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to think it's bloody rude to send your DC to a birthday party with NO card or present for the birthday child?

(290 Posts)
ScaredyKnickers Fri 08-Mar-13 10:44:14

This has happened a few times now with different parties for my DC where one or two of the invitees have turned without even a card. On one occasion, the parent had not even replied, DC just turned up empty handed. These parents have never struck me as struggling for money and card can cost only 50p anyway. I would never send my DCs to a birthday celebration without a card and a present. Smacks of 'can't be bothered' to me and complete arrogance.


Shinyshoes1 Fri 08-Mar-13 11:01:11

Btw the maltesers thing is because I'm skint , I mean proper skint , I'd rather her turn up with those than empty handed but that's just me and I know how it feels to be really skint so I wouldn't feel bad if a child turned up with nothing

BalloonSlayer Fri 08-Mar-13 11:01:32

Of course it's bloody rude. If you are too skint to buy a present then of course everyone will understand, but you can get your DC to scribble on a piece of paper to create a home made card, surely?

valiumredhead Fri 08-Mar-13 11:01:35

I would be surprised but presume they couldn't afford it or had forgotten and not give it another thought tbh.

Saying that, I am still mystified why some really good friends didn't give us a card or present for our wedding and I know they aren't skint!

ksrwr Fri 08-Mar-13 11:02:48

personally i wouldn't care if a child turned up empty handed. as long as the kids have fun and enjoy themselves. children aren't interested in cards, and only interested in presents for 5 mins. a total non issue in my opinion. if the parents have made the effort to get the child there, in my opinion that's what counts.

TobyLerone Fri 08-Mar-13 11:04:11

YABU. Never having frisked attendees at the door, I have no idea whether or not anyone has ever turned up to one of my DCs' parties 'empty-handed'. And I couldn't give a shite if they did. It's ridiculous.

OurPlanetNeptune Fri 08-Mar-13 11:04:28

No I do not think it's rude. I have taught my children when they have birthday parties they should be glad the guests have attended, presents and cards are a bonus.

A card is a nice gesture but again not compulsory. However expecting presents at anytime time is really greedy and grabby.

BigRedBox Fri 08-Mar-13 11:05:53

valium re the wedding thing. We had the same, not even a card! Some people are just tight. I cannot think of anything worse tbh. I always teach my dc's to be generous. Obviously I do not include those for who money is an issue. I'm referring to people who clearly have cash but are just mean.

manicinsomniac Fri 08-Mar-13 11:07:23

I think you are probably NBU

Very few people want to say it's rude because you end up looking grabby and insensitive.

But turn it around - how many of us would do it ourselves?!

I wouldn't be upset if someone turned up to one of my children's parties with nothing but I would never send one of mine to someone else's party without anything, even if it had to be a homemade card.

Therefore I think it probably is rude

NinaHeart Fri 08-Mar-13 11:07:34

YABU - you don't know the circumstances.

(People turned up to our wedding without a card or a present - now that I do find U!!)

Bobyan Fri 08-Mar-13 11:08:57

Maybe you should credit check the parents and send them a birthday gift list before the party to make sure you are happy to invite them?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 08-Mar-13 11:08:57

Yanbu, and I am shocked at how many YABU's this has received!

Of course it's rude to turn up without even a card!

If someone brought a card and no present, then that would be fine. I'd assume they couldn't afford a present but would be able to see they at least had some manners. It costs nothing to have about of thought, and to make a card or draw a picture with a piece of A4 paper.

Nor does it cost anything to speak to the parent organising the party and say that you can't afford a present but that your child would still live to come. I'm sure any half decent person would be absolutely fine with that.

But to turn up with nothing when nothing has been said is exceptionally rude. Party invitations do not involve compulsory acceptance. If you can't be bothered to get your child to draw on a piece of paper or to talk to the host parent, then don't expect your child to be able to go to parties.

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 11:10:11

I think it's odd, not rude, iyswim.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Fri 08-Mar-13 11:11:38


I wouldn't expect a present, especially of someone can't afford it, but they should bring a card. If they are really so short of money that they can't afford to buy a card then the child can make one, it wouldn't cost anything that way. It is the thought that counts.

