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Children's party etiquette?

(23 Posts)
otchayaniye Mon 25-Jul-11 11:43:18

I'm not sure if I'm BU. But if you take a present to a child's birthday, would you expect a thanks? From either the parent or the child. Being neighbours I've bumped into them several times since.

Went to a double birthday and get the feeling (something happened there where the type of item I had bought was being talked about in a dismissive way) they thought my presents were pikey (they weren't expensive, I didn't simply want to play that game of ridiculous presents for a child who was going to receive 30+ gifts, seems ^de trop^)

I don't use facebook so unsure if a Group Thanks was sent out.

Didn't they thank you when you handed it over?

And no, YANBU to expect a thank you of some sort for a present.

YouDoTheMath Mon 25-Jul-11 11:45:57

A gift is a gift. I would expect a word of thanks. (I wouldn't be too worried about having it in writing as some people are, though...)

As for them moaning about the type of present you bought, what do they expect? Not everyone's made of money, and most people I know tend to concentrate their finances on their own families, not other people's.

redskyatnight Mon 25-Jul-11 11:46:25

Well ... my own "etiquette" says that I either thank at the time (if the present was opened there and then) or I verbally/send thank you letter later (if the present was put to one side for opening later).

However my "study" of children's parties tells me that some people send thank you notes and some don't (considering the thanks when the present was handed over to be sufficient).

So I wouldn't worry too much.

otchayaniye Mon 25-Jul-11 11:51:02

No thanks when placed with the others under the table (clearly labelled) and they were opened later I assume.

And the present I thought was ok. But something similar was being tantrummed over and the parent was saying: "it's only a silly little x, nothing...."

Oh, nothing to worry about, but I wasn't sure of the 'done' thing these days and also these people are friends and neighbours, so I am a little puzzled.

I don't want/expect a written note, just thought they'd say thanks when we bumped into them.

Nefret Mon 25-Jul-11 11:54:08

I would certainly expect a thank you! Most of the parties my girls have been to they get thank you cards but even if someone didn't want to do a card they could at least thank you in person if they have seen you.

I don't buy expensive presents either but I always get a thank you.

Bluebell99 Mon 25-Jul-11 12:02:57

Well obviously they should have thanked you, but maybe they are writing thank you notes and have got a been behind. I always try and thank people in person when I see them later anyway. Sometimes I have found a thank you note in my dd's school bag which she hasn't passed on. Maybe the party is over and they have forgotten about it. Or maybe in the present opening frenzy, the card or label was lost.
What was the present anyway?! you have made me curious now!

otchayaniye Mon 25-Jul-11 12:08:17

Oh, a box of toy cars (under a tenner) for both boys (3 and 4)

Thruaglassdarkly Mon 25-Jul-11 12:18:05

A thank you would be appropriate, but perhaps they think they have thanked you and would be mortified to realise they'd not done so?

If there's a gift table at a party, then I still get my DCs to hand the birthday child the gift anyway when we say hello. I think it's more personal that way. The birthday child realises the gift mountain hasn't just miraculously appeared during the course of the party and that his/her friends have actually given those gifts. There's a pleasure in giving gifts as much as receiving and it's nice for the party guests to experience that pleasure too. It also gives the host parents and/or child a chance to say thank you, hence avoiding the situation you're in now, where you're left feeling unappreciated

It's annoying, but let it go if they're friends and think the best of them - that they think they've already thanked you. Look at it this way, they held a big birthday bash for their DC and your DC probably had a great time. If you really can't let it go, next time you see them ask whether little Johnny liked the racing car or whatever it was you got him. They'll almost certainly thank you then. You'll feel better. They'll feel they accorded you some appreciation. Win-win. grin

WasSparklies Mon 25-Jul-11 17:33:47

YANBU. Personally, I feel a verbal thanks is fine, or at least a personal email/PM later to say thank you. I have been in your situation not that long ago (the cursed present table for opening later - I think Thruaglassdarkly has the right idea for next time) and yes, it did hurt and I felt unappreciated especially as it was quite awkward for us to get to the party at all. Sadly you can't make someone thank you as it defeats the object. If they have no manners than they have no manners I guess.

