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To be confused by joint party etiquette?!!

(46 Posts)
Lottie5 Thu 29-Jan-15 06:44:40

Dd (3) has been invited to a third birthday party of a little girl at her preschool. The trouble is, the party is a joint one with her older sister who is turning five. My question is - do I need to buy a present for the older sister too, even though we've never even met her? Seems a lot of expense but I don't want to offend!!!

waithorse Thu 29-Jan-15 06:47:22

Yes, it's usual to buy two presents in these circumstances. Doesn't have to be expensive. Small box of chocolate or cheep book would do.

waithorse Thu 29-Jan-15 06:47:41


MrsTom Thu 29-Jan-15 06:50:51

For us it's joint party = scale down the present. I usually spend around £10 for one present so if it's a joint party each child gets a smaller gift worth around £5.

DS has two triple parties for classmates next month! There is no way I'm spending a fortune on gifts when parents are clubbing together for parties to save themselves money and hassle grin

MrTumblesBavarianFanbase Thu 29-Jan-15 07:01:24

I would give her friend a proper present and big sister something small (chocolate/ sticker book type thing).

Joint parties of twins we give 2 presents of equal size/ value, but if you don't even know the other child I think you give a token present.

My 3 yo was invited to a joint party a few months ago but there was no way to tell it was a joint party - invite was from his friend only - so we only had a present for DS' s friend. By coincidence we did know the joint party child slightly - turned out to be someone we used to go to toddlers with - but there was nothing we could do about not having a present for him, as we hadn't known it was a joint party!

Fayrazzled Thu 29-Jan-15 07:03:49

It is usual at my children's school/ social circle to only buy a present for child by whom you have been invited- so no need for a present for the older sibling (Or other friend) in the case of joint parties.

EugenesAxe Thu 29-Jan-15 07:09:26

Going against the grain, if I was the giver of a joint party with siblings, friends or whatever, I would not expect both children to be given presents if some parents only knew one child. A card for the 'not known' party is fine.

Besides... joint parties tend to be bigger and 30-40 presents for one child is horrible. I did a big party when my son turned three and hated that aspect! Even he was tired... we finished off the unwrapping the day after.

littlesupersparks Thu 29-Jan-15 07:11:33

I'm considering having a joint party for my boys. I was going to just do the invitation from the brother whose 'friend' it was so people didn't feel under pressure. We do know a couple if sibling pairs similar ages so would write to Cameron and Alex from H and A in that case and i would expect 2 small presents because they know them both iykwim. In your situation I would think one present would be enough but then again something very cheap (colouring book or something) would smooth things over just in case x

GoodArvo Thu 29-Jan-15 07:11:56

I would give a present only to the younger child. Presumably the older child will have a different lot of friends to give her presents.

If it's a joint party with two children from the same class I give a present to both children.

bedhaven Thu 29-Jan-15 07:15:28

I've just hosted a joint party and certainly would not have expected presents from people I didn't know.
I get that if it's a joint party of twins or peers when both children are known you would get two presents but not otherwise.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 29-Jan-15 07:19:15

I think you should only get for the child you know with a card for other. Both kids will have plenty of presents without having to buy for sibling as well. I think parents would not thank you for doubling already massive pile!

wheresthelight Thu 29-Jan-15 11:41:12

I would only buy for the child that has invited your dd.

MrsTawdry Thu 29-Jan-15 11:44:33

The parents are at fault here. Most giving joint parties here say on invitations "Please only buy a gift for the child who invited you" and then the invitation has that child's name on it.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Thu 29-Jan-15 11:44:41

I usually get a gift for the child i know and a card for the other child.

SoupDragon Thu 29-Jan-15 11:45:14

I used to have joint parties for DS. Only the person each DS invited was "expected" to bring a present. Expected sounds so grabby!

If going to a joint party, I would only buy for the child who had invited mine. the only exception being if its a joint party held by her school friends, I'd buy for both because I would have expected to buy each a present if they had had separate parties.

PuppyMonkey Thu 29-Jan-15 11:46:53

No, only buy for the kid who's invited your DS.

addictedtosugar Thu 29-Jan-15 11:56:11

I do a joint party for my 2 boys.
Everyone gets an individual invite, from the child who wants to invite them. Only two people have ever worked out what were doing, and brought a pressent for both kids (and one of those is the neighbour!).
Sibling pairs who are both being invited also get indivdual invites - so, Big Sister from DS1, and Little brother from DS2.

wigglesrock Thu 29-Jan-15 11:57:27

My kids have been to joint birthday parties, usually at school where families have decided to book a hall etc together. They've just bought for the child that's in their class/has invited them. Everybody else did the same.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 29-Jan-15 11:58:37

I have done joint parties for all three of mine, and was careful to ensure people knew we weren't expecting them to buy a present for each of the boys, just the one who'd invited them.

In your situation, Lottie, i would buy something small for the older child - some sweets or a pack of felt tips from the pound shop.

stealthsquiggle Thu 29-Jan-15 12:01:32

We have so far only been to joint parties where we knew both DC, so took presents for both, but in the circumstances you describe I would get a "normal" present for the child you know and a very very token present (bar of chocolate, 50p hair accessory..) for the DSis.

Sixgeese Thu 29-Jan-15 12:10:32

I have been at joint parties, and given joint parties in the past.

When it was a party for two of my DC, I wrote of the invitations from one child, so DD1 invited her friends and DD2 invited her friends (and I told the parents that they weren't expected to buy for both)

When DD1 had a joint party with one of her friends last year (and DD2 had a party with one of her friends), we did a list of friends of both and those were the people invited and both children were on the invitation.

When we have been to joint parties I haven't scaled back the size of the gift, I have just been very grateful that I only had to waste one afternoon in my weekend instead of both.

DamsonInDistress Thu 29-Jan-15 12:13:23

I only buy for the child that's invited mine - round here it's usually clear that whilst the party is a joint one, the invitation comes from one child only. I do though usually send a card for the other child. Occasionally ds is invited to joint parties of two of his best friends, owing to how the dates fall. In those cases, and where we would have invited both children to ds's parties, I buy presents for both children.

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 29-Jan-15 12:15:20

Only buy for the kid you know.

MERLYPUSSEDOFF Thu 29-Jan-15 13:21:40

I'll report back. DTs party this weekend. Invites were sent from DT1 or DT2 to come to 'DT1 and DT's party' but signed by the relevant child to their classmate. (Dispite the pizza hut invites being preprinted as 'it's MY party' (cant get OUR party ones)
Some people invite both kids to their party. They take a present each and sometimes a joint card but more often one each.
Some people just invite the classmate.
Either is fine.

littlejohnnydory Thu 29-Jan-15 16:07:58

My two oldest dc have had several joint parties. I'd hate for their friends to have felt obliged to buy presents for both children, unless friends of both.

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