a value system that isn't based on material things but other, way more important, things.

<shakes head in disbelief>

pigletmania Fri 08-Mar-13 12:25:07

My mum sent me to a party when I was 5 empty handed I was blush, everybody was gibpving gifts accept for me. I never forget it 31 years on

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 12:30:27

I've been through periods of my life when I was very skint, but I still think it's rude to turn up empty-handed to a party, whether that be birthday or wedding or whatever. It's just manners.

^^ IE, I am right now bricking it that will run out of funds before end of month to feed my DCs & afford fuel to get them to school, but know for certain that anyone 'looking at me'/other things about us WOULD - if they were judgemental and shallow enough to do so - absolutely have NO clue that is my reality.

Well, that would be a natural assumption on their part, as you appear to have internet access and a computer.

givemeaclue Fri 08-Mar-13 12:33:01

Yanbu, a home made card costs nothing, its not about money its just manners

pigletmania Fri 08-Mar-13 12:33:39

My dad had a good job and owned their own house so were not poor

SpareHeadThree Fri 08-Mar-13 12:35:14

Although it's lovely to get presents and cards when it's the child's birthday, there's no way I'd expect it.
Mine are still small and do the whole party thing, and if somebody turned up with no present or card I wouldn't be offended.
I'd just be happy that their friend was there to share their party with them, I couldn't give a stuff about a present or not, as lovely as they are!
They wouldn't notice either, they'd be too busy playing.
People who do take the huff because they haven't been given a present or card come across as a bit greedy and grasping, tbh.

Buzzardbird Fri 08-Mar-13 12:39:23

I would never judge anyone who turned up empty handed to a party. My DN and
DN turn up at every party empty handed because they lost their DM when they were 5 and 8. My DB works every hour god sends and doesn't cope well and it would never occur to him to give them cards etc, he doesn't even send them to his own family. It doesn't bother us, why should it bother anyone else?

Losing my DSIL has taught me a lot about what is important in life and what really isn't.

I know children that don't get to go to any parties because maybe their parents can't afford or can't be breaks my heart when they know everyone in the class is going to be there except for them. I would rather a thousand times over that they came to my DD's parties and didn't bring anything.

pigletmania Fri 08-Mar-13 12:39:27

It's manners to come with something. If you can't afford it a homemade card and something small the child made at home like a paper hat or something. I would never dream of going to a party myself empty handed

BarbarianMum Fri 08-Mar-13 12:40:15

wallison please have a prize biscuit for the daftest post on the thread up against some pretty stiff competition too

mummabug Fri 08-Mar-13 12:40:56

Stoic has hit nail on the head. YABU and come across as arrogant yourself. In my head I have visions of middle class snootiness.

mummabug Fri 08-Mar-13 12:42:48

.....with warped ideas about things that matter.

Sugarice Fri 08-Mar-13 12:43:51

Thank God mine are now teens and I don't have the stress of dealing with party politics! grin

Yes it's rude to show up without a previous rsvp and a card but I wouldn't stress over it, the lack of notice about him showing up at all would rile me more.

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 12:45:10

How is it daft? If you really can't afford to feed your kids, lose the broadband package.

lynniep Fri 08-Mar-13 12:46:27

I find it a bit rude too actually especially if its in conjunction with no response to the invite.
One child turned up to DS1s party with 'just' a homemade card. I'm making sure that is mentioned in his thank you letters specifically because she'd done such a beautiful job. No need for presents.

mollymole Fri 08-Mar-13 12:54:38

To not reply to the invite and then still send the child is rude. You should not
EXPECT cards and gifts -

DoTheStrand Fri 08-Mar-13 12:57:30

YABU, most children have tons of stuff already and it won't hurt not to get even more. Unless the birthday child comes from a tiny family and is unlikely to get any other presents I don't really see it's an issue. And no the parent shouldn't have to explain, as one poster suggested - how humiliating could that be?

I am sure some parents are disorganised or tightfisted (that is after all often how well off people remain well off grin), but you never know how much money people have, even close friends. There have been times we have been absolutely skint (divorce, redundancy, maintenance etc) but I know everyone around us thought we were loaded. Also there will be occasions where invitations get lost until the last minute, or someone other than the parents is looking after them. I remember when DSS1 and 2 were small, we lived in the middle of nowhere (think 12 mile round trip to the shop). Party got sprung on us on DH's weekend, v last minute and at that stage neither of us had even thought about having a stash of cards and gifts for this kind of eventuality. I'm not sure if the birthday child got anything from us that day.

For DS2's birthday party recently we stipulated no presents as we have so much stuff already. Different to the OP's scenario as he was only 1 but it worked v well and I have wondered about doing it for DS1 later this year. We found that lots of people still bring something but it makes it more acceptable in their eyes to bring a small token present eg sweets (and DS1 still has no idea about the cost or value of things).

I get much more angry about people not replying to invitations.

BarbarianMum Fri 08-Mar-13 12:58:56

Well, for example, my broadband comes in a package with my phone line rental and the cost of calls. My computer is 9 years old and worth £0.

So if I got rid of my broadband I would save about £5 month. Couldn't even sell computer for scrap. On the other hand I would have cost myself over £20 - instead of searching for and applying for jobs on line I'd have to buy papers, subscribe to specialist magazines where jobs are advertised of cough up ££ for the bus fair to the library or job centre where I could get online for free.

So in order to break even at all I'd have to get rid of landline and phone too - just use my PAYG mobile. And I'd be better off by the princely sum of about £4 a month which would still not feed my kids or cover petrol costs. Although it would buy a small birthday gift and card for a child.

trixymalixy Fri 08-Mar-13 13:03:01

I hate bought cards too and would be a bit relieved at one less present. If its a genuine case of really not having the money then I'd hate for someone to be using their last pennies to buy something.

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 13:04:09

You pay £4 a monh for internet, phone line and calls? That sounds like a pretty good deal.

I know plenty of people who don't have a computer or broadband or Sky. That's because they can't afford it.

trixymalixy Fri 08-Mar-13 13:05:57

One of DS's classmates brought a lovely homemade card that made me smile for DS, it had cut out photos of him on it. I much prefer homemade cards.

pigletmania Fri 08-Mar-13 12:33:39

>>>> My dad had a good job and owned their own house so were not poor <<<<

Are you sure they weren't struggling at any point? I know that when mortgage interest rates went sky high in the early 80s my parents struggled, but I was blissfully unaware of it at the time.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 08-Mar-13 13:10:16

barbarianmum please don't justify yourself to someone who clearly lives in cloud cuckoo land and is deliberately misreading your posts.

Williamson - you blether on about manners but then you don't have the manners to keep personal comments to yourself about someone;s circumstances.

Sugarice Fri 08-Mar-13 13:13:46

Wallison you're posting in a goady manner and it's not relevant to the OP.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 08-Mar-13 13:14:15

Another point of view is - as the parent of the birthday girl, i would often prefer LESS presents thankyou very much. HAve done whole class parties in the first few years of school and thankfully now its winding down as DD is 8 next birthday. I just remember cringingly inwardly with all the gifts tatt that DD received. Yes, its all very nice etc but there are only so many colouring sets you can have.

Can't be bothered to read the thread so shoot me. DD1 has just had her birthday party. We invited children that she wanted to play with, we didn't rate them in order of wealth or judge their presents on the door. The only reason I have a list of what everyone brought was in order to do thank you letters. Otherwise I couldn't give a shiny shite if every child came empty handed. That isn't the object of the exercise.

