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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 :-(

Gargamella Sun 20-Jan-13 23:59:15

OP - the host and parents would so much rather have your kids there than not go because of worrying about having to get an expensive gift. I've had one or two people say they've forgotten birthday invites over the years and am pretty sure gift worry was behind it. I so wish I'd known beforehand and could have told them that a box of maltesers would be more than enough. Hope all had a great time x

LePetitPrince Sun 20-Jan-13 22:57:45

One of my kid's got a second hand sweatshirt as a present, the same parents gave a cheap t-shirt from a local sports shop the following year. She wore both and I was glad to see a present being used.

I'd personally like to ask for NO presents but then others might think I was judging their parties.


LavenderBombshell Sun 20-Jan-13 22:34:42

So - bollocks - tried to report back on random sample of my eldest DS (now teenage )
Edited highlights - chocolates - yes - because all you get otherwise is lego and stickers and stuff.

OK my final word - enjoy the (circa) 4 yr old parties , bcause IIRC correctly - they do not care . They just want cake and games & feeling it is their day and stuff (whatever stuff ) to unwrap. It is so innocent and to be enjoyed .

PurpleStorm Sun 20-Jan-13 22:26:28

They had minty Matchmakers on sale in my local Co-Op over Christmas. They were with all the other Christmassy stuff.

Haven't checked to see if they're still in the chocolate aisle.

Thumbwitch Sun 20-Jan-13 22:13:56

Can you still get Matchmakers?? I thought they were discontinued for a while by the bastards who own Rowntrees - but have just checked Wiki and discovered that they are still available and "are a popular addition to the British diet during the Christmas period." grin

Morloth Sun 20-Jan-13 21:24:10

I have a room full of kindercrap, some of it expensive but it is crap just the same.

Thank god DS1 is a bit old for these sorts of parties now. Just have to get DS2 through.

If it makes you feel any better OP, I think I might switch to just giving chocolates/sweets from now on. I suspect I am not alone in my hatred of the plastic.

angel1976 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:25:21

I honestly don't think it's such a bad idea to recycle unwanted gifts. Of course, you try to give gender/age appropriate gifts, and not completely just random recycling! For example, my DCs got a whole lot of crafty stuff from their grandparents at Christmas and we have had a fair go at a few of them - hama beads, clay/pottery and mosaic pictures but truth of it is my DCs aren't that keen on crafts! We still have some crafty bits stored away like paper mache set and craft boxes so they will be recycled as birthday presents.

And some of my DCs' best presents have been birthday presents I would never have bought for them thinking they would not be interested. Which just goes to show... Recycling presents sometimes ain't that bad an idea! smile

zignzag Sun 20-Jan-13 18:31:55

molehillmountain sorry but I find your post funny..... Sure why don't you just ask kids to give your children empty cornflake boxes etc as gifts. you sound waaaayy ott in your love and your children's love of empty boxes!! Seriously, next you will tell me they got a selection of empty boxes for Christmas...from Bisto boxes to butter tubs. Suppose one could always gift empty toilet rolls also...

Anyway as I said already. Not life or death but personally I would of had put some more thought into the gift. shoot me now

I don't care what gifts my kids receive as try have lots of stuff do not need anything but I would care what gifts I give to others. What's so wrong with wanting to gift a decent gift? All of a sudden it's like crime. The op asked for opinions and I gave mine. Does not make me wrong or right.

zignzag Sun 20-Jan-13 18:23:08


insanityscratching Sun 20-Jan-13 18:03:50

The year before last dd's best friend didn't attend her party, her mum said she was ill but her friend told dd it was because she didn't have a present to bring. Both dd and I were upset because dd wanted her friend there and neither she nor I would have been bothered about a present. I already knew they had it tough. This year I tied myself in knots trying to get across to her friend's mum that dd only wanted her company and not offend her at the same time. Dd was thrilled that her friend attended the gift she brought wasn't important and all children who attended got the same thank you card that said " thank you for making my birthday special" whether they brought a gift or not as neither dd nor I kept a tally of who brought what.

Lueji Sun 20-Jan-13 17:51:57

For example, DS this year was most happy with the marbles he got.
At 1 euro a bag.

And with pound shop pokemon cards.

Children's presents can become a huge burden on household finances if the parents are not well off.
I'd think that any gift should be appreciated.

Lueji Sun 20-Jan-13 17:45:26

I DS would love maltesers.

In fact, next year I may write in the invitations that any kind of chocolate would be most welcome. smile

Personally, I'd be happy to tell guests to make donations to children's charities, were it not for the fact that DS would be a little sad for having few presents.

