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Would you judge us as parents if your child got a crap birthday present at a party?

(415 Posts)
M0naLisa Fri 18-Jan-13 10:06:12

Me and DH are skint. Our two boys have a party invitation each for Sunday. Only handed out on Monday this week.
6yr old Is going to a day out with birthday boys parents on the morning with other kids in ds class.
4yr old is going to a local scout hut in the afternoon

We are skint. Would you judge us as parents if we gave a box of Maltesers as presents?

It's all we can afford at the moment. I just don't want the parents thinking were cheap skates :-(

HazeltheMcWitch Fri 18-Jan-13 11:05:54

I'd also be happy with Maltesers or similar. And I'd not assume that you were struggling financially; I'd probably chalk you up as a 'sensible' parent, waging a war against plastic crap/commercialisation, as this too is a personal bugbear of mine.

I'd be upset, however, if I heard that you had not wanted to come to my/DC's party as you were struggling and thought we'd judge you for bringing choc present or no present. Or you thought we'd insist on a bought card.

MrsMelons Fri 18-Jan-13 11:07:10

When I was young we used to receive presents like maltesers and be really happy about it TBH. I think there is a lot of pressure with birthday presents now and sometimes my DCs are given a tenner in cash etc which I think is too much for friends that are not really close.

shelley72 Fri 18-Jan-13 11:08:30

i have been worrying a bit about this, DS has been invited to 5 class parties over the next few weeks and i am worried about the cost and what to get that will be appreciated and doesnt cost a tenner! am trying to do parties as cheaply as possible as i dont want to turn down invites (he is in R and so making friends is important) so i would appreciate a 'bargain party gifts' thread too smile

MrsMelons Fri 18-Jan-13 11:09:10

Forgot to say - if you can afford it later in the year you could stock up, I usually buy a job lot of books from the book people (mixture of boys/girls stuff) and they work out about £2 each but would retail individually for £4.99 so I think they are quite a good gift.

insanityscratching Fri 18-Jan-13 11:10:02

If you have a Tesco locally have a look in there Dd1 came home with a Disney Princess set with colouring sheets and pencil crayons yesterday reduced to 30p for dd2 apparently there were also Disney cars sets for the same price.

ArbitraryUsername Fri 18-Jan-13 11:11:11

Shelly: Star Wars fighter pods are your friends (or Lego mini figures). You can get 5 of them for £10, and they will almost certainly go down well with your DS's friends. Their parents will probably be grateful that you got him something small too.

Branleuse Fri 18-Jan-13 11:17:19

I would not judge at all. Not even a little bit.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Fri 18-Jan-13 11:21:41

not at all
and my dds would be thrilled to receive a box of maltesers, as would i for that matter
i hate that round here it appears to be the norm to spend a tenner for kids parties, when i reckon a fiver is more than enough

shelley72 Fri 18-Jan-13 11:22:59

thank you ArbitraryUsername - I will have a look for those!

MimsyBorogroves Fri 18-Jan-13 11:23:17

Not at all U.

In fact, I'd almost rather it - they're definitely something that would get "used" rather than some random plastic thing that doesn't - same with colouring pencils, colouring book, etc. I agree with the posters that masses of things are just obscene.

I've had the same worry, though. When DS first started the local nursery last year, we were skint and hadn't done the "party thing" before. We tended to buy play-doh, hot wheels cars (only a pound from asda!), crayons, pens, etc.

When it came to DS's party, I was amazed by what he got from some people, and felt a little bit uncomfortable, worrying we would have to reassess what we bought people. But (aside from some lego) he has rarely looked at it, and it's the smaller, usable gifts that have given the most joy and lasted for the last 9 months.

I like the idea Arbitrary has put above, too, with the lego mini figures packs - they're definitely likely to go down well. Playmobil also do them now for the same price, and I think Lego have started doing some of the Lego Friends range as "pocket money" packs too.

DoubleMum Fri 18-Jan-13 11:29:21

My DCs would be really happy to have their own box of chocolates.

Glittertwins Fri 18-Jan-13 11:31:19

I wouldn't care, neither would the children. It's the thought that counts and we don't give parties for our children in return for presents.