apprenticemum Mon 25-Jul-11 17:40:33

When I was doing the Party thing with DD, I would print up some cute cards saying:- Thank you for coming to my party and for your gift. I had a great time and hope that you did too. I would slip one into each party bag for guests to take home. Job done!

overmydeadbody Mon 25-Jul-11 17:44:11

Toy cars is a brilliant present for 3 and 4 yr old boys. I can't think of much that would top that to be honest, unless for some strange reason the boys weren't into cars.

spacester Mon 25-Jul-11 17:46:09

My 6 year old wrote a personalised letter of thanks to all the children that gave her a present. YANBU!

NotADudeExactly Mon 25-Jul-11 17:46:54

Definitely YANBU, if you give a gift, you get a "thank you" in return. That's just the rule, regardless of the occasion.

Regarding types/cost of gifts: I think some (not all!!!) people tend to have a pretty materialistic view of their children's birthday presents.

DH and I don't have any children yet (TTC no 1). So imagine my surprise at being invited, as a couple, to DH's work colleague's daughter's third birthday and at receiving a list of very expensive gift suggestions along with the invitation. I had met the little girl in question once - same goes for the mother.

EdithWeston Mon 25-Jul-11 17:50:05

I think you'd be completely insane to have presents opened during a children's party (not just the chaos of detritus, but also the chaos that ensues when birthday child doesn't eddies equally to order over all presents).

I think thank you letters are important, and need to be sent after the party so the actual gift can be mentioned (especially important if the giving child had any part in its selection). It's a quick task: for small children, do a stock letter on the computer, just inserting the giver's name at the top and what the gift was into the text. Receiving child just has to write their name (or nearest approximation thereof) at the bottom. Bigger children can do the whole task themselves - good writing practice, and a habit of sending thanks will stand them in good stead lifelong.

catsareevil Mon 25-Jul-11 17:55:01

I think that you should expect a thank you note.

Will they know that the gift was from you? What I usually do is when the gifts are opened I make a list of who gave which gift so that e can do the thank you letters - sometimes if cards and gifts get separated it can make it a bit of a process of elimination to work out who gave what.

youarekidding Mon 25-Jul-11 17:57:46

I usually do a computer typed letter for DS to fill in the gaps (he's 6yo btw). Something like;

Dear.................

Thankyou for coming to my party and thankyou for ........................I have enjoyed playing with it.

Love DS

and for family he rings and says thanks or opens it there and then and says thanks.

YANBU if you see them lot's but they may have thought they'd said thanks if 30 odd people there and maybe an oversight as oppossed to rudeness?

BerylStreep Mon 25-Jul-11 18:13:36

If the present is opened at the time, I think a verbal thank-you is sufficient (especially if it is close family & friends).

Otherwise I always do thank you notes, but it can take a couple of weeks to do it.

Having said that, I'm not bothered if I don't receive a thank-you note when DC attend parties - I know how people have a lot on.

I think you are maybe being a bit sensitive.

hannahsmummsy Mon 25-Jul-11 18:58:12

how rude to give a list of suggested presents for a three year old , i thought they only did that at weddings.

NotADudeExactly Mon 25-Jul-11 19:05:46

how rude to give a list of suggested presents for a three year old , i thought they only did that at weddings.

Yeah, I was also pretty shocked when I received it.

Furthermore I thought it was downright bizarre to invite a childless couple with no discernible connection to the child to her birthday party. Think we were selected on the basis of our supposed gift purchasing power, ... sad

gogops Wed 27-Jul-11 21:32:49

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Hulababy Wed 27-Jul-11 21:34:27

YANBU to expect some form of thanks either in person, by phone, by letter or at least text.

DD always writes thank you letters after she is given a gift. I just think it is the polite thing to do.

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