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Charity donation instead of pressies - aibu?

(43 Posts)
Fannini Fri 20-Nov-15 12:00:59

DD has recently received an invitation to a bd party, I replied via email, yes DD would be delighted. Got a follow up email which had been sent to everyone along the lines of the following:-

Great you are all coming and giving up the afternoon to help celebrate our DCs birthday. Some of you have kindly asked what our DC would like for his BD, but our DC has decided that instead of presents he would like you to donate to these charities...with web links...or one of your choice.

I wish I could convey the tone of it as well (cross 'we feel v. pleased with ourselves' with 'we've got a pet and we like to write what he 'says' in our christmas round robin'), but it's pretty difficult without actually cutting and pasting.

DCs are 8 & 9.

I think this is rude. I've just deleted all my reasons because post was getting too long but basically my question to you is Aibu just to ignore this and give him a ruddy present anyway?

Floralnomad Fri 20-Nov-15 12:05:21

What's your problem with it ,perhaps at 9 he has been watching the news and Wants to help people less fortunate . If you don't want to personally donate stick some money in a card and the child can decide what to do with it .

BadLad Fri 20-Nov-15 12:06:00

I wouldn't see that as rude, although I might be a bit dubious as to whether that really was what the children wanted, and whether the parents were pushing it.

I thought this was going to be about situations where you give someone a present and they accept it, and then say "instead of giving you a present, I'm sponsoring a goat" or something, so they get a present but you don't.

SirChenjin Fri 20-Nov-15 12:09:06

I think it's a brilliant idea. There's every chance it came from the child - either that or they are over-run with 'stuff' and don't want any more, and they've had a family chat about it. Either way, unless money is tight, it doesn't do kids any harm to have the brakes put on the amount of stuff they get at birthdays (and Christmas)

Osolea Fri 20-Nov-15 12:09:23

I don't think it's rude, but I do think that you as the gift giver should be able to give what you want, and have your gift gratefully received.

chumbler Fri 20-Nov-15 12:09:25


KurriKurri Fri 20-Nov-15 12:11:49

I think it is always slightly grating when people 'tell' you what charities to donate to - it's a fairly individual choice as obviously people have different concerns and it is not possible to donate to every single charity.

But it is also commendable that he has chosen to give to charity rather than have gifts and that is to be encouraged - even if the tone was a bit 'holier than thou' (and I totally get why this has riled you grin) I would also go with putting some money in a envelope and letting him pick his charities and who knows - when it comes to his birthday he might find he wants to keep a little bit to buy something for himself.

Fannini Fri 20-Nov-15 12:14:17

my problem is that surely the giver should dictate the gift because it's just that, a 'gift'. I haven't asked what he wanted.

Good for the child if he wants to help people less fortunate. I'll sponsor him. Or he could save his pocket money. Nothing wrong with that.

In this context I think it's either the parents showing off how angelic their child is to be thinking of others (animals) or the parents saying 'actually we don't want 20 shite presents that you would otherwise pollute our house with, so if you must spend money send it straight to charity please', but without saying that. Maybe that would have been better - at least it's honest!

I just think it's a bit rude to dictate what gifts you want without being asked. I don't know the parents at all, and they don't know me. In that context surely you just graciously accept what, if anything, you are given.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Fri 20-Nov-15 12:15:09

I think there are two issues here.

1. The preference for a charity donation instead of gifts, this is perfectly reasonable.

2. Sending the email to everyone, not just those who have asked what they would like - a bit cheeky, they should have restricted it to those who had asked.

BarbarianMum Fri 20-Nov-15 12:20:12

They aren't dictating, they're suggesting. And yes, they were a bit preemptive with their email but you can ignore it.

squoosh Fri 20-Nov-15 12:23:36

I can imagine the tone may well be a bit self satisfied (and I'd probably roll my eyes at the suggestion an 8 year old would rather give to charity) but I completely understand why people might want to stem the tide of plastic toys flowing into their homes.

Fannini Fri 20-Nov-15 12:28:54

Ok, for those of you who think iabu

What do we do? Make an online donation and then print something off and stick it in the card? and refrain from making any sarcastic comments about how selfless the DC is grin

BarbarianMum Fri 20-Nov-15 12:33:43

You buy what you like, or make a donation if you want to. If challenged for bringing a present (now that would be rude) you smile and say you'd already bought it when the email arrived.

Fannini Fri 20-Nov-15 12:34:35

By the way, I completely understand if you don't want a bunch of plastic rubbish but I'm the kind of person who would have responded better to 'please don't buy gifts we are overflowing with stuff & Christmas is coming, we'd just like the pleasure of your company' or something along those lines. I think it was the slightly sanctimonious tone that has got up my nose!

