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To ask for no birthday presents for DS?

(42 Posts)
LongLiveTheChief Sun 26-Mar-17 05:03:51

My son is turning 5 next month and so is in reception at school. He's asked for a birthday party and would like to invite his whole class, 30 children.

We're happy with this so have booked a hall and a bouncy castle and will do food etc.

I'd really really like as many children as possible to attend but so many children are from single parent/low income families. I really want to remove the expense of a birthday party for them and ask that they don't bring a present, is this rude?

I also love the idea that their company on my DS's birthday is enough for him, that he doesn't need a £10 gift to be happy, does that make sense?

If all 30 children did attend, I'd also have to find room for 30 presents which is just silly, for there's only so much our Ikea storage furniture will hold!!! Xxx

picklemepopcorn Sun 26-Mar-17 05:26:47

That's tricky. Lovely idea but... He will miss out on the fun of receiving presents and will certainly see other children get them at his parties. Maybe specify something inexpensive, or mention 'token gifts only', or some other Similar wording?

IJustWantABrew Sun 26-Mar-17 05:50:11

If you don't feel you child needs 30 additional gifts just say to the parents that they don't 'need' to buy your son a gift but that he would love a birthday card and the pleasure of their company.
I can't imagine anyone having an issue with not buying something. May be worth speaking to parents and just reiterating this in case they don't read the invite.

fortheloveofcats Sun 26-Mar-17 06:37:15

Perhaps suggest they bring a book? One can never have too many books, I think.

iismum Sun 26-Mar-17 06:55:38

Lots of people in DC's school, including us, do no present parties. It's so wasteful to get 30 presents - no way will he play with them. Mine always seem to have loads from family and have never seemed to mind.

Canyousewcushions Sun 26-Mar-17 07:05:41

One of my friends auggested an anonymous box, wedding wishing well style, to which people could contubute as much or as little as they liked- and no one would know if they hadn't put anything in. They were going to explain it in the invite. (Possibly with a terrible poem, who knows!!l). Meant her DC could get something bigger that they really wanted rather than heaps of smaller value stuff they don't need. I was considering doing similar this year- dont know if she actually did it or not in the end!

amboinsainbos Sun 26-Mar-17 07:36:33

In light of them being low income I think a line on the invitation about "your presence is the present" is fine. DO NOT do an anonymous wishing well money grabbing exercise. This is a birthday, not charitable event.

elodie2000 Sun 26-Mar-17 07:43:28

No, don't do it! My DD especially loved wrapping up and giving the present! I think you'll find that the gifts given are small anyway. Sticker books, felt pens etc. Sometimes gift cards. People will bring presents anyway even if you create a rule!!

ForalltheSaints Sun 26-Mar-17 07:53:48

As long as close family are giving presents it seems perfectly sensible and considerate to the parents of the other children. it also avoids building up expectations for future birthdays.

Chocolatecake12 Sun 26-Mar-17 07:58:05

It's a very tricky one!
If people ask then you could say no gifts or just a sticker book etc. Lots of people do ask so that could cut it down a bit.

MarsInScorpio Sun 26-Mar-17 07:59:58

We did it when our children were younger and weren't missing out on the unwrapping aspect. They simply didn't need any more toys.

I think asking for a donation is terrible. It doesn't make the person coming feel any better or worse about not having the spare cash for a present.

I think that telling them (on the invitation) that no gift is expected is the best. Some will give presents anyway and those who can't afford it will either take you at your word or spend less.

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Sun 26-Mar-17 08:05:51

My children used to love the plastic junk presents. They also loved choosing them for their friends.

It'll only happen for one or two years - your son will soon move to smaller parties. Accept the presents with good grace, whilst inwardly wincing at the sheer plastic awfulness.

KoalaDownUnder Sun 26-Mar-17 08:06:24

Oh God, do not do a wishing well, as suggested upthread.

Crass beyond belief.

bumblingmum Sun 26-Mar-17 08:27:33

A friend of mine put a note in the invite to her dd's party that DD wanted to buy something from a particular shop and a small donation (£1) towards this would be appreciated. It went down well with parents and dd could buy something she wanted.

skerrywind Sun 26-Mar-17 08:33:54

Poor kid.

Runssometimes Sun 26-Mar-17 08:43:48

We did this for my son's fifth birthday. I talked it over with him first to make sure he was happy. I put "no gifts please, if your child wants to give something you can make a charity donation or give some money towards a big Lego set, but there's no obligation at all, we are really looking forward to seeing you" on the invite. Some people gave money and some didn't. Fine either way.