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 13:15:50

[shrug] If someone doesn't want their personal circumstances to be commented on, they could always try not putting them on a public forum. I don't see what is 'cloud cuckoo land' about saying that someone who can afford a phone/telly/broadband package is either a) not poor; or b) not prioritising properly if they really can't afford to feed their kids. Most of these packages work out at around £30 a month, minimum. They aren't cheap and neither are they a necessity.

lottieandmia Fri 08-Mar-13 13:19:49

Internet is not a luxury - children need internet access to do their homework. I use mine for all my banking and shopping (everything is cheaper on Amazon for example)

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 13:22:47

There are plenty of children who manage to do their homework without access to the internet. There are plenty of people who look for jobs without access to the internet. And I would bet you any money you like that your savings by shopping on Amazon do not equate to £30 a month.

mummabug Fri 08-Mar-13 13:23:17

Hello? phone/telly/broadband is plenty necessary to many people. Keeping in contact with friends and family to avoid debilitating feelings of isolation for some single mothers, broadband again for communication, job hunting, generally being in the world? The amount of things you can 'only do online' these days, it is a necessity. And people that have these packages can definitely be poor, but being connected to the world is up there in their list of priorities. Christ some people are ignorant.

VictorTango Fri 08-Mar-13 13:24:28

I really couldn't give a shit who what child turns up with which piece of tat.

I want my dc to have a fun party with friends.

How grabby are you OP?

dashoflime Fri 08-Mar-13 13:25:09

Turning up without a present= not rude

Turning up without RSVP= rude

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 13:26:15

If I had to choose between feeding my kids and pissing around on mumsnet, I know what I would do.

Samu2 Fri 08-Mar-13 13:26:23

This is one of the reasons I don't like children's parties.

I hate how so many people think it is expected to bring a gift. I personally would at least get my child to make a card but it is not U to not bring a gift.

I thought parties were for fun, not for the child to get more presents.

Hullygully Fri 08-Mar-13 13:27:15

I would think it odd if a child turned up without even a card, simply because it is so not the done thing (yet).

smellysocksandchickenpox Fri 08-Mar-13 13:27:16

the birthday child will just be pleased they had a nice party with playmates who "bothered" to come along.

the party presents get too much IMO, I'ld love to say "no presents" on invites but according to MN that would be a massive faux pas!

- its only parents who care either way, not the kids! they just enjoy the celebrations!!

Sugarice Fri 08-Mar-13 13:29:21


If I had to choose between feeding my kids and pissing around on mumsnet, I know what I would do.

what's this got to do with the thread? confused

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 13:31:37

Sorry, Sugarice and OP - didn't mean to derail. Just got a bit of a bee in my bonnet at people spending money on luxuries while their kids go hungry.

lottieandmia Fri 08-Mar-13 13:32:10

Wallison - your approach is black and white. There are very, very few homes who do not have internet these days. My dd gets homework which specifically tells her to google things most nights.

But what is your point? The someone should not have internet and buy a birthday present instead?

Floggingmolly Fri 08-Mar-13 13:35:56

I think we're all in agreement that we don't give a toss whether our kids get more plastic crap at their parties or not. It doesn't stop it being odd.

Tailtwister Fri 08-Mar-13 13:50:26

Tbh, I would give them the benefit of the doubt. Lots of people are struggling atm, whether they appear to be or not. They might actually not have had any spare cash at all, but thought it was better for their child to attend the party than not. After all, you invite a child because you actually want them there rather than the present they bring, right?

Tailtwister Fri 08-Mar-13 13:52:09

Also, remember the economic climate we're living in. Even those in high paying jobs aren't immune and savings don't last forever. People get made redundant at the drop of a hat nowadays and it's not something you shout from the rooftops when it happens.

TheNoodlesIncident Fri 08-Mar-13 13:59:18

It is a strange thing. I wouldn't send DS to a party without a card and a present, as it is presumably a child's birthday - but then when it's his turn to have a party I really genuinely don't care if an attendee doesn't bring a present/card.

I'd just be relieved pleased that they wanted to come to his party. And hopefully they would be pleased at being asked. (And fwiw I'd love it if a child brought a home-made card, because I'd find it cute. No idea what DS would think, but probably "how nice" rather than a 5 yo version of "WTF?")

Presents for DS are really very very low down our list of priorities, but I still would have to get something for another child's party. I couldn't not.

KitchenandJumble Fri 08-Mar-13 14:03:55

YABU. You may not know the home circumstances of every child. Perhaps the parents can't afford a present or a card. Perhaps life has been extremely stressful (illness of the parents or another family member, unemployment, impending divorce, etc.). You never know. Of course, it's easier and perhaps more self-satisfying just to sit back and judge other people as rude or not living up to your standards.

KitchenandJumble Fri 08-Mar-13 14:11:39

Sorry, my post was a bit garbled. I meant that stressful circumstances in the family may mean that the parents found it difficult to organise a present or even a homemade card. Maybe it was all they could manage to get their child to the party in the first place.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 08-Mar-13 14:22:38

WHo the fuck has said anything about peoples children going hungry? Sorry Wallison but this thread isn't your soap box. STop hijacking the thread and do one, theres a dear

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 14:31:01

^^WHo the fuck has said anything about peoples children going hungry?

StoicButStressed did. I was responding to her/him. I thought I had made that clear by quoting them, but obviously not.

lottieandmia Fri 08-Mar-13 14:31:29

The tories have brainwashed everyone. Poor people are NOT allowed to have anything other than bread and water. Didn't you know?

INeverSaidThat Fri 08-Mar-13 14:32:41

I think it is a bit odd a a bit cheeky. You don't even have to spend 50p as a child drawn card would be perfectly ok.

I think it does smack of 'can't be arsed' but it wouldn't stop me from inviting a non-present giving child in future. I don't think the DC's would care if they didn't receive a present from everyone.

My DCs have been given homemade and second hand things before which have shown thought.

So YANBU but it's not a biggie.

mummabug Fri 08-Mar-13 14:39:03

To actually take the time to write a bitter post in AIBU shows how much OP does think of it as a biggie. And that is what I find so amazing.

FrankWippery Fri 08-Mar-13 14:39:13

If I had to choose between feeding my kids and pissing around on mumsnet, I know what I would do.

It's a nobrainer, the kids would have to scavenge. grin

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 14:43:45

grin FrankWippery.

meddie Fri 08-Mar-13 14:46:41

Its rude to turn up without indicating you would be going but as for the card and present, you have no idea of that womens financial circumstances.

Its extremely embarrassing to not have the money for a present or card, and humiliating to have to explain that. I know I would never have been able to admit that, instead we refused a lot of parties, because it was just unaffordable at the time (recently divorced).

Umlauf Fri 08-Mar-13 14:55:04

Cards are pricey. I make all mine, recycling bits from ones I've been given. Costs nothing. Even a lovely child's picture on folded paper. Yanbu about this.

Present on the other hand Yabu. For reasons mentioned already.

Not responding, very rude.

BabyRoger Fri 08-Mar-13 14:56:45

I wouldn't be bothered if someone came to one of my DC's parties without a present. TBH, I probably wouldn;t notice at the time. If there was no card, I might possibly think that was slightly rude.

