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To ask for £1 instead of a present

(32 Posts)
Piccalino3 Mon 20-Jan-20 22:43:15

My son is about to have a whole class party in a few weeks and I'm dreading the piles and piles of presents that will be coming through the door.

I don't want to sound ungrateful and I also know that if I ask for no presents people will bring them anyway. I don't want anyone to feel bad that they didn't bring a present (as asked) but I also don't want so much stuff. Our kids are very lucky to have lots of nice toys and the more they have the less they seem to play with. I don't want people to waste their money and effort. I don't want to have to haul a load of things to the already full charity shops, all of which will end up in landfill in a year or so. It all seems so utterly pointless and the wrong thing to be teaching my children.

So, would I be unreasonable to ask for £1 in a card if guests have not yet bought a presents and would like to? That way he can buy something in a few months and choose something he wants, no waste, minimal expense and effort for parents. Would
It be crass? Ungrateful? If not unreasonable how can I word it without looking like an idiot?

Louise91417 Mon 20-Jan-20 22:46:24

For my dd birthday once i requested no presents but donations made to a specific worked well...taught my dd about charity and parents could pick an amount to donate at their own discretionwink

doodlejump1980 Mon 20-Jan-20 22:46:50

Sounds like a brilliant idea!

pollydolly123 Mon 20-Jan-20 22:51:26

Sounds like a great idea but I don't think people would actually give £1! people will probably feel obliged to give more and then resent it! Honestly I don't think you can win in these situations without offending someone so I would probably just not mention it and graciously accept what people give. You can sift out the tat and regift or charity shop it after!

oatmilk4breakfast Mon 20-Jan-20 22:52:08

There is a charity called Just One Tree. on the invitation ask everyone to bring £1 = 1 tree. Sorted! smile

RickOShay Mon 20-Jan-20 22:52:42

Really good idea. Saves a lot of hassle all round.

Foxes157 Mon 20-Jan-20 22:53:09

I'm happy with that, it saves me driving to the shops, second guessing what someone will like and frankly most things under a fiver are landfill fodder

I stick a fiver in a card, the way I see it it's win win and if someone moans they are ungrateful.

SageRosemary Mon 20-Jan-20 22:55:20

If my DC was invited to your party I would be thrilled to be asked for £1. I have done similar invitations in the past because the thought of bin bag loads of pink/blue plastic coming into my house literally fills me with terror. It's so bad for the environment.

Joey has all the toys he needs, and more! There is no need to bring a present to the party, your presence will be gift enough, but if you wish to make a little card yourself and pop in a £1 coin (no more), then he can save his birthday money for a fun day out or a Summer toy. Or, Joey loves to read and would love a book token for £1 (no more) and will have fun choosing some Summer reading.

OwlinaTree Mon 20-Jan-20 22:56:41

Does your son want the piles of gifts though? How old is is he? If he's seen big piles of gifts at other children's parties might he feel a bit disappointed he's just got money? Depends how old he is I suppose. I'm not sure about just deciding for other people that they don't want presents.

LittleLongDog Mon 20-Jan-20 22:57:58

I used to love getting a coin taped to a card. Your DC can have fun collecting all the pound coins. I think it’s a great idea! In all honestly though I’d probably do a card with £1 and some kind of flat chocolate/sweets/collectible cards inside.

AlpacaGoodnight Mon 20-Jan-20 23:00:41

@OwlinaTree sums upy thoughts too, this would make all the difference. It's your son's party so you want him to be happy and it depends on his age/expectations etc

Piccalino3 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:04:05

@OwlinaTree he's going to be 6. We had a huge class party last year too and 3 black bin bags of presents just from the party. It took weeks to open, which although fun for him, was a bit ridiculous. We had a few nice things that he enjoyed playing with and lots of duplicates or things we already had that were either regifted or charity shopped. It was such a waste in every sense of the word.

I'm sure he would like the piles of presents again but I did ask him if he would be ok with people putting a coin in his card instead so he could go to the shop and choose something later. He seemed on board with it. Of course I don't want to upset him but he will be getting lots of presents from us, friends outside school and some family too.

I thought about the charity donations and while I would really like that I think people will end up donating to charity as well as giving a present which is really not what I want at all! I'm sure this really shouldn't be so hard!

MoaningMinniee Mon 20-Jan-20 23:05:43

Do it. I'm still occasionally finding odd bits of plastic tat from the Small Child days stuck under skirting boards etc. Minnie-minuses are now both 21 and finishing their undergraduate years. I utterly loved the one parent who did ask for no presents just our presence and if we really wanted to give something a donation to Save The Children would do. Minnie-minuses thoroughly loved the party and didn't notice that there weren't any cocktail sausages in the buffet.

OwlinaTree Mon 20-Jan-20 23:07:40

Sounds like you've discussed it with him then op, if he's ok with it then go for it.

MintyMabel Mon 20-Jan-20 23:08:43

For my dd birthday once i requested no presents but donations made to a specific worked well

I did a similar thing, asked them to bring backpacks for Mary’s Meals. She was more excited about the 16 backpacks that meant 16 kids could go to school than she was about any other gift she got.

Piccalino3 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:09:04

@SageRosemary, great wording and just what I was trying to get across. Thank you!

Foxes157 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:12:05

Minnie that made me laugh, the cubs have stuffed things behind our radiators etc A toy story soldier was last week's offering.

The cubs are all in their teens and the eldest is nearly in her 20s

PurpleSproutingSomething Mon 20-Jan-20 23:15:35

@MintyMabel that's wonderful. MM is one of my most loved charities.

Mummy0ftwo12 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:17:56

kids expects presents, they see all their class mates getting presents on their birthdays - and you don't have to bin them for landfill - in a few months you can pass them onto local playgroups/church groups / shelters - give them away to people on FB that can't afford to buy much for themselves - isn't that better than insisting on money?

Chocolate1984 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:38:58

A few years ago we received an invitation that asked for no gifts, but instead could each child draw a special memory for the birthday girl. The mum had included a small bit of cardboard to draw on and an envelope for the drawing.

justasking111 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:40:51

As a gift giver I always put money in with the card. The child can then decide what to do with it.

Piccalino3 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:43:44

@Mummy0ftwo12 I don't know and I suppose that's my problem.

They do expect presents and part of the excitement is the huge bags of presents. I totally get that and I don't want to ruin it for him either. I do also have 2 younger children so will do 2 class parties for them and will have to follow suit in the future to make it fair.

I do pass lots of things on to local mum groups, a women's refuge, charity shops but lots of stuff is just little bits that can't be passed on after being used for a few months, for example rock painting, kinetic sand, play doh, little bits of things go missing in the meantime, there's a lot of waste. Charity shops where I live have so many toys they aren't accepting them.

I don't know. I don't want to be 'that parent' as no one yet has suggested anything different to the usual present set up, I just don't want the waste and I don't have room for another 40-50 presents (taking into account those from us, other friends and family). Think I'll speak to DS again tomorrow and mull it over.

Piccalino3 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:46:32

@Chocolate1984 that's a great idea! Possibly a bit late in the day for me now but something I'd consider in the future, although getting my child to do something like that can be harder than going to the shop, purchasing and wrapping!

DollyDoneMore Mon 20-Jan-20 23:48:24

Ask for £5.

£1 sounds pretty mean. People will feel obliged to give more.

bank100 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:53:34

I almost always do the £5 in a card thing. If I don't know the child it is tricky to know what to get & it takes up time / energy thinking about it. Plus usually comes to more than a fiver.

I often feel a tad guilty giving just a small note so I would really appreciate a parent saying that cash is ok. And £1... even better

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