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If you went to a preschooler's party, would this piss you off?

(258 Posts)
WillGetTruncated Mon 01-Oct-12 00:17:18

Namechanged because this may out me IRL and I post personal stuff under my normal username.

I should say that this is a genuine question, not a please-validate-me. I really don't know whether this is a nice idea, or a really annoying one that would make you eye-roll.

DS is having a birthday party with another kid from the same community preschool. We are hiring a cheap local hall for it. There will be around 30 families in total by the time outside friends are counted, 2/3 of whom will be kids from the same preschool. The other kids belong to close family friends on both sides.

The playgroup depends heavily on local fundraising and is really fab, IMO. The staff are great and the parent committee work bloody hard. The parents all know this, and most do contribute to the various events as well as volunteering to help with chores and sessions. Staff are very undemanding in terms of salaries (they are all committed to early years ed. and many are highly qualified; no-one sits around bored drinking tea and keeping a vague eye - they all seem to love what they do) and do a lot of fundraising themselves.

We have already decided to ask for no presents, for a couple of reasons (selfish and otherwise). What I want to know is, if you went to a party for a kid from your own child's community preschool, would you mind if the invite stated: "Please do not bring presents for the birthday boys, but there will be a collection box for XYZ Preschool by the door, should you want to contribute."

Would that piss you off and sound really prissy, or seem like a good idea? It could raise as much as a specific fundraising event does, and the preschool need the money. But I don't want to make people feel like it's a demand for a donation, either. It just seemed like a good opportunity if people wanted to chuck a couple of quid in instead of the 2 plastic dinosaurs or whatever they'd usually get as presents. And a collection tin would mean nobody would know who gave what/at all. Plus it benefits most of the kids at the party, so it's not like I'm asking for my own pet charity.

AIBU to think of doing this?

booomy Mon 01-Oct-12 00:20:43

It seems like a good idea. As long as you can't see how much everyone donates.
I'd usually buy a cheapish toy for ds's friends that I know they'll like. Its a bit different when you hand over cash, I'd be embarrassed for only putting a few quid in rather than a £10 note.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 00:20:59

It wouldn't piss me off but it would make me feel gutted for the kids whose birthday it is.

Why deny them presents? At such a young age that's what birthdays are all about for goodness sake.

So what if they receive 2 plastic dinosaurs...kids love that sort of shit.

Why not try inviting as many parents as you can and then holding a raffle/bus stop to raise some funds?

wineandroses Mon 01-Oct-12 00:25:00

Well that's a bit grim for birthday DCs surely? They get to contribute to a worthy cause by not getting any presses? Sounds a bit shit to me.

WillGetTruncated Mon 01-Oct-12 00:26:03

No, it would be stuck out of the way on the side. Nobody would know if someone put 5p in or a tenner. One of the reasons we are asking not to get presents is that we know a couple of families are dealing with redundancy, and 2 small presents really can add up when money is tight, we've both been there. (The other reasons are more selfish: both boys are only children and we work hard at their not being grabby, as the GP are generous, and also 30 plastic dinosaurs/small racing cars - my default small boy party gifts - in small houses? Ouch.)

Thanks for the input. It's appreciated.

squeakytoy Mon 01-Oct-12 00:27:06

Would your child be taking presents to parties when he goes to his friends birthdays? Will he not wonder why they get presents and he gets none?

Just let him have the joy of getting presents for gods sakes...

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 00:27:14

Why don't you and the other kid's parents ask everyone to donate to the school on your own birthdays and Christmas too?

That way you actually get a choice unlike the kids involved?

Shelby2010 Mon 01-Oct-12 00:27:14

Sounds like a good idea.

Just make sure it's not so close to the door that it could get nicked (sorry, cynical head on today).

WillGetTruncated Mon 01-Oct-12 00:29:41

They'll be getting masses of presents, they're only children. That's one of the reasons the other mum and I decided against. DS demanded to know what Grandma's present was last time she arrived, because she always brings one. She visits every week. We just don't want all the kids at the party to bring them, not ban b'day pressies altogether! We aren't that mean. grin

They're also having a really nice party. I think they will be getting lots of treats, don't need lots of pressies too. They're only turning 4 so won't be expecting them as they will in a year or two, either.

SomeoneThatYouUsedToKnow Mon 01-Oct-12 00:30:18

I think it is a good idea. It confuses people if you simply ask for no presents, people are not sure if you mean it or not and then you end up with the awkward situation with some people bringing presents and some not. I think suggesting a donation is a nice idea.

Shelby2010 Mon 01-Oct-12 00:31:15

Presumably the boys will still be getting presents from their families so it's not as tho they will get nothing for their birthdays.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 00:32:19

One of the reasons we are asking not to get presents is that we know a couple of families are dealing with redundancy, and 2 small presents really can add up when money is tight, we've both been there

YY like the small plastic dinosaurs you are focussed on for some reason (wtf, I've got 3 boys and don't remember a single dinosaur??) are going to cost a packet?