In saying that, I would never send DD or DS without a card and present to a party. It does seem pretty standard to attend a birthday party with a card/present.

MechanicalTheatre Fri 08-Mar-13 14:57:25

No it's not rude. The parents could be skint, have mental health problems, have had a death in the family, be working all hours of the day, have a child with a severe disability or anything else.

You just do not know the circumstances others families are in.

Cards are pointless. I hate them. I don't want them cluttering up my house and I don't want to buy them for people. "Happy Birthday, here's a card that says exactly the same thing except it cost me £3. Put it on your mantlepiece for a few days, then throw it in the bin! Hurrah!" What is the point exactly?

BeCool Fri 08-Mar-13 15:06:05

YABU - I invite DD's friends on her behalf. Yes she loves presents, but EVERYONE knows the most important things about parties is party bags and NOT presents. grin

Would your DC want their friends to not come to the party because their parent didn't sort out a present? Or a card?

And yes kids can make cards but how many do off their own back?? If they do great. If not should they then not come?

Cards are actually expensive landfill. And where oh where are these magical 50p cards cause I've never seen one? I guess I'd have to buy them in bulk, in advance and keep them stashed to drag out a cheap crappy card out should I need one at the last minute!!

We often make cards for people (Not because of money but because we can and its nice) but sometimes we just don't have the time. If I can't get to buying a card should DD then not go the the party?

OP you do sound as if you invite people to parties for presents. Why not focus on inviting your DC's friends for a party!! I'm sure you'll feel alot happier about things.

BeCool Fri 08-Mar-13 15:08:34

I work FT and there are no children's shops around me - I find it bloody hard work to find presents sometimes. Frankly if it can't be ordered in advance off Amazon it's not happening!

BeCool Fri 08-Mar-13 15:13:02

" I remember distinctly some frosty mothers pursing their lips at me because they thought the presents were not up to scratch."

You see this is just fucking horrible. Yes I'm sure GetOrf "survived", but this memory remains with her well into adulthood.

Hope your DC's friends don't catch you sucking teeth and doing the judgy face at them OP!

everlong Fri 08-Mar-13 15:15:14

Ok put it this way if I couldn't afford a 50p card I wouldn't send the kid to the party.

Mintberry Fri 08-Mar-13 15:15:18

I agree that even if you're skint you can draw a card, some kids do that anyway.

But some people just don't care or see the point about cards, IME. My DP is like this. It isn't personal, and if they really couldn't be bothered they wouldn't show up.

carabos Fri 08-Mar-13 15:24:33

dashoflime my sentiments exactly. Failing to RSVP is rude, failing to bring card/present isn't.

BeCool Fri 08-Mar-13 15:27:37

everlong really? Why should your child miss out on a party just because you were skint? I find that a sad and strange attitude - pride before DC's fun and friends sad

Just so as you know your DC would be welcome at our parties card or no card.

pigletmania Fri 08-Mar-13 15:29:54

No muddling. I asked my mum and she said mortgage was already paid, had not thought to give a present and now she felt it was very blush about it. She comes from Cyprus and in her time they did not do kids parties how tey do now

Viviennemary Fri 08-Mar-13 15:30:04

Well I certainly haven't come across this before. It is the usual thing to send a present and card no matter the cost or the worth. So somebody turned up without a card or present. Well it's unusual and not the 'done thing' but not the end of the world.

PurpleBlossom Fri 08-Mar-13 15:50:44

It's one of those situations where I personally wouldn't send my child empty handed but I couldn't careless if a child came to my DC's party without a card/ gift.

<sits on fence>

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 08-Mar-13 15:51:59

Sometimes declining an invitation wasn't a question of my pride dictating my DC would be denied fun or merriment, no host ever demanded an explanation - besides it wasn't the only invitation they'd get all year - I wouldn't define it as 'sad and strange' just a decision I took, hardly social life or death.

Regarding party bags: when DC bore these trophies home, a couple of times I did feel a pang when contents of aforementioned eclipsed a gift.

INeverSaidThat Fri 08-Mar-13 15:53:17

My DC's and their friends used to give home made cards out of choice. My kids have also been happy to receive second hand toys or books. I remember a much used and much loved 'rare' Magic Card being given to one of my DC's. I don't think you have to spend anything. (Except in rare circumstances)

My 15 year old DD and her friends give each other homemade cards and very inexpensive token presents, things like a £1 sweet. I think it is sweet and sensible of them. My DD could easily afford more (she babysits a lot) but in her circle of friends it is the giving of a little token present that is appreciated.

pigletmania Fri 08-Mar-13 16:00:09

As a host I would not expect anything, too busy keeping kids happy and entertained but talking in general it is very rude not to bring anything not even a home made card. If you can make the effort to bring te kids to the party you can help your child make a card at home

seriouscakeeater Fri 08-Mar-13 16:05:00

I'm not fussed either way..I wouldnt be send my child with out anything but i wouldnt be bothered if kid turned up to my dc party with out anything and some have. I would just want to make sure all the kids and my dc had a great time and went home with lots of sugar cake and other crappy stuff grin

happyscouse Fri 08-Mar-13 16:14:56

I've always been lucky enough to have always been able to send my children with a card and present to friends parties. When we have hosted a party for them presents and cards are never an expectation...that in my opinion is very rude. The best present you can give your children is to teach them to be kind , understanding and to cherish their friendships for what they are not for personal gain! The kids will remember their party forever, in my experience the "presents" are forgotten within 24 hours and the cards even sooner (after you have begged them to open really dont like cards!)

StoicButStressed Fri 08-Mar-13 16:23:14

Wallinson - I invite you & the pleasure of your company, for an appointed ETA time (that time being AFTER you have read this) to please accept my invitation to peruse the pictures on my profile? And I very much look forward to your prompt RSVP (as anything else would be so rude...), & to your gift in return for that 'invitation' (as again, anything else in response to an invitation would also be so very rude. And yes, there IS a reason for that invitation; & a very, very, VERY huge reason.

You claim to have 'manners', yet you have been insulting and presumptive in THE most staggering of ways & - unless deliberately trolling - you are also appearing to be very thick in claiming to 'quote' me, yet write something that was no quote of what I had written? BarbarianMum, Mummabug, & LucyElllensMum95 - whilst agree with your comments and appreciate you pointing such obviousnesses out to the delightful and well-mannered Wallinson; trust me, I am well capable of responding directly to her/him/alien critter/utter moron myself.

WALLINSON I was very obviously & very clearly simply commenting on the nonsensical (& beyond both arrogant and thick) notion of others 'presuming' to 'know' what other's circumstances may be? [I.E. in direct context of OP's disgruntlement at lack of 'cards/presents']; and I used the analogy of MY circumstances THIS MONTH to illustrate it (even though am ACUTELY aware that there are very many people for whom this is reality EVERY month ).

I wrote that 'right now/this month'... 'am bricking it about getting to the end of the month re feeding kids and fuelling car, yet NOBODY who was dumb or shallow enough to 'look at me' would have a CLUE re my reality'. IE, again, VERY clearly in context of sentence that included right now/this month, so - setting aside the utter stupidity of it per se - your statement vis my having internet, & 'pissing about' on Mumsnet is both wildly misplaced and also, in it's very essence, beyond wrong per se. Mumsnet has been an utter life-saver to me over the past weeks/months so ipso facto, NOT a 'luxury' in any event (even if I wasn't simply referring to THIS MONTH/RIGHT NOW ).