Often a book can be very cheap, for example.

Molehillmountain Sun 20-Jan-13 17:36:07

Zig-no one I know would not invite a child to a party because of the quality or otherwise of the gift given. And as repeatedly stated, maltesers would be a great gift much appreciated by the child. I know the message has been given but I have just recalled the last three Christmas and birthday gifts given by our children to dh-yep, a small box of maltesers each. After the contents are eaten the boxes invariably become treasure boxes, monsters with gaping mouths, moshi display cases, etc. And, although I very frequently give craft sets as gifts, and dd and ds enjoy receiving them, I think they actually prefer the recycling of boxes. They're able to do exactly what they want And because dh is the only one who is given boxes of maltesers, one to themselves would cause great excitement. I feel that what really comes out in this thread is that people give in different spirits and a spirit of "what would this child like?" Has nothing to do with finances or whether the gift is chocolate, plastic, from a pound shop, or Harrods, bought specifically for that child or drawn from a present cupboard. Any of those things could feel smug or lovely, mean or generous. The very worst thing people can do is give a gift because it makes them look good. Op-hope the parties were fab.

LittleMissFantabulous Sun 20-Jan-13 16:12:08

M0na you can be invited to any party my lot have, Maltesers are the holy grail of chocs about these parts!

Hope the kids had a good daysmile

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sun 20-Jan-13 15:04:46

What Maryz said.

M0na, I hope your DCs enjoyed the parties this afternoon!

yanbu, bloody love malteasers, tho if you have a pound shop ours is selling sone fab stuff at the mo, sponge bob activity packs, angry birds stuff, hardback famous five books etc.

zignzag Sun 20-Jan-13 14:35:26

No not saying a kid would not be invited to parties, kinda tongue in cheek, but I do feel the gift is shite. Anyway it's not life or death.....

5madthings Sun 20-Jan-13 14:00:24

doctrine presents opened at home after the party here as well, much easier and I can keep note and send a thank you smile

Maryz Sun 20-Jan-13 14:00:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5madthings Sun 20-Jan-13 13:59:28

zig are you seriously suggesting that a child wouldn't be invited back to another party if they gave maltesers as a gift?! Fucking hell I wouldn't want to be friends with anyone who had that attitude!

My kids would love the maltesers especially the ones that come in a box as they would play with the box afterwards and use it for their 'treasures'. And what makes it a thoughtless gift?!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 20-Jan-13 13:52:20

Crossing it out doesn't make it any less unkind, zig.

OP has also said that another MNer has offered to do some beading for her to go with the Malteasers.

As an aside, presents don't get opened at parties where I am, they get taken home and opened later. This means I can make a list for thank you notes and means the whole time at the party is for, err, partying.

lljkk Sun 20-Jan-13 13:47:15

At least the Maltesers will be appreciated. DS was a HUGE Ben10 fan, but went off it 4 weeks before his big birthday party. Half the stuff he got was Ben10 (sigh). Somebody in our house would have eaten the Maltesers, for sure.

zignzag Sun 20-Jan-13 13:45:12

People are just snobby by saying plastic tat or whatever from pound shop..... Really silly attitude. There are plenty of decent presents to be got in pound shops, that are not tat. As I said before I would stay away from obviously flimsy gifts but the usual books, crayons, colouring books, character breakfast sets, footballs, dress up items, playdoh, paint set, zoo animal set, farm animal set, craft set...... All of these are not breakable and can be bought cheaply. I always have a few bits in the house that I can add to or make up a gift if needed or if visiting friends etc. at least if op bought a few bits over next few weeks she would have something to add to her now famous box of malteasers wink for future parties If the child is asked to future parties after the skimpy and thoughtless present produced at this one

What gets me is the op has 2 gifts in house to give, she also referred to said box of malteasers as crap in the title!!!

BumBiscuits Sun 20-Jan-13 11:57:51

It's not what the parents think about the gift that matters. I've never known either of my kids to turn up their nose at any present while attacking the pile after their parties.

For DD1's 5th birthday, one mum had taped a £5 to a gift, a jigsaw or game. I thought how odd, but nice all the same. The gift obviously came in below her usual gift budget. now I'm worried I'm seen as the type to be a judgey-pants about party gifts

Dancergirl Sun 20-Jan-13 11:38:56

But apart from the money, the birthday child might actually LIKE that flimsy, poorly made toy from the pound shop.

It doesn't matter if you only voice your opinion on a public forum and not to the person's face, it doesn't make it ok; thinking about someone's gift as 'crap' is horrible imo.

theukgrinch you shouldn't 'rank' presents into what's 'better'.

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