If you want to raise money for the community pre school then by all means go ahead. Do a sponsored walk, dye your hair purple, do a parachute jump...but ffs do your own thing and don't be offering up your child who has no say in the matter.

stealthsquiggle Mon 01-Oct-12 00:32:49

Your motives sound good, but I would be so tempted to bring a token present anyway (I would contribute as well) because small children like getting presents and I like giving them to them. I know that undermines you - sorry.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 01-Oct-12 00:33:35

Toonie party. It's a Canadian thing. People bring a Toonie ($2 coin - you could choose the amount in this case) and half goes to the child, half to the cause. Job's a goodun.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 00:37:17

Honestly I am the least materialistic person you'll ever find and can often be seen saying YABVU to precious adults when they're moaning about being bought garage flowers or not 'getting back' what they 'pay out' on presents.

But I also hate with a passion, parents who use their children for any kind of 'causes' the adults hold dear.

If you and the other parents want to fund raise then do it.

But why do it at the expense of your kids? confused

crackcrackcrak Mon 01-Oct-12 00:38:22

If change the wording slightly if you go ahead. Please don't sounds like an order. And a bit grabby. How about 'we are not expecting gifts but should you decide you want to give something, please donate to the preschool as blah (insert reason)'

nailak Mon 01-Oct-12 00:40:08

what is all this about poor kids no presents? I am sure they have a house full of books/toys/clothes and the parents dont want any more as they want them to appreciate what they have got, and not turn in to consumer monsters, and I am sure that the family will still be buying presents!!!

and so what if he takes presents to other peoples parties, they can learn they dont give to receive.

Do parents not get a say in how they bring up their child? it is not exactly offering up! the child is not loosing out on a few toys they will play with and then chuck away and forget about!

In fact I would say they are learning something more valuable, like how to value and look after the things they got, how special occassions are not just about presents, but about experience and coming together and enjoying yourself, that there is more to live that material possessions etc.

OP I think it is a wonderful idea. when it was my ds's birthday I invited everyone to a picnic and didnt tell anyone it was his birthday for the very reason that the kids have a room full of toys that I feel they need to learn to look after and appreciate before they get any more. They got cards, and my mum put money in trust fund, and my dh bought one small lightning mcqueen die cast (which was lost somewhere in the house by the next day).

WillGetTruncated Mon 01-Oct-12 00:42:43

Should also add that splitting costs mean there will be a bouncy castle. They are being spoiled already quite a bit. As I say, they will be getting lovely pressies from family and friends, the no pressies request will just be for kids from preschool, that's all.

As for the cost of presents - my mum was a single parent and she used to dread parties, she's told me, because of the cost. A fiver is a lot when you don't have much.

We will ask for no presents anyway, we have agreed that already (and at the parties we've been to, the present pile is on the side as you go in and nothing is touched at the party itself, so DS doesn't know anything about it - he's 3, I am not in the habit of saying "look at this lovely toy, now I will wrap it up for someone else to have...". He really, really won't know the difference. Presents on his actual birthday, yes. At the party, no). What I was pondering, and am yet to raise with the other mum, is whether a collection tin was a good idea.

The Toonie idea sounds lovely, but because it isn't our tradition it would be asking for money instead of presents for our kids, I think. I wouldn't feel comfortable with that.

halloweeneyqueeney Mon 01-Oct-12 00:42:58

hmm its so tricky, DS's last birthday was rediculous! there was nearly 30 kids and I sort of expected token presents as it was a whole class invited thing so not 30 close family friends.. y'know, box of crayons here, tub of play doh there... people bought MASSES of huge presents! it was just too much and totally overwhelming for DS. I can't believe how much people felt they had to spend!!

He got loads from GPs and aunties and that would have been more than enough

The party itself was his favourite bit anyway!

I'ld love to say "no presents" next year, but also understand that people like the opportunity to teach their children to "give" confused so its a tricky one

but its bollocks that the party boys/girls miss out, they have a party and a cake and family presents and that's loads, too many presents makes them enjoy the individual presents less

NatashaBee Mon 01-Oct-12 00:43:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 00:46:04

Ahh do what you want OP

To be honest if I felt as stongly as you do, I'd sod the party and donate the money I would have spent on it to the pre school.

Then I'd let my child invite 3 close friends around for tea.

I'm sure that would raise a hell of a lot more money...though you and your child might not get as many people saying "Aww bless how lovely"

It's your call though.

nailak Mon 01-Oct-12 00:48:34

^^ I think you are missing the point, they want the celebration and sahring the joyous occassion of birthday with friends, they just dont want people to waste their money on presents, or the child to be overwhelmed by them.

So they thought that instead of presents they may as well use this opportunity to try and do something good for all the children in the party.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Oct-12 00:51:53

Well there's more than one way to spoil a child isn't there?

Birthdays are only a 'joyous' occasion to family...to everyone else it's just another kid becoming a year older.

Therefore if the OP doesn't want to spoil the child and desperately wants to give donations at the expense of her child rather than her own birthday/xmas presents...why not donate the party money and give her child an excellent birthday with his closest friends?

halloweeneyqueeney Mon 01-Oct-12 00:55:18

its not at the expense of the child, it gets to a point where presents become too many!

DS loves big parties! but he loves a couple of presents that he can concentrate on and enjoy probably more than 30 that are piling up and overwhelming him!

nailak Mon 01-Oct-12 00:56:36

the expense of her child bit is what I am missing,

and yes birthdays of my friends kids are joyous occasions to me? and to my 4 year old daughter? a chance for everyone to get together and have some fun. Yes to me this is more important then presents.

What do you think of my picnic? was that ok as there was no bouncy castle?

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