PinkSparklyPussyCat Fri 20-Nov-15 12:38:30

I don't think you're being unreasonable and I would only do it if it was a charity I supported.

Twindroops Fri 20-Nov-15 12:40:33

My seven year old has asked that I send coats to Calais and will be donating some of his Christmas presents to charity to. His choice completely we donate small amounts to charity and he is familiar with the concept of taking bags to charity shops but giving a Christmas present or two away has come from him.

I don't think you need to print off proof of donations, I would just say something along the lines of "good idea, saves more plastic crap"

Fannini Fri 20-Nov-15 12:40:59

I don't think they would challenge it if we brought a present! I have met them once for about five minutes and they seemed perfectly polite people in the flesh!

I might buy him a little thing (bloody minded) and wrap the donation thing up. I don't like giving cash either (God, I'm a fussy mare) unless I know the child is saving up for something or another because it seems a bit thoughtless on our part!

I think you've changed my mind Mumsnet. I will do as they have requested but I will still get him something - even if it's a packet of felt tips or a bar of chocolate.

whois Fri 20-Nov-15 12:43:01

Not rude if the BD person asks for it - and they gave you a total choice of what charity rather than specifying.

It is rude, however, to donate to charity when the B person hasn't given any indication thats what they wanted! Oh great... aunty Jill has donated a goat for my birthday.

KoalaDownUnder Fri 20-Nov-15 12:48:47

I agree with you, OP, although most won't.

Rude to make any requests of your guests re: presents without being asked.

Caboodle Fri 20-Nov-15 12:51:18

The adults' tone/perceived smugness is not the child's fault, nor do you actually know the reasons for the charity suggestion.
You seem a little fussy yes....not a donation nor cash? I would give a gift that is wanted not one I wanted to send ifswim.
I'd donate.

jorahmormont Fri 20-Nov-15 13:01:42

I'd be annoyed by the parent smugness but think it quite cute that the DC have chosen to donate to charity instead. However giving to charity is a very personal decision so if I didn't like/agree with any of the charities requested I wouldn't donate and would be relieved to have saved money

TheHiphopopotamus Fri 20-Nov-15 13:14:18

I don't think you are being unreasonable OP.

I have to say (and I know it's been done to death on here) that unless you asked them what to get, they can't dictate what you get him.

And I'm sorry but I don't believe an 8 year old asked for donations to charity without a lot of parental input.

I'd get him a gift or stick the money in a card.

Fannini Fri 20-Nov-15 13:21:30

I didn't say or suggest it was the child's fault!

I was joking when I said I was fussy. I'm not fussy, I just like it how I like it grin

Anyway, I don't want to get into what I would or would not do in every situation that calls for a gift or we'll be here all day. I sometimes give cash, I sometimes give presents. I never give nothing.

On reflection I think that this is a case of (for reasons unknown) the DC and his parents trying to do something nice, so I should probably just go with it even if I don't think it's the done thing and don't like it.

I therefore need to shrug off my ideas about protocol and just give the donation. I don't object to the charities they mentioned so I guess it's not a big deal. I don't think they've meant it to be a big deal.

The reason I want to tell him we've done it is because if the child has given up presents he may have otherwise received, I want him to have some kind of joy on his birthday in lieu of the joy of presents, so he may as well be able to say 'I've raised ££ for my charities!' and take some pleasure from that.

Actually, they did say it could be a charity of my choice..maybe I will go for the goat option...wink

PrussianPrue Fri 20-Nov-15 13:28:45


This is such a nightmare. I wanted to do exactly this - but more along the lines of: "we've got loads of toys less so since the puppy ate them all so please pop the money in your favourite charity or spend it on yourselves" but I just couldn't think of a way of saying it without sounding like a sanctimonious arse and judgemental of all the parents who don't do this. I'm not at all judegemental of sanctimonious I hope, but we live in a tiny house and literally run out of space.

So I think If you've met them and they've seemed ok then YABU, it's hard to phrase that request but the thought is kind to both you and the charities (saves you time thinking what to buy and looking for t as you can do it online) and of course, its not compulsory.

Fannini Fri 20-Nov-15 13:29:13

I am sceptical about an 8 yo doing this without some pushing too tbh, but you never know - just because it absolutely definitely wouldn't happen in this house in a months of Sundays, doesn't mean it couldn't happen!

Each to their own. I say 'Up with Birthdays' if not 'Up with plastic!'...I could have got him a nice book...or something made from wood....<mopes off bemoaning lack of fun and everything being too serious too soon, and possible use of birthday parties to make political / parenting statements..>

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