To just arrive empty handed is rude.

TobyLerone Fri 08-Mar-13 11:12:08

We had a few very good friends turn up to our wedding without a gift or a card. Which was absolutely, perfectly acceptable, considering that we didn't get married for the presents hmm

Acandlelitshadow Fri 08-Mar-13 11:13:01

I'd be a bit surprised and yes, deep down a bit miffed. Don't know if I'd think it was arrogant. Would depend what they were usually like but all things being equal alongside the miffery I would also have a sneaking admiration for the sheer chutzpah involved grin

NotSoNervous Fri 08-Mar-13 11:13:55

Hmm I think YABU. I would expect a card because as you say you can get one for 50p or even get the child to make one but if there wasn't a card I wouldn't bat an eyelid about it

CatelynStark Fri 08-Mar-13 11:14:23

I think I would be more concerned for the child who turned up 'empty handed' as I know mine would be mortified if they were the only ones without a gift.

I have a present stash where I keep bargains from glitches and sales etc and have a dig through that to find something age appropriate whenever my children get invited to a party - they make the birthday cards - as I rarely have the spare cash to go and buy a gift at full price.

I have no idea if anyone's ever come to one of our parties without a gift but I don't think I'd lose much sleep over it if they had.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Fri 08-Mar-13 11:14:46

But would you really give a shiny shit if you had 30 kids running around in a soft play or some such that one of them hadnt turned up with a card? Good grief.

Its not that rude. Rude is bringing 3 siblings along unasked and sticking them down at the table or turning up drunk or some such.

Often in whole class parties the children dont even know eachother that well.

It wouldn't bother me at all, you don't invite people to get something from them.

You don't know the reality of other people's circumstances. Maybe they can't be bothered, maybe they don't come from the same culture and so didn't realise, maybe they are skint, maybe one of the grandparents has terminal cancer and the family are rushing to the hospital every night and just forgot to get something...

Orwellian Fri 08-Mar-13 11:16:54

YANBU. It is very rude.

However, this is Mumsnet so expect answers along the lines of; "How dare you. You should be honoured that this child attended your dc's party and he was probably living in absolute poverty on the streets so couldn't afford 50p for a card" or other such nonsense.

Snazzynewyear Fri 08-Mar-13 11:18:00

While it isn't obligatory in any enforceable sense, of course, it is rude. It is a well established tradition that being invited to celebrate someone's birthday with them, in our culture, usually involves bringing some token item of recognition for the birthday girl or boy. Even if that is a homemade card or picture that cost nothing, the recognition is there.

Some people have pointed out that the empty-handed partygoers are often in fact the ones whose parents are comfortably off. I'd agree with this, and in my experience, the ones who are financially struggling are usually in fact the ones who reliably bring something, even if it is a cheap/homemade card and a chocolate bar - nothing wrong with that anyway.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 08-Mar-13 11:18:27

I never did give out invitations mentally totting up all the goodies my DC would receive in return, but there again if I couldn't afford to send my DC to a party without something to take along, I wouldn't send him/her.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Fri 08-Mar-13 11:20:04

So on the MN rude scale is it better to not take a present at all or to take something that has clearly been regifted/used before etc. I might start a spreadsheet.

TobyLerone Fri 08-Mar-13 11:20:22

Do any of your DC really want a picture, drawn by another child?

Honestly, some of you are barking.

cloudpuff Fri 08-Mar-13 11:26:00

It would not bother me in the slightest, dd invites people she wants to see and she has been taught not to expect cards or gifts.

On the other hand I know not everyone feels the same so sadly I have not taken dd to parties as there have been a few times in the past where I have been so skint and couldnt even afford the basic card, I know other Mums judge and have heard it myself so I decline the invite.

I now buy bulk packs of blank greetings cards so always have some stashed away and Im gonna start a gift draw full of cheap bits for presents, got that idea from mn so thank you.

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