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to need help wording a request!

(9 Posts)
hannahZ Tue 12-Jul-11 11:31:13

My friend and I are doing a joint birthday party for our DCs (in reception class at school together). We're inviting the whole school class plus other children that we know separately so potentially around 40 kids coming.

We put "No presents please!" on the bottom of the invite as we didn't want people feeling they had to get a present for both children (especially if they only knew one of them) and, frankly, they do not need another 30 or 40 toys each! However, a fair few parents at school have queried this to the other mum and it almost seems as if we have offended people.

I'm doing a little reminder of the details to go in school bags this week - should I try to explain the 'no present' policy or just let it go? And if I should explain, how on earth do I word it??

I know this is really trivial, but nobody else in DD's class has had a birthday party so I don't know what's 'the done thing'...

EuphemiaMcGonagall Tue 12-Jul-11 11:35:13

Make it really positive: "No need to bring a present, it's the kids' presence we want!" grin

Then it kind of leaves it open if they really really really want to bring a present, which you can keep, put in the present drawer for the next kid's birthday party, or donate to charity.

redskyatnight Tue 12-Jul-11 11:35:49

You've already put "no presents". personally I'd take that to mean "don't buy either child a present". Tis fairly unambiguous. If my DC was particular friends with either child, then I might say to that child's mum "I know you said no presents, but would ilke to get your DC something, is there anything you would like"?

If people want more clarification they can ask surely - it is quite odd to ask for no presents for children at this age tbh.

itisnearlysummer Tue 12-Jul-11 11:38:14

No one else in Reception has had a birthday party?!

Birthday parties are the talk of the playground in DDs reception class grin

Tbh, I'd have appreciated a nod to this because lots of the children have had joint parties with another and it does get a bit hmm buying a present for the child who invited yours and one for the other that your child has never spoken to.

Although perhaps "no presents please" made people think you just wouldn't want the shit they'd buy! wink

Don't know what you should do about it though, so my reply was pointless!

Tee2072 Tue 12-Jul-11 12:15:45

It's insulting because it implies you were expecting presents. At least according to all of the etiquette experts in the world.

You never mention presents, for or against, on an invitation. If some one asks, then you tell them one isn't necessary. If they don't ask and bring one, you thank them graciously.

hannahZ Tue 12-Jul-11 12:19:26

It seems to be the only school I've heard of where the children don't all have parties. And I know that presents are the norm for 5 yr olds but it seems so over the top for them to have something from every child. It would be fine if it was something small but I've heard of people spending £15-£20 on presents. I'm a bit anti-consumer excess and would hate to see people go to the trouble (and expense) of selecting a nice gift only for it never to get used.

PlanetEarth Tue 12-Jul-11 12:35:32

But Tee, everyone knows that presents are the norm, and no-one ever asks, do they? I'd be fine with saying "No presents" and very pleased to get an invitation with "No presents".

I think etiquette experts are a bit disconnected from reality.

mo3d Tue 12-Jul-11 12:41:32

I don't think I'd put another note. You've already said no presents (can't see why people would be offended by that BTW) so now it's up to them.

Hope you don't get a house-full of presents! smile

redexpat Tue 12-Jul-11 16:18:55

Oh an OP after my own heart!

For DH and my joint 30th we wrote 'we would like no presents, just your company!' [nb that's a translation and it sounds better in the original language] and we got an orchid, hydrangea, another unidentified plant, 2 bunches of flowers, a book, 6 glass dessert dishes, a lunch out, a hamper of beer, and a book. ONE couple came without a present and they are now my favourites.

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