So, since you 'have a bee in your bonnet at people spending money on luxuries' , and so very clearly mis-quoted my (pretty valid) comment/analogy, I'm just going to be VEREEEE straight with you, dear well-mannered Wallinson -

1) At NO point did I say my children are/would 'go hungry' (your words, not mine).

2) 'Not prioritising properly if they really can't afford to feed their kids' (again, your words not mine); mine were simply expressing a bricking it re this month food/fuel etc, and to reinforce how absurd it is for other to assume/presume/or make 'judgements' on people whose circumstances they know NOTHING about.

3) If I am 'pissing about' on Mumsnet by making a valid and on topic related observation, out of curiosity what does that make all YOU have written, given most of it has simply - and beyond ignorantly - been having making snide and rude remarks?

4) So, to directly respond to your having a 'bee in your bonnet at people spending money on luxuries while their kids go hungry - may I just point out the following?

i) Manifestly - even though bricking it re funds this month - my children will not and never have done or ever will do 'go hungry'

ii) The 'luxuries' I was spending money on was my Mumma's funeral (she passed away 19 days ago) on Tuesday. Hence knowing the rest of the month is going to be very, very tight in terms of budget.

iii) The invitation extended so politely to you is to please look at the pictures on my profile (placed there in context of, and for, the MN'ers who have been in constant - & invaluable in terms of support - dialogue with me throughout my Mother's horrific illness and then death), as they contain some of the beautiful and very personal 'her' things which I made sure she had for her final goodbye to us.

iv) Since you are SO aware & vocal of how rude it is to get an invitation and not furnish a gift, may I ask that you place your gift via the link below?

I look forward to seeing a Wallinson gift (even if 'just' the £1 it costs for a card but which others may STILL not be able to afford) in the list of donations when I return from picking up my - very well fed but utterly heartbroken at the loss of their beloved Nanny (as you will see from the candle I had made for her) and the updates on page about THEIR involvement in her funeral 3 days ago - DS's from school.

And if their is no gift, especially in the context of your quite horrendous comments and your claims to being so well-mannered, do please be aware that the only person that will reflect on is you.


everlong Fri 08-Mar-13 16:29:39

becool if things are that bad that I can't afford a 50p card, sending them to a party is the least of my worries.

I wouldn't embarrass my child by sending them.

WeAreEternal Fri 08-Mar-13 16:30:25

Quite a few of the 30 or so kids that came to DS's 6th party didnt bring gifts/cards, and I didn't expect them to.

You invite the guests to help celebrate with your child and make their birthday special, not to get more presents!

One dad actually came and gave me £10 over a month after DS's birthday, he apologised for not getting him a gift (from is DS) for the party but explained that he had been really low on funds that month, I told him that he really didnt need to, that DS was just happy that he had come, but the dad insisted that I took the money to get DS something special. I though that was very sweet and unnecessary of him.

happyscouse Fri 08-Mar-13 16:34:05

stoic. excellent post, sorry for your loss, it is clear from your profile you have taught your children the important things in life.

mummabug Fri 08-Mar-13 16:48:00

stoic grin

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 08-Mar-13 16:52:54

grin to be honest stoic, i was just throwing my two penneth in on my own behalf, but next time i need someone to stick up for ME, im gonna come and find you smile

BeCool Fri 08-Mar-13 16:56:58

everlong if things were that bad I didn't have 50p for a birthday card I'd def want my DC to enjoy themselves and have some fun with their friends at a party!

everlong Fri 08-Mar-13 17:00:15

We are different then becool.

I couldn't and wouldn't turn up without a card. Even a homemade card is better than nothing.

seriouscakeeater Fri 08-Mar-13 17:04:13

wow this turned nasty pretty quickley!

Wallison Fri 08-Mar-13 17:09:11

Stoic, I am sorry for your loss and hope you find peace.

simplesusan Fri 08-Mar-13 17:16:54

Not replying to an invite=definately rude.

Turning up without a gift or card= still a bit off but I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Can I also add to the list: turning up without replying PLUS bringing along another child, not a sibling, and asking/stating "You don't mind x coming along as well?" Absolutly the height of bad manners, especially when x takes a place at the pre-set table ensuring another child is without a seat!!!!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 08-Mar-13 17:19:34

While I would not personally have sent my child to a party without a gift and card, I would not be bothered if for whatever reason someone had turned up without a gift to my own childs part.

anonymosity Fri 08-Mar-13 17:19:39

Most of the kids parties we've been invited to over the past 2 yrs in LA have had printed on the invitations (or in the email invitations) - NO GIFTS PLEASE.
So there you go.

DeepRedBetty Fri 08-Mar-13 17:23:50

Yes of course there may be exceptional circumstances sometimes and of course you can't know that. But I cannot believe that every single child who turns up, having failed to rsvp, with no gift and not even a token effort at a card, is from a family that's recently gone through turmoil. Sadly there are just too many for that to be the case. It's far more likely that the parents are too slack to have bothered, and the example they've set their children is being followed by them.

ElliesWellies Fri 08-Mar-13 17:26:57

I would presume the family didn't have enough money, rather than thinking it was 'bloody rude'. In any case it isn't the child's fault is it?

To be honest, there are months where we are very, very tight, but I don't like people in 'real-life' knowing this. I would find some way of sending my child with a card and tiny gift, or not send them. Would be too embarrassed to send my child empty-handed.

After 4 DC and what seems like years of never-ending parties this happened enough to notice. While I would never ever respond any differently to the invited child (like others i would actually be relieved really as the amount of presents does get ridiculous) but I would wonder if the family was okay simply because it is such an expected convention to bring a card to a child's birthday party.

What I noticed in hindsight though, was often the reasons behind no gift, no card or even no RSVP were very rarely just about finances often it would come out later the family were going through a tough time; relationship issues, mental illness, bereavement, health problems, SN issues. I think very few families can't manage a home-made card for financial reasons but plenty of families have other stuff going on behind closed-doors that make even these small conventions slide off their radar at times.

insanityscratching Fri 08-Mar-13 17:30:42

YABU an invitation asks for nothing but the child's presence it's presumptuous to expect a gift in return.
Dd has often had guests at her party who came empty handed, she never notices and I don't judge and have still invited these children the following year. I send thank you notes to all regardless thanking them for making her birthday special.
I would hate to think any of her her friends wouldn't come to her party because they hadn't a gift to bring tbh.

cathers Fri 08-Mar-13 17:35:40

I too would be embarrassed to send a dc empty handed to a party. A hand drawn card costs nothing and shows thought and consideration. Not bothered about a gift particularly.

everlong Fri 08-Mar-13 17:39:57

Right need to reiterate this.

If it were my child's party I wouldn't care if someone turned up without a present. In fact this happened once, mum turned up without rsvping and without a present or card. Bright and breezy! Had to laugh her ds won two games grin

But from my pov I wouldn't go without one.

Floggingmolly Fri 08-Mar-13 17:40:28

Mental illness, bereavement, relationship issues, Emphatic?
Bit of a stretch there, don't you think? Possible reasons for not being together enough to actually get your child to a party maybe...

