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AIBU to think cash instead of presents at a children's party is wrong?

(46 Posts)
AnimatedDad Thu 04-Dec-14 16:01:55

My youngest has been invited to a birthday party held by 4 of his classmates.

I've now got an email saying all the children at the party are saving up for "big ticket presents" and could they have a donation towards them instead of presents.

I can see that young (5 years) kids parties often mean you end up with a load of presents your child doesn't really want... and I can see how you might ask close family for money instead of presents, but I think asking for money from your classmates is a bit off.

I mean, these are children who barely even know the meaning of money at this point.

I don't want to give an envelope full of cash to 4 (yes, it's a 4 way party) children. I want to buy them a hexbug or a bit of lego and have done with it!

I think it's even worse that the email didn't even say what we were supposed to be contributing towards. My child is supposed to be giving money for presents to his classmates, but I can't even tell him what that money is going towards.

PortofinoVino Thu 04-Dec-14 16:05:44

I mean, these are children who barely even know the meaning of money at this point.

Well seeing as it is YOU who will be replying to the invite, YOU who will take your child there, and YOU who will be buying the present.......I can't see the problem. confused

Just tell your child that Little Johnny/Jane wants a BIG present so you are all contributing. I really don't see the problem.

LumpenproletariatAndProud Thu 04-Dec-14 16:08:14

So you are taking your child to one party and you have to pay four times?

So £20 basically?

For one party?

Sod that. Or the toys, that would be £20 too, and its not easy to find toys for £5 either.

WooWooOwl Thu 04-Dec-14 16:11:01

I don't like it either.

It strikes me as rude, grabby and just plain unnecessary.

If children want big ticket items then their parents can pay or they can ask close family like grandparents to contribute, but don't ask the parents of the children who will make up the essence of the party and without whom the whole things would be a non event.

It's nice to be invited to parties, but it's even nicer to have people come to yours. These people sound like they're tight as arseholes having a joint party for not two, but four children and then having the cheek to ask for money on top.

If my child wanted to go to the party I'd just stick a £2 coin in each of the cards and make a mental note that these people are rude.

cheesecakemom Thu 04-Dec-14 16:11:12

YABU, you don't have to go. I would rather give £20 than buy four gifts in one go.

cheesecakemom Thu 04-Dec-14 16:12:53

Lol @ the £2 coin, even that's fair to be honest since they asked for money!

londonrach Thu 04-Dec-14 16:18:06

Yanbu very rude. Never heard of this before. Love the £2 coin idea...

Bulbasaur Thu 04-Dec-14 16:20:55

I would rather give cash, I loved getting cash as a kid and buying what I wanted. It's easier and convenient to me, then I can just get a card at the grocery store.

You shouldn't be asking for cash from attendees though. It's a small child's birthday party, not a wedding... and even then I hear MN having a moral panic about asking for cash wedding gifts.

Honestly, I'd consider how much the friendships and getting along with the other moms is worth. If it's in you and your child's best interest to stay friends, just drop a small amount in each card. You'd spend around $5-10 on a toy anyway, you're probably saving money.

JT05 Thu 04-Dec-14 16:22:09

yanbu, how grabby. it is teaching the children that the only thing hat counts is money.
Old fashioned, I know but what happened to being grateful to whatever present and saying thank you for the kind thought? Rather than grabby expectations.

Fallingovercliffs Thu 04-Dec-14 16:22:49

It's an awful idea . Kids should see presents as nice gestures from others not an opportunity to demand money to buy something they want. But I suppose it's an inevitable follow on from demands for cash instead of wedding presents, Christening presents etc.

YANBU in the least.

Floggingmolly Thu 04-Dec-14 16:23:22

Asking for cash instead of a gift is grabby and tacky. Having a joint (?) party for four children and expecting a gift for each is grabby beyond belief...
The protocol for shared parties is to divide the guest list so that each guest has been invited by one birthday child only; and only one gift is expected.
They've got some bloody neck!!

