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present free parties

(11 Posts)
jolisa68 Fri 05-Nov-10 08:15:51

I am putting on a party for my 4 year old daughter at our village hall, and am inviting around 20 children, some well known to us, some not (playgroup friends)
The dilemma I have is how to ask people NOT to give presents for the birthday girl. We appreciate that people have less money this year and as we have a small house, there's no room for storage. I've thought about supporting a children's charity if people feel a need to contribute, but don't know how to word the invitations.
I don't want to offend anyone - is that possible!?
ANY ADVICE PLEASE!!!!

thanks

Dexterrocks Fri 05-Nov-10 14:02:46

We held a present free party for our daughter's 5th Birthday Party. We invited the party guests to sign or draw a picture on the wrapping of one gift which we had provided and wrapped and to make a donation, if they wanted, to the NSPCC. We provided a jar for the donations but we didn't push the matter as we felt it should be entirely voluntary.
We received a mixed response to the plan to be honest. Close friends insisted on giving a gift but just did it privately, at the house. Some people whole heartedly supported the idea and gave the full amount they would have used for a gift to the charity instead. Some gave to the charity but not as generously as they would have to my daughter and some brought neither a present or a donation.
In the end we raised £60, my daughter still felt she had received a gift from her friends but not a ridiculous amount, and we all enjoyed the party.
My daughter is now 9 and we have not done the same again for either her or her younger brother, despite having had a few more big parties. My main reason for this was that so many people found me very strange for thinking they receive too much. I know I should stick to my guns but it is a small village and we don't want the kids to be ostracised for the views of their mother!!
I am not sure how much this helps you but this was our experience.

Hulababy Fri 05-Nov-10 14:10:21

I am not keen, sorry.

I just like my charity givin to be done between me and the chosen charities - not something I have to be seen doing, nor having to donate to a specific charity chosen for me, even if that is a charity would normally support anyway.

Also - what's wrong with children getting some presents on their birthday. It doesn't last long and IME the vast majority of little children long recieving gifts - even mre so if some plastic "tat!"

Another point to make is that I like to give, and more importantly, my DD loves to go and chose a gift for her friends.

Most people would also assume that this is the idea of the parent and not the idea of the child having the party.

I'd end up donating and then sending a small gift anyway.

But it is up to you. It is not an unknown idea. Some people do it and it works ok.

Are you havung a theme to your party? Was thinking - to avoid the plastic tat issue - you could have a fairy tale theme or similar and then suggest "your favourite book" as a gift idea.

cupofcoffee Sat 06-Nov-10 09:50:15

I have thought about this issue before because we do tend to do large/whole class invited party for ds1 but I am aware that some in the class would perhaps struggle to afford a present. I am concerned that some children don't come for the sole reason that the parents have an issue with getting a present sad.

I've nothing against ds getting presents and he loves a bit of plastic tat smile but I would like to say in some way that a present is not needed to attend the party. Of course if someone was to say they can attend but not get a present I would tell them that is fine but nobody is going to approach to say that are they? I have not come up with a good way to get the message across without worrying that it will somehow offend someone so I have just left it.

jolisa68 Mon 08-Nov-10 11:00:27

thanks so much for your ideas and wealth of experience....
I have spoken to several friends in the interim and have found similar attitudes towards my rather 'odd' idea. i guess that it is my idea and not E's.
I will give more thought to having a themed party - I like the idea of 'my favourite book' gift idea.

fivecandles Tue 09-Nov-10 21:30:39

We did it once for both dcs. Set up a page on Just Giving www.justgiving.com/ for a children's charity so that children in real need would benefit from people's generosity rather than my dcs who really don't need anything and included the link on the invitations. Just wrote at the end of the party details, we would love it if you could donate to this charity instead of a present.

As my dcs have a large family they still got loads of presents but not quite as much misguided tat.

jolisa68 Thu 11-Nov-10 08:35:20

thanks five candles! that's a good idea!

Simic Thu 11-Nov-10 10:34:08

I wondered about a "recycled present challenge"... with a note on the invitation:

RECYCLED PRESENT ZONE - NO BOUGHT PRESENTS PLEASE!
If you would like to bring me a birthday present, I would like you to bring a recycled present: can you make something yourself with paper, colouring paper and sticky tape or is there something small which you don't play with any more which I would love as a RECYCLED birthday present?
Thank you!

But I think I would only do this with children whose parents I know well and wouldn't balk at this!

Simic Thu 11-Nov-10 10:36:08

sorry that should have read "colouring pencils"!

moajab Sun 14-Nov-10 19:07:12

My son was invited to a no present party last year and to be honest I found it very awkward and would have much preferred to have bought the boy a present. Also felt bad when inviting him to my sons birthday as my son would have killed me if I'd said no presents! But part of the awkwardness was not knowing what to do. i probaby wouldn't have minded if I'd been asked to donate to charity instead!

cat64 Sun 14-Nov-10 19:22:47

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