INeverSaidThat Fri 08-Mar-13 17:45:15

I put 'no gifts, thankyou' on the invites to one of my DC's parties.
( I can't remember quite how I worded it but it was polite and low key)

It was a disaster sad as some people still brought gifts which made the other DC's/parents feel awkward. They were not big parties and I was friendly with the other parents. I never tried it again.

yabu and rude to expect a gift.

have you thought about providing a gift list or a poem explaining that your pfb has everything he needs but cash is always welcome

anonymosity Fri 08-Mar-13 18:55:15

A gift list for a kids party smacks of greed.

StuntGirl Fri 08-Mar-13 19:03:35

YABU and very rude. You don't invite people to a party in order to get gifts.

dawndonna. I got a little testy reading your post. What a true friend you are!


ScaredyKnickers Fri 08-Mar-13 19:30:06

Actually my point was more about acknowledging the birthday DC with a card or small gift on THEIR special occasion not just treating it as just a free fun activity that they can just turn up to which seems to be the case (from the parents pov IMO). I am the least grabby person in the world, don't have gift lifts or care whether it was something from the £ shop or not. Just an acknowledgement.

Still think it's bloody rude and think it's because the parents can't be arsed.

this is about parental expectations. not childrens. i honestly never counted the cards and presents against a tick list. who has the time at a kids party? and twins. should i have got grumpy because ds only has one present from the pair of them? il just happy his mates turned up. the rest is just nonsense.

i did a class party once at a pirates soft play. coincidentally there were a few other kids from the other year group class there. of course those kids joined in. and got a party bag too because i had learnt you always have to prepare extras. its for kids. why get het up about parents not managing/being cheeky? tis the way of the world.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 08-Mar-13 21:02:29

Slightly off thread I know, but I'm getting really fed up of kids parties now. I know it's for the kids, but when you have more than one DC and they are all being invited to parties constantly, it's bloody hard work and expensive to go out and buy presents continuously. Was out today buying presents for two parties this weekend. It never seems to stop. It really eats into your weekends and after school time too. I know it makes me sound like a miserable old git, but I find it a bit of a pain in the arse now to be honest. The kids do love them I know. Someone please tell me that it wears off at some point.

it does. after about 8 or 9 they generally just want a handful of close mates to go to the cinema with/ bowling/nandos...

and thinking it over again i am astounded that you would even notice who had given cards/presents. surely at the end of a party you just notice the pile of cards/tat/squished cake/burst balloons and think job well done for another year?

maybe i am just a slattern.

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 08-Mar-13 21:18:12

Thanks Madame. My oldest dd is 9. We didn't have a party for her this year as it was in the Christmas holidays. She said she just wanted a sleepover with her two best mates. I haven't got round to it yet (bad mother). Middle dd is 6 and her friends are still having full class parties. ds is nearly 2, so will have it for a while yet I guess. I sometimes think I put too much thought into it and worry too much about what to get them. I always ask the parents what their kids are 'in to'. I really envy organised parents who have a present drawer!

ah be that kind of in awe and slightly afeared also...but ds is 12 now and thank the lord the mayhem of primary parties is over. when ds had parties while with exp my policy was to let him get on with the prsent stuff...thankfully he always managed it..

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 08-Mar-13 21:28:34

Good for you madame. My dh wouldn't have a clue!! I sometimes think if I died tomorrow he wouldn't have a clue what to do. I'm not sure he realises how much organisation it takes to ferry 3 dc around with all their various after school things, parties, etc. As for Santa, he always looks just as surprised as the dc on Christmas day, as I did it all!!

oh lordy! well exp still has that attitude twards child maintenance...shurly the child support fairy brings it? yeah, right!

Bunbaker Fri 08-Mar-13 21:39:09

Their presence is far more important than their presents.

well put bun

StoicButStressed Fri 08-Mar-13 21:51:18

ScaredyKnickers ALL below are YOUR words, in YOUR post... AND posted in AIBU - which de facto suggests someone wants other's views to 'test the water' around their own - in your case, slightly bitter & resentful sounding; pretty narrow minded (in terms of your comprehension of others); & horribly judgemental - view?

But you really weren't doing that, were you? Is beyond clear from your posts i) that you fancied a rant; ii) that you expected all to agree with you.. and when the majority DIDN'T, you just ignored them and then grabbed a spade to keep digging, adding uber 'judgy' (& a tad peculiar other things like the "we provided" confused to the above just for good measure) YOU:

1 -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.

i) As should (by now?) be pretty clear, & from a HUGE number of posters, the fact that These parents have never struck me as struggling for money DOES NOT mean that they AREN"T maybe struggling for money; OR that YOU could POSSIBLY 'KNOW' that or their circs.?

ii) 'Smacks of 'can't be bothered' to me and complete arrogance.' No it doesn't - the ONLYarrogance I've seen on here (setting aside the delightful Wallison for a mo) is your refusal to 'hear' those of whom YOU sought views from? Ditto the arrogance in the implicit 'judging'

2 - Ok then. It seems IABU! Must be projecting my standards onto others!

Trust me hon, you're notgrin - I have today built a magic force field around me to protect me from EVER having the 'standards' & valuesshock that you seem to have.

Also recently had a small party where we provided an evening meal, cinema trip and did all pick ups and drop offs. 2 DC turned up with nothing.

NO SHIT Scared? SERIOUSLY???! YOU host/throw a party for YOUR DC where you provide whatever the party consists of? Wow - there's a shocker huh?hmmgrin AND 2 (TWO!!!) of the selfish little shits guests (i.e. children coming to join your child in celebrating their birthday) bring NOTHING? Where were the bouncers when you needed them huh?wink

3 - Actually my point was more about acknowledging the birthday DC with a card or small gift on THEIR special occasion not just treating it as just a 'free fun activity' Well Scaredy (& strictly entre nous ok?) I should fess up that I am generally verreee big on entrepreneurship... but I think you'll find if your DC's parties were not, err, free (or you poss started charging and it NOT being a 'free fun activity'... err, like a birthday party IS???) then your l'il DCs may find themselves with a pretty lonesome party?

And so, after ALL of that, AND having canvessed over 190 views/opinions/other realities being politely pointed out or suggested to you, you end with this gem:

Still think it's bloody rude and think it's because the parents can't be arsed.

Scaredy - why the f*ck did you even bother asking anyone else then? Ahh, yep.. it'll be all those reasons way up at top - seriously, thanks for the ROFLgrinthanks, first time have laughed properly in a fair few dayssmile.

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 21:56:29

My name is Holly

I need to confess

Not that my car is a minging flea pit of debris and shite resulting from offspring. But I cleaned it, properly, lifting up the mats etc and having a good hoover.

I found a birthday card to "C", I opened it, "C" was 10 apparently, according to the card I bought, with a tenner stuffed in it.

I know "C" is now 13 blush and DS3 and "C" are at different schools.

Should I (a) pocket the tenner (b) deliver the card and apoogise profusely (C) chastise DS3 for dropping said card and trading on it for the past 3 years????

YOU! The MN Jury decide grin

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 08-Mar-13 21:56:46

I always find receiving lots of presents is stressful for me. We don't have much space so never have any where to put anything anyway. I always prefer the 'consumables', i.e. sweets, bubble bath, bath bombs much easier as you can actually use them and not have them lying around. The best present dd2 ever had was a couple of homemade hair bobbles. She loves them and they are unique. I wish I could do things like that myself. Then there's the thank you letters afterwards. Have decided that kids parties are a pain for all concerned (Baa humbug).

