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Birthday present etiquette - is DH BU?

(36 Posts)
EmGee Tue 19-Jan-16 09:43:58

Birthday invite for the weekend. I know neither the child nor the parents so texted to ask what sort of gift would be appreciated. A nicely worded response suggested a contribution to a DS. I thought it was quite a good idea to ask for a contribution to a pricey present rather than buy something the child won't like or play with. DH was appalled and thought it was grabby and he would never ask parents (especially ones he didn't know) to contribute to a present.

I think he's being a bit unreasonable. It actually makes perfect sense to me - what's the point in ending up with fifteen presents your child may or not play with as opposed to putting the money towards a wanted gift. That said, I haven't ever dared make this suggestion to parents myself when asked what gift my child would like! Family or close friends yes, but not ones I don't know.....

canyou Tue 19-Jan-16 09:47:17

My DC school rule is €5 in a birthday card for parties. It is great no plastic tat or unsuitable presents and DC get to put it towards something they want or save it. I think it is a great idea

Hihohoho1 Tue 19-Jan-16 09:48:42

How was that grabby?

You asked and they answered.

Perfectly sensible

Here's a grip for your dh grin

TheCatsMeow Tue 19-Jan-16 09:49:54

Your DH is being silly, it's not U

Scoopmuckdizzy Tue 19-Jan-16 09:52:52

Surely that's easier for you to organise as well?

minipie Tue 19-Jan-16 09:53:15

I think it would have been grabby if they'd asked on the invitation!

But not in response to you asking what would be liked.

budgiegirl Tue 19-Jan-16 10:01:44

I think that's fine, but only because you asked. A bit of money in the birthday card suits most kids anyway, one they are primary age and above. I usually attach it to a £1 bar of chocolate as well, mostly so it doesn't get lost in the pile of presents.

DisappointedOne Tue 19-Jan-16 10:05:28

I would LOVE that arrangement! £5 in the card, job done.

sandythesquirrel Tue 19-Jan-16 10:05:52

It all depends on how they said it.
Did they just say, DS would prefer cash. Or did they ask you to give money to them for a present? I didn't quite understand.

I have told parents who asked that DS has so many things that they needn't bother with a present at all and if they insist, I just say cash or voucher is appreciated and it doesn't need to be much. The point of a birthday party is their presence not presents.

If a parent asked me to give them money to contribute to 'their' present - I would be totally appalled. That is shameless.

I always give £10 in a birthday card for kids we don't know well. That seems to be the norm where we are.

AppleSetsSail Tue 19-Jan-16 10:07:41

My DC school rule is €5 in a birthday card for parties.

How is this enforced? confused

Personally I'd never ask for cash in a million years so I tend to agree with your husband, but since you asked I expect that strictly speaking she's in the right.

squeaver Tue 19-Jan-16 10:11:39

Are you married to Myleene Klass??

BarbaraofSeville Tue 19-Jan-16 10:21:27

I agree with you OP, but most people on here seem to think that cash is inappropriate and they may as well be charging an entry fee to the party.

They don't seem to appreciate that not everyone has the time and energy to seek out a carefully chosen gift within budget, that the birthday child might not like or already have anyway.

WorraLiberty Tue 19-Jan-16 10:23:48

I think your DH would have a point if they'd put 'Cash only' on the invite.

But you asked and got an honest answer, so I can't see his problem.

AutumnLeavesArePretty Tue 19-Jan-16 10:26:05

I agree with your husband, unless really close family its tacky and grabby to ask for cash. From a relative stranger, you'd ask for a token gift or a general item like crafts as everyone budgets differently for presents.

Cash is virtually an entry fee to the event. If they want their child to have a DS for his birthday then they should fund it.

BlueMoonRising Tue 19-Jan-16 10:27:58

How can a school 'rule' on what one child gives another for their birthday? How bizarre.

canyou Tue 19-Jan-16 10:29:43

Apple it was agreed at some point before my DC started at the school. No one 'enforces' it it is just done tbh. I am sure if someone objected and gave a gift that would be fine as well. At no point is it said you must give money, But this is cheaper and easier as there is no way giving a gift would be cheaper. Last year I spent €55 on all school friend parties. My DSis spent €120.

Avebury Tue 19-Jan-16 10:34:16

I understand that cash suits parents better but I do think it's sad for the children not getting that excitement of a pile of differently shaped colourful gifts to unwrap.
I like my children to have some input into gifts for their friends and think about their interests etc. For my boys in particular I hope this is teaching then how to buy decent gifts for their future wives!

SheHasAWildHeart Tue 19-Jan-16 10:34:49

See I'd rather give money towards a present that the child wants. I hate running around trying to find a present for a child I don't know and DD7 just reels off a list of things that she wants. And I'd prefer money towards something DD wants when it's her birthday than lots more of stuff that she's already got.

IndridCold Tue 19-Jan-16 10:35:20

I assume your DH hasn't received a wedding invitation recently!

BaronessBomburst Tue 19-Jan-16 10:36:05

SandytheSquirrel I read it as the parents asked for a cash contribution towards buying a Nintendo DS. Not for their DS.

Floggingmolly Tue 19-Jan-16 10:37:46

It absolutely makes sense to ask for contributions to a bigger present. But there's no way I'd do it, personally... Not everything that's strictly logical is necessarily ok.

AlwaysHopeful1 Tue 19-Jan-16 10:40:46

I'm with your Dh sorry. I think only if it's very close family and friends do you ask for a contribution. Very tacky otherwise to say contribute to a gift. Also how much do you give in that case.

stumblymonkey Tue 19-Jan-16 10:41:14

It would be a bit unreasonable if they asked for a contribution right off the bat but since you asked I think it's perfectly reasonable.

molyholy Tue 19-Jan-16 10:41:56

Nothing wrong with this whatsoever imo. Saves you buying a child you don't know, something they are not in to that will not get played with and will just make parents think 'where the hell am I going to put this'.

If it is explained to the child that if they get money, it will go towards x present that they reall really want, I am sure they would be fine with it.

BackInTheRealWorld Tue 19-Jan-16 10:43:26

When kids are little I buy them presents. When kids are older I give them cash. it seems to work ok.

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