Several parents said they agreed with not having gifts - many admired to regifting gifts for birthdays anyway as they said they don't have time to individually shop for all the birthdays. And my son received enough money to buy a Lego set he really wanted which was more value than the individual presents would be. And I don't have more toys in our tiny house that I try to regift as they have never been played with. So a total win.

Minniemagoo Sun 26-Mar-17 08:44:00

My DS's class do something similar to Bumbling that has really caught on in the school. It's the '5 euro rule',
Along the lines of X would like all their friends to celebrate tgeir birthday with them. Presents are not expected but if you would like to put a donation, 5 euro max, in a card so X can buy one present from all his friends'.
I bloody love it and am very grateful to the brave mum who started it. DS loved going shopping after and boight a large lego set instead of loads of pieces of tat.
I have mentioned it on here before and some posters have hated the idea, reasons varying from 'but I already have a cupboard of bits I have bought', 'very crass to ask for money', 'I can but something very nice for less', 'the poor kid not having presents to open' etc but IRL it does work very well and all the kids get it.

Runssometimes Sun 26-Mar-17 08:44:28

Admitted - not admired.

Oly5 Sun 26-Mar-17 08:48:43

I think if you're inviting people to a party they should be able to bring a gift or no gift if they want!
Stipulating what guests can and cannot bring is offensive. Like people can't be trusted not to buy tat and so you have to tell them not to

MooMooTheFirst Sun 26-Mar-17 08:54:59

We've sometimes that for DS' first birthday which is soon. We live in a very small house and he doesn't want to play with toys (yet) he's happier with keys/spoons/empty bottles etc or climbing the stairs!

A lot of the people invited love far away and, if they come, will have to travel and find somewhere to stay, so we created a Facebook group for all those invited and said exactly that - the fact that they're coming is enough and he doesn't need presents. If you desperately want to buy him something then that's lovely, or we've just opened a savings account for him so you're welcome to give to that. So far we haven't had anyone think it was rude... most people have said it's a lovely thing to do! I was quite nervous about seeming grabby or odd though.

Porpoiselife Sun 26-Mar-17 09:06:01

It's a bit sad for your ds. At 5 they love getting presents. Plus most people wouldn't spend £10 if on low income . There's plenty of things you can buy a 5 year old for £5 and under. Just leave it up to the guests to choose if they buy a present of Not.

If you're worried about toy space go through his old toys with him and get donating any he no longer plays with.

Theyhaveallbeenused2 Sun 26-Mar-17 09:15:48

Why don't u ask for donations to a charity but express that it is optional.

Boooooom Sun 26-Mar-17 09:36:23

We had a 'no gift' wedding and birthday for ds when he was 2 and will do again for his 3rd birthday party this year. A few did bring gifts/vouchers/money but it let those who couldn't afford it/be arsed off the hook and meant we didn't have a load of 'stuff'. He doesn't go without...a few friends do the same now (also mutual agreements at xmas not to buy gifts) but it is met with mixed strong opinions. As is everything...

Canyousewcushions Sun 26-Mar-17 09:48:42

I think the cash thing depends on it is done- i was thinking more along the line of
"Your attendance is far more important than any gifts, please dont feel obliged to bring presents as DC already has a lot of stuff. If you would like to give something, however, he/she is desperate to save up for big lego set/barbie mansion/whatever and we'll have a box available if you would like to make a small (anonymous) contribtion towards it"

I hate the whole thing of buying plastic tat for presents for parties, so far a lot of what we've been given is stuff that takes up space without having much play value but as my DC appear to have hoarding tendencies it's hard to get rid of it again. It's a waste of money and terrible for the environment. I'd far rather be given the get out clause of giving a small amount of cash and contributing to something that the child really wants for other people's parties and i guess others may well feel the same about ours!

MyHairIsMyHair Sun 26-Mar-17 09:56:36

We tried adding a no need for presents note on the invitation for DD one year. It was roundly ignored.

I have since realised that there's a couple of reasons why it's not a good idea. Mainly because DD takes a gift to the parties of other children so it's a confusing message that we give a gift to others but you can't have them yourself.

Also, I have to admit it was me that didn't want 25 small gifts. I have yet to meet the child that wouldn't enjoy that!

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