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 08-Mar-13 21:59:42

Let's just all agree not to buy presents. Life would be so much easier and then no one would feel bad.

MooMooSkit Fri 08-Mar-13 22:01:09

Why does everyone think kids are all ungrateful little bastids that don't appreciate things?? I remember my 7th birthday at a mcdonalds and my friend made me a card as her parents had recently divorced and were struggling, I do remember my dad saying to me about this even at such a young age but i actually loved that card, we became really close friends after that and stayed friends till i moved away (all though even now we are still friends on FB and i still have that card but none of the other presents...)

I agree, i totally totally understand what it's like to not have money, I was brought up on my own by my dad on benefits a lot of the time so I was always the one hand making cards or bringing in small gifts. It really is the thought that counts at that age.

alemci Fri 08-Mar-13 22:01:18

I think it is awful. I remember one boy did it to my DS and he was meant to be a good friend. I wouldn't let my DC go to a party without a gift and card.

well i wouldnt either...but seriously have better things to do with my time than brood over the evilness of it all...other parents can be twats/thoughtless/ forgetful/broke...does it really bloody matter? kids have a good time. end of.

Schooldidi Fri 08-Mar-13 22:11:18

I wouldn't let my dcs go to a party without a card or present. BUT I would rather have children at my dd's party without a card/present than not have many children come at all.

So I would consider myself rude, and would be a little surprised if it was somebody else but I don't think I'd get worked up about it tbh.

Dd2 is having a party tomorrow and there are 10 children coming, I know that there will be at least 3 who turn up with a token card rather than a present as their families are strapped for cash atm.

'one boy did it to my ds' no he didnt. his parents did. was said boy then judged and excluded?

ihategeorgeosborne Fri 08-Mar-13 22:20:16

It is easily done though. People lead busy lives. I took dd to a party once and forgot the present. Had bought it and wrapped it up, just left in a rush and forgot. I couldn't take it later either as another parent picked up. I took it to school on Monday and the child in question opened it there and then. I don't know if he took it home or not. If anything like my dd it would have stayed in their locker all term. I hope the parents didn't think badly of me hmm. I certainly wouldn't think badly of anyone who didn't come with a present to my dc parties. No one knows of anyone elses circumstances. There could be any explanation.

HollyBerryBush Fri 08-Mar-13 22:20:37

OP - what would you prefer?

Inviting a child who cant afford a gift, knowing his parents will refuse the invitation, an know tht the child can' join in?

or as your Op suggests, you are just a bit grasping and its the presnet that coults rather then the childs enjoyment?

perhaps you should seek a better class of affluent parent to associate with your child?

alemci Fri 08-Mar-13 22:23:50

He moved away and his mum contacted us out the blue when she returned to the area. she wanted us to look after him etc. I remember his grandparents turned up with him to the party early which was a bit much and then to come empty handed.

sorry but it just smacks of freeloading and lack of manners. this had happened at other dcs parties too. I know it isn't the kids fault but it only happened with him.

so you all gossiped about this poor little boy turning up at your parties without a present. nice.

alemci Fri 08-Mar-13 22:30:33

absolutely. It's just not cricket. he was about 9 or 10

isn't that we are all doing on the thread.

just not cricket? seriously?

littlewhitebag Fri 08-Mar-13 22:39:44

As the mother of girl aged 15 and 20 (years) you learn to take the rough with the smooth. Sometime children turn up with no gift. No biggie. Just let your DC enjoy the company. Honestly not worth worrying about.

and of course, at 9 ot 10 he was more than capable of managing his social life by himself. and getting a job if needs be to fulfil his social obligations in the present buying stakes.

honestly people. buy your children things. Don't expect others to do so. you are not doing them a favor by having a party. you are doing something nice for your child by giving THEM a party. I can't think of anything worse than a load of random gifts. wish people would stop giving my kids shit...we're being over run as it is.

almci you sound like a real charmer

it really wouldnt bother me in the slightest. You dont throw a party to receive gifts YABU

StoicButStressed Fri 08-Mar-13 22:55:52

Some of this just makes me want to weep.

WHO in God's name would want a child whose parent's couldn't afford a gift to have to, or be made to feel embarrassed enough to, etc etc etc that he/she could not join celebrating a friends birthday - & hopefully having a great time, as ALL DCs at birthday parties.

Clue is in the name:



As for "it's not cricket" - no idea what planet you're on other than very glad it's NOT one my DS's and I are on. And I hope for their sakes and their value systems as they grow that YOUR DC's aren't on it either.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 08-Mar-13 22:58:40

YABU. At DD1's party when she was about 6, we had a spin the bottle thing at the end, where when the bottle landed pointing at the child, DD1 had to open their present and say thank you. We had finished, when one child said "Where's Deirdre's present? She hasn't opened Deirdre's present." Deirdre's bottom lip started to wobble, as she clearly hadn't brought a gift. I grabbed a wrapped present that was going to be a prize from the hall table, and said quickly "Oh this must be it, did you leave it in the hall, Deirdre?" Cue vigorous nodding from Deirdre, DD1 opened the present, said thank you, and all happy. Deirdre was not British and had only recently arrived in the village, and I think this was probably her first birthday party.

Oh and we never did the spin the bottle thing again for presents!

louisianablue2000 Fri 08-Mar-13 23:05:59

I would never send the children to a party without a card and present. Having said that I'm very much in the 'homemade card and token gift' group, now wondering what that makes people think about me! DD1 and her friends are always giving each other pictures and things, they love it. Plus I think it teaches the DCs more about what giving means to get them to decorate a card than to let me go out and buy one.

ThisIsMummyPig Fri 08-Mar-13 23:06:59

So I had 2 kids arrive at my DDs party with no presents, no cards. Absolutely fine. I just wanted them to come and have a nice time.

Four weeks later I was at another party. One of those girls walked in with two presents for the birthday boy. I know for a fact she is not good friends with that boy. I have to say I was a bit hmm about that

Gomez Fri 08-Mar-13 23:08:38

So I have never sent my kids without a present cause frankly I have never, luckily, been on the bones of my arse. Would I give a flying monkey or deem it rude if a chile turned up with nothing no. Does it matter if the child's parents are getting pissed in the bar ? No 'cause I assume she/he has no control over their parents spending.

So you YABU.

I would bet, or indeed hope, your DC don't give a shit either. I have a party to spend time with my friends and hope my children feel the same.

ZenNudist Fri 08-Mar-13 23:24:49

I don't care if people bring presents. Also I hate cards and genuinely don't get why people buy them, except as an oversized gift tag or as 'proof' of the present they came with!

Im teaching my dc that its the friends and the company and the fun that's important. Maybe I feel like that as I was brought up by frugal parents, friends families in the same boat. I don't remember presents being a thing when I was a child, but u still remember the party games and the party bags! Sleeping lions and sausages on sticks!

Oh, YABU btw but thanks for the heads up that some people genuinely want extra tat for their overstuffed toy boxes.

INeverSaidThat Fri 08-Mar-13 23:38:41

Isn't it funny how nobody (hardly) thinks it is rude for a DC to come to a party without a present but that nobody (hardly) would send their child without a present. confused

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Mar-13 23:53:24

I love these sort of threads.

I wouldn't notice if someone didn't bring a gift to DS's party. Thankfully, he wouldn't, either. I'm the one who keeps track of gifts for thank-yous when he tears through them. I don't then go back and compare it to the invite list. grin I just thank those who brought things and move on.