LumpenproletariatAndProud Thu 04-Dec-14 16:25:19

The only reason they have had a 4 way party is because it saves them money, yet they expect you to pay out £20.


PuppyMonkey Thu 04-Dec-14 16:25:30

(I would pretend I didn't get the email and bring a couple of £1 Shop goodies as usual wink)

Fallingovercliffs Thu 04-Dec-14 16:30:02

It reminds me of this thread from a couple of years ago

Stubbed Thu 04-Dec-14 16:37:57

Just get what you want. You don't have to do as you are told (I wouldn't). I certainly would not spend £20.

In my book, joint party means the present budget is shared. £5 normally so between 2 it would be half that. Call me mean, I wouldn't care

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 04-Dec-14 17:18:02

Just get a colouring book or magazine each and be done with it.

LadyLuck10 Thu 04-Dec-14 17:20:20

Yanbu how cheap and grabby these parents are. Just buy whatever present you feel like and let them dare even ask you for money. They wouldn't.

ChillySundays Thu 04-Dec-14 17:27:27

I would never have dreamed of asking for cash when my DC were younger. Did find that my DS was often given cash and I would give his friends cash. Most people spent around a fiver and it was nigh on impossible to get anything that wasn't tat for a boy. It meant the money could be put towards a bigger toy. My DD rarely got cash and I never gave her friends cash

Even if I was planning on giving cash I would probably have not if someone had asked

Scrounger Thu 04-Dec-14 17:33:16

Agree with Floggingmolly, DD was invited to a joint party and the invite was lovely. 'We'd love for you to come and you don't need to buy a present but if you do could you buy one for xxx'. Fab party with a great atmosphere.

I would probably go along with the request but privately be quite sniffy about it.

CariadsDarling Thu 04-Dec-14 17:33:47

At the mere mention of cash for a birthday, wedding, whatever, I just ignore it and put the request down to bad manners.

Bowlersarm Thu 04-Dec-14 17:41:10

Yabu. Just stick what you would have spent on a present in a card. It's not difficult for you; they get what they want and don't need to throw tat away that they don't want.

ILoveSimonCowell Thu 04-Dec-14 17:59:31

Recently attended a joint party (slightly older children). We were asked for money (if possible) and were told what the two children were saving up for. All good. Though I did only put half of what I normally give in each envelope! I'm happy to give money. I love money (receiving it and in general!). However at age 4 I'd have thought a pile of presents far better and more exciting (for the child).

ReallyBadParty Thu 04-Dec-14 18:06:01


That is very rude. And no fun for the children either: mine love getting all the different stuff that other people choose for them.

Money is a good gift from family, it's fun to save up or go and choose something, but I agree that asking for money in relation to social events like this is just crass. And £20 in a oner, just before Christmas.

CheekyBanana Thu 04-Dec-14 18:33:42

Hmmm. Tricky one. My ds invited whole class to his 6th party. His birthday is a couple of weeks after Christmas. That year he was getting a DS from his nana, a bike from his godmother, a portable DVD player from me and dp. I couldn't bear the thought of 30 more presents, in addition to the stacks he received for Christmas only a couple of weeks earlier, which by then we're long since abandoned, broken or forgotten about. However ds had wanted a vtech camera-thingy and was reduced to about £35 in Argos. In invitations we suggested that no individual presents for ds, but instead small contribution of no more than £1 towards said vtech. Parents understood, many thanked me for considering expense so soon after Xmas. We popped pic of ds playing on camera inside thank you cards to his friends. He still had camera and sees it as present from his class. Win-win all round, I think. I do agree that situations differ as does motive and expectation when asking for money instead of presents. As a footnote, going rate here is £10 in card in lieu of present. I felt it would have been vulgar for my 6 year old to potentially receive £250+ from classmates, but will put £10 in card if parent requests money instead of present for their child.

marnia68 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:12:20

I think it is a good idea in these circumstances.Clearly a gift can't be split 4 ways.Instead of parents feeling obliged to buy 4 presents they can just give whatever cash they would have spent on one , and share it out.

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