Startail Fri 18-Jan-13 11:37:41

And I'd much prefer nice branded chocolate to cheap don't work crayons.

Maltessers would be very popular here, and I bet I wouldn't get onewink

VenusRising Fri 18-Jan-13 11:43:54

Well it depends doesn't it?

If the party is in a soft play centre, or similar with a pizza at the end etc, each invited child will have cost the parents a tenner, sometimes even twenty quid per child. So I think a little box of chocs is a poor present.

If its just a little party in their home, these can be expensive to run as well, but it's usually less expensive per head, so in that case I'd say, if you want to brazen it out and give a box of malteezers from the pound shop, go ahead, BUT you might be judged harshly!

Of course if you know the parents well, you can say you're having a cash flow crisis, and will get a proper present for their little kid when you're rolling in the lolly.

For me, I go in with other parents and share parties (one party for four kids), and we ask for vouchers, one tenner voucher per invitee. So each kid gets about five book vouchers. Works out financially as well for everyone: parents share the cost of the party, and each child brings one present which are shared with the birthday kids.

Maybe don't go if you can't afford a present and play in the snow instead with your two boys?

It s not the end of the world not to go to a party if you can't afford a present.
Things change, it's not like well all be skint forever? Maybe have some old style family time instead.

ChessieFL Fri 18-Jan-13 11:45:22

I agree, YANBU.

My DD hasn't had a party yet but when she does I intend to say on the invitations that no presents are expected. She gets so much stuff from her grandparents she really doesn't need more.

Molehillmountain Fri 18-Jan-13 11:47:13

Yanbu at all. I would think it was a great present and more to the point any of my children would too. Parties are not a transaction ie giving of gift entitles you to party fun as long as the gift is good enough.

Fromheretomaternity Fri 18-Jan-13 11:47:55

One of DSs most used and appreciated gifts at his last birthday was a Gruffalo liquid soap container, we keep refilling and reusing it!

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 18-Jan-13 11:48:13

Sorry VenusRising, that's utterly crap advice and I would be devastated if any of the parents of DD1's friends thought like that.

Actually, scrap the sorry. I'm not sorry at all. Telling someone their child should miss out on a party because they can't afford a present equal to the cost of their place sucks hmm

bunnybing Fri 18-Jan-13 11:50:46

and we ask for vouchers, one tenner voucher per invitee

Moominsarehippos Fri 18-Jan-13 11:51:34

Malteasers would be lovely! I'd check shops with sales on (Boots and sainsburys have big sales on toys and lots of the clothes shops do too). Maybe you have something leftover from Christmas that you could re-gift?

Btw we had a birthday party for DS. His mates are all uber-rich and this one year we were two presents 'short'. They boys went a bit crazy at the party and pulled the tags off before I could stop them, so we were trying to work out who gave what. Definitely two less presents than children! I did find that a bit hmm at the time (not even a card!).

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 18-Jan-13 11:52:04

Blimey, I missed that bit. Are you serious? shock

stealthsquiggle Fri 18-Jan-13 11:52:38

OMG Venus - for real shock?

I would be horrified if invitees to any party felt they had to measure the amount being spent on the party and judge a present/ decide not to come accordingly. I spend what I can afford to spend (both time and money) on a party, because I love seeing my DC and their friends enjoying themselves - not because I expect any sort of "payback" in the form of presents, FGS.

bunnybing Fri 18-Jan-13 11:52:58

Sorry - posted too soon.

Agree with Gwendoline - and I think, Venus, asking for vouchers, one tenner per invitee is very rude!! I would judge that.

Molehillmountain Fri 18-Jan-13 11:53:09

The more I think about it, the better maltesers sound as a gift. If I could ever be brave enough I'd suggest collections at a pound or two per invitee at a whole class do so that the birthday child got a thirty quid gift and no one was over burdened. It has crossed my mind once or twice when I've organised them that a large party is great in its way, but costs people quite a lot to attend once the gift has been given, petrol etc.

Molehillmountain Fri 18-Jan-13 11:55:02

And I think the idea of asking for a set amount of gift money to kind of cover costs completely misses the point of a party.

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