DS's favourite gift from his party last year was a little Matchbox-sized digger. The parents apologised twice for getting something so small. I reassured them that it was perfect, and honestly I wished everyone had just bought little cars.

I love when they make homemade cards.

As for weddings, because some people have brought them up: some of my best friends didn't buy us gifts for our wedding. However, they continue to always be there for me, and put us up in their lovely house for days at a time when we're back home. I know if I ever needed anything, they would be there for me. They are usually generous with gifts and/or thoughtful things. However, we were married at a bad financial time for them. Things happen.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 08-Mar-13 23:59:25

INeverSaidThat well. Because, I think in an ideal world, we could all easily afford lovely gifts for the birthday child. Ideally, I would not send my DS to a party without a gift.

I would probably also rather not send him to a party if we couldn't afford a gift, rather than have some judgypants gossip about it to her mates.

And that is the rub- I would hate for someone to be in that position. The child should come enjoy the party, even if the parents are strapped for cash. In fact, that child probably especially should come to the party.

So, that is why we're answering that way. At least, that's why I am. smile

mummabug Sat 09-Mar-13 00:07:54


'one boy did it to my ds' - DID IT to your DS? Did what? Not bringing a present is not some sort of attack on your DS that will scar him. Nothing was DONE to your DS.

^'..turned up with him to the party early which was a bit much and then to come empty handed.

sorry but it just smacks of freeloading and lack of manners'^

To come empty handed????? Freeloading?????

My DD is 4 and hasn't been invited to any of these 'parties yet', glad I am getting this education on the attitudes of some mothers and their offsprings birthday parties.

Basically that it is a privilege to be invited and woe betide you should your child come 'emptyhanded' or 'freeload' on the wonderful party. Present/Card = suitable entry fee.

practicality Sat 09-Mar-13 00:24:25

Actually when I have had birthday teas I have asked that children do not bring presents as I think holding a party and enjoying a good time with friends is gift enough for my child.

I don't do party bags either. I think that going to a party is a treat enough for the children. I give them a bit of cake to take home.

Everyone has a good time. That's what matters.

mummabug Sat 09-Mar-13 00:29:31

practicality you have great values and so will your DCs! Just cannot comprehend the attitudes of some of these mums about what is basically an entry fee to their children's parties.

Maybe it's because we know our children will be judged for not having paid the entrance fee brought a gift? Before reading the thread though if I was too broke to buy a gift I'd have sent DC. would think twice now. Not embarrassed for myself but would hate for my.children to made to feel shitsad

TheCatInTheHairnet Sat 09-Mar-13 00:45:32

I couldn't care less if someone didn't bring a present to my children's parties. They get enough as it is. I would always take something to someone else's but that's because I can!

JockTamsonsBairns Sat 09-Mar-13 00:51:13

After six years on Mumsnet, it's threads like this that make me think I've had enough.

When I left my ex-dh many years ago, I was utterly skint. Dd1 (now15) was invited to a classmate's party, and I remember having 13p to last me six days. Some posters are saying 'Oh just bring a handmade card'.. Christ, we didn't have as much as a plain piece of paper. My lovely daughter would have loved to have gone to the party, but I was too embarassed to send her - she didn't even have party clothes to wear, nor would I have been able to give her a card or a present to bring.

Fast forward about ten years, I just want my Dc's to have a good time at their parties, surrounded by their friends. I'm glad I've brought them up to realise that people's circumstances can be difficult, and that showing up without a present doesn't equal rudeness. I'm so proud of them for that.

TheCatInTheHairnet Sat 09-Mar-13 01:00:36

Jock, your DD would have been welcome to my kid's party any day. But they would have been equally welcome if you were a millionaire and didn't bring a present. Parties should be about you, as a host, giving. Not receiving.

PlinkyLove Sat 09-Mar-13 01:25:44

a lot of the parties we go to the presents get dumped somewhere. The people who brought those presents receive no acknowledgement. You might have thought really carefully about what that child might like to receive. You may have buggered yourself slightly with what you paid for the thing. And yet you will have received no thanks, no comment no nothing. So, next time, I really won't bother. Fuck it.

differentnameforthis Sat 09-Mar-13 07:44:18

I invite people to parties because my daughters want to spend time with them, not because I expect her to get extra gifts.

idiot55 Sat 09-Mar-13 07:55:16

I think its happened to us but Im not really sure because it doesnt bother me.

What does bother me is people pleading poverty but still able to afford the latest tv, games console, alcohol and cigarettes while their child goes without necessities. ( which has nothing to do with party presents, apologies for rant!)

noddyholder Sat 09-Mar-13 07:56:21

Yes you are

Altinkum Sat 09-Mar-13 07:59:23

What would you rather OP? A roomful of guests or a roomful of presents? Personally you can't have a birthday party with no guess!!!

You sound grabby and rude yourself tbh.

I don't think its rude I'm just as they could attend.

Lueji Sat 09-Mar-13 08:07:02

Personally, I'd have been happy to tell DS's guests not to bring anything, except if nobody brought any gifts he might feel like "the only boy who didn't get gifts at his birthday party".
But I'll be very happy to have guests not bringing anything.

Lueji Sat 09-Mar-13 08:12:10

Also about piles of presents, sometimes you may have spent a long time considering the present, etc, and you still get it wrong.
Sometimes it's more charitable not to let guests see disappointment in the children's faces. smile

And I don't care about special thanks. Presents are usually thanked when received and that's good enough, a least for me.

Eastpoint Sat 09-Mar-13 08:20:23

My children make cards if we have time, if not we use a bought one. They like receiving home made cards as they are usually more personal. As I am very old & uptight they have always written thank you letters for presents received at parties, if someone has made the effort to go shopping & wrap up a present and then come to a party to celebrate the anniversary my child's birth it is hard to justify the recipient not writing a note thanking the donor for coming to the party and bringing a gift.

A box of malteasers is an excellent present in our eyes and available for £1 at our local poundshop.

AlwaysWashing Sat 09-Mar-13 08:38:36

It'd be so nice if there was an unwritten rule that ALL children's birthday parties were gift free zones and was just about them charging around, playing games and eating cake for an afternoon.

A handmade card would be really nice and it would take the pressure off the how much to spend issue and our DC wouldn't end up with a load of unnecessary guff that they didn't want, need or appreciate.

I think YABU but only under "the done thing" circumstances.

cheeseandbiscuitsplease Sat 09-Mar-13 09:54:49

We're all different, we all have different ideas, incomes, outlooks on life etc .......
I send my kids with presents and cards but equally when other people don't it really doesn't bother me. Don't let it bother you. Welcome the child to the party and don't tell a soul they didn't bring anything. In the big scheme of things....who cares?
The child may feel mortified of turning up empty handed so leave it......x

crashdoll Sat 09-Mar-13 10:27:11

"Isn't it funny how nobody (hardly) thinks it is rude for a DC to come to a party without a present but that nobody (hardly) would send their child without a present."

People on this thread have said they wouldn't send their children because they were embarrassed. Some people on this thread have judged a lot which is why those parents won't send their children. sad

alemci Sat 09-Mar-13 12:06:00


that is the done thing and it has never been any different. perhaps things have changed but I still think it is rude. He came to another party previously and the mum did give my son a belated present. Also the parents never hosted a party themselves. I am sure my son couldn't care less but it annoyed me.

mummabug Sat 09-Mar-13 16:01:43

Alemci, I'm very sorry I know you are a many-dimensioned and probably good person, but the fact that you were annoyed he turned up early, and use the terms 'freeloading' and 'empty handed' in any sort of reference at all to a childrens party does not shed you in a very good light in this instance, IMO.

