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WIBU about 40th birthday presents

(19 Posts)
rainyevening Wed 04-Feb-15 16:57:33

Terrifyingly, turning 40 later this year. Planning a party.

Now, I normally hate hate hate anything gift listy. I'm really against them and think they're grabby.

But this morning I had an idea - what if I asked for pictures for my birthday?

I really love pictures and would love more in my life. And I thought it would be a really meaningful present because anyone giving me one could choose something they really liked and that meant a lot to them and I could write their name on the back, so I could look back on it when I was a very old lady and say, 'ah, I got that from X for my 40th'.

BUT as I say, in general I'm
against people 'ordering' presents so maybe this is in the same territory and I'm being unreasonable. What do you think?

CheshireSplat Wed 04-Feb-15 17:04:37

I think it's a lovely idea. Most people will want to get you a gift and personally I'm often stuck for ideas. I don't think it's grabby at all - people can pay anything, from a postcard price upwards. I think you might do well explaining how you'll use them so people know to write messages, frame them or not. Have a happy birthday!

newgirl Wed 04-Feb-15 17:16:31

Where will you put them all?!

PtolemysNeedle Wed 04-Feb-15 17:21:37

If anyone asks you if there's anything you'd like then you're free to tell them, but you can't ask with the invitations without being spectacularly rude.

I also think that's quite a difficult thing to be asked to buy for someone else, tastes vary so much when it comes to how people have their homes.

In your position I'd do nothing and hope that someone who I know has good taste asks what you want, then you can tell them.

skylark2 Wed 04-Feb-15 17:27:09

I think that's a lovely idea.

You might want to clarify "not in frames" unless you want your house covered in them (personally I'd be looking to put them together in an album).

flashheartscanoe Wed 04-Feb-15 17:27:50

I had a big 40th birthday party. We asked people to bring a bottle and very few brought presents as well and we didnt expect them to. I dont think you can request anything with the invites.
If people ask then you can request anything you like but be careful with pictures- tastes vary so much. We got a couple from MIL a few years ago and they were dreadful- think fluffy kittens.

adsy Wed 04-Feb-15 17:32:08

But what if they bring pictures you don't like? you'll feel obliged to put them on the wall.
Anyway, it's grabby to ask for presents. no different just 'cos they'll be "meaningful"

Meowww Wed 04-Feb-15 17:40:14

I think pictures are very personal and also very difficult to hide. If someone buys you a picture they will expect to see it on your wall. I hardly ever like presents I'm given, anything at all down to personal taste is usually a massive disaster <glares at MrMeowww>

Plus, I have been to lots of 40th birthdays and usually take a card and either nothing (if it's a big party) or a bottle of champagne. It may be different in your friend set but are you really sure they are planning on buying anything?

For our wedding we did a just giving page and asked for donations - nice and positive.

SummerHouse Wed 04-Feb-15 17:41:21

I read this as photos which would be a good idea. Then you could do a photo wall. People could bring a photo of themselves or you or both. Although as I write this idea I can't help thinking its a bit self indulgent and dictatorial. Much like a grabby gift list. I am no help.

Meowww Wed 04-Feb-15 17:44:50

It's just one more thing to do in life. Ooh, it's Rainy's birthday party this evening, should be great fun, hang on, oh drat, we had to do that blasted photo thing I meant to order a print, mutter mutter, etc. Instead of just popping into the shop on the way there to pick up a bottle and a card.

Ragwort Wed 04-Feb-15 17:46:52

I would just put 'no gifts please' on the invite, I hadn't even thought about gifts for my 40th and everyone bought one, very kind but I really had no need for so much 'stuff'. blush.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 04-Feb-15 17:50:54

"anyone giving me one could choose something they really liked and that meant a lot to them"
There is absolutely no guarantee that you will like what they like. And every time they come round to visit, they will look for 'their' picture on the wall, so you had better have it visible! You would feel obliged to display something you really dislike don't care for that much.

It could be a total nightmare.

BackforGood Wed 04-Feb-15 18:02:51

I too am a bit puzzled as to what you mean by 'pictures'. Just how many empty walls do you have in your house (if you mean a painting to hang on a wall) and what do you plan to do with the ones you don't like?
Or did you mean photos, so you can make a collage or scrap book ?

I do think it's a bit of an odd request, and would stump me a bit if I were asked.
I think for a 40th, you can't really ask for anything specific, unless you are asking for either no presents, or donations to a favourite charity in lieu of presents.

swarley Wed 04-Feb-15 18:14:28

i read it as photographs.

XiCi Wed 04-Feb-15 18:20:38

I presume you mean photos but surely not everyone coming to the party will have photos that are relevant to you and they will want to bring you a present. Why not ask your best friends to make a montage for you?

FoolishFay Wed 04-Feb-15 18:29:02

When I was 40, I was preparing invitations and my then DH was rather surprised I didn't specify 'no presents'. I had to explain that if I went down that route, there was a danger I might not actually get any presents and I wasn't prepared to take the risk.

WyrdByrd Wed 04-Feb-15 18:34:48

Stick a variety of things you like on an Amazon wishlist and if anyone asks you can point them in that direction.

I definitely wouldn't bring it up otherwise.

mrsmootoo Wed 04-Feb-15 19:14:37

I think pictures is hugely risky! They are very personal. DH and I have been looking for years for anything we agree on to put on the walls - most things are either his taste or mine - so the chances of all or even some friends choosing something you like enough to have on display are low. But I also wouldn't ask for anything either. Most people seem to bring bottles to big birthdays, which is fine by me!

ohtheholidays Thu 05-Feb-15 08:52:56

Great idea!

We've all been invited to an old school friend of mine's 40th Birthday party this month(myself,DH and 5 DC)and I don't have a bloody clue what to buy her.I want to get her something really nice as she's been lovely and not only sent the invites to the people she knows she's also invited all our partners and children and there's 7 of us so nodding her costs up for the party.

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