Your views on it seem cold/harsh and mean spirited. Seems very ungenerous to resent the parents for not hosting a party or paying entry fee to your son's party. Why begrudge their child and yours a nice time at your party because their child has not paid for the privilege?

If it is the 'done thing' to always bring a present / card, why feel bitter if someone does not adhere to this 'social law'.

It's just.....ungenerous and mean, or at least seems that way to me.

alemci Sat 09-Mar-13 17:54:24

fair enough Mummabug. i'm not bothered if you see me in a good light or not. As we are both aware it is an internet forum and I like to think I am multi faceted. I am being honest and agreeing with the original poster. it was a while back and my son is now 15. We didn't have a great deal of cash ourselves but we always tried to do nice parties for our kids and this particular one was a football party in a nearby sports centre.

i wouldn't say i feel bitter as I haven't thought about it for a long time but at the time I thought it was cheeky. I was not aware there were any financial issues for the family either. I know it is not the child's fault.

but there are people in life who do not return the favour or put themselves out for others and i think that child's parents fell into that category.

Schooldidi Sat 09-Mar-13 20:17:36

Dd2 had a party today. She had 9 guests and recieved 5 presents (one of which was a 50p bag of sweets, her favourite present). She was thrilled!!! She would have been soooo disappointed if only the 5 who brought presents turned up, she really wanted everybody there to run around and have fun with.

I'm really glad all the friends she invited came, and didn't feel they couldn't come if they didn't bring a gift. Our house is full enough of toys as it is.

LatteLady Sat 09-Mar-13 21:24:01

My proudest moment was when my Godson was 9, he decided on no prezzies or party bags... he asked for 50p from his friends to give to the local children's hospice after a child at his school was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma. He raised quite a bit and they set a trend in his class... all donations were given in blank envelopes so no-one knew who gave what.

kennyp Sat 09-Mar-13 21:33:41

A friend of my daughters turned up without a present and i thought it was damned rude. Havent read the whole thread but have seen lots of bold and italics fonts so i am presuming you had lots of "you are unreasonable". I dont think you are.

I ranted about non present at daughters party for weeks afterwards. I thought it was bloody rude.

KurriKurri Sat 09-Mar-13 22:05:41

You ranted for weeks Kenny? - do we have an acronym for 'get a fucking grip?' (GAFG - we do now)

CandidaDoyle Sat 09-Mar-13 22:26:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

redwallday Sat 09-Mar-13 22:37:57

Homemade cards cost nothing. YANBU!

crashdoll Sun 10-Mar-13 11:03:43

Kenny People like you make me feel quite ragey. What sort of message are you teaching your children? Lovely!!

alemci Sun 10-Mar-13 12:27:33

do you tend to invite the whole class. we tended to keep the parties small and try to invite back children whose parties my dc had attended and dc my children wanted to invite

TheMaskedHorror Sun 10-Mar-13 12:43:04

We have a few of the dcs friends over for birthday parties. They are friends and children that my dcs have fun with. I genuinely would not mind if they turned up without presents.
Last birthday party, I didn't even tell one mum that the get together was for a birthday as I knew she wouldn't be able to buy a present and didn't want her to feel guilty or her child to miss out.
I am really not materialistic and don't want my children to be either.

birthday parties are for your child do not pretend you are doing it as a service for the guests. and if it were out of the kindness of your heart you would not expect payment. how bloody cheap to expect other parents to pay for child's gifts... so you haven't got to.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 10-Mar-13 15:23:11


ds had a party so he and his friends could have a good time not for him to get cards and presents

he likes to receive presents but i do not want him to expect a present and at 5 i doubt cards have much meaning to him

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 10-Mar-13 18:02:32

OP:Ok then. It seems IABU! Must be projecting my standards onto others!
Do you realise how you sound? You have standards ?
Do your standards include clocking who has/ has not brought a gift? That's pretty low.
You will never know why some people turn up empty handed because you don't live their lives.
Here's a thought, just be happy that they've turned up to help celebrate your DC's special day.

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 10-Mar-13 18:06:23

kenny You ranted for weeks? Really? You need to get a grip.

Bunbaker Sun 10-Mar-13 18:16:43

"A friend of my daughters turned up without a present and i thought it was damned rude. Havent read the whole thread but have seen lots of bold and italics fonts so i am presuming you had lots of "you are unreasonable". I dont think you are. I ranted about non present at daughters party for weeks afterwards. I thought it was bloody rude."

You are being utterly unbelievably rude, ungracious and grabby. Words fail me.

I will repeat my mantra.

Presence not presents are what make a successful party.

When DD was little and had most of the class for parties she received a lot of presents that she didn't need or want. I used to have to ask parents not to go overboard. Don't you know we are in a recession? At primary school in reception and year one DD went to loads of parties. One day she went to three in a day. That is a lot of presents. Luckily I can afford it, but not everyone can. If DD had been invited to one of your parties on the proviso that she arrived with an expensive present I think I would make my excuses and tell you she was busy that day. This is not the kind of message you should be passing on to your children.

slatternlymother Sun 10-Mar-13 18:26:10

Now, before I was a mum I used to agree with the OP.

Now I am a mum and I actually have to do birthday parties, I am seriously considering asking people to not bring DS any gifts to his next party, but don't want to seem ungrateful. A lot of the time, gifts he receives aren't things he is interested in. Harsh, but true. So we end up with loads of toys that he never uses and just gather dust. I'd really rather people saved their money and just enjoyed the party. I buy him everything he needs, and I know what he wants and likes, so it's just easier.

Kungfutea Sun 10-Mar-13 19:36:01

A lot of posters seem rather holier than thou on this thread, as though there is no social expectation of gift or at the least card giving at children's birthday parties. Of course there is! And not to follow this convention is a little rude - it doesn't have to be materialistic, as othes have said a home made card of drawing is also fine. That said, its not a big deal and certainly not the child's fault - also an opportunity to teach our own children about not being materialistic and grabby if they do notice.

We had a smallish party a few months back for dd. one of the girls turned up two hours early and no present or card. I did clock it, it was odd and, yes, a little rude (more the turning up 2 hours early though!). Whatever, it doesn't matter. Totally pales in comparison to the fab time had by all. I know this girls' parents are diplomats so not lacking in money but they're from a non western country so possibly not aware of the social convention of gift giving at birthdays parties. Who knows? At the end of the day, yes a bit rude but there are many reasons why it can happen - not worth sweating the small stuff IMO. Dd did notice as she was writing thank you cards and asked what this friend had given. We told her just to thank her for coming and say what a good time you had. Ddd was totally fine with it, of course, it was a non-issue.

foreverondiet Sun 10-Mar-13 21:43:47

Yabu! I would prefer no one brought presents for my dc. They get nice presents from us, GPs aunts uncles. They don't need tatt from school friends. I end up recycling some of it but tbh some of it goes to charity shop as I'd be embarrassed to give it to anyone.

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.

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.

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......

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

or cover petrol costs


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

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.

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'.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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

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.

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.

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

I agree, at least a 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)

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...

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