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AIBU to have a no gift policy for my DC's third birthday?

235 replies

dillydally24 · 07/06/2022 09:23

Just that really. My DC is having a third birthday party which 25 other children will attend. Is it ok to ask that no gifts be given by the other children? My DC will be given a couple of significant presents by me and my DH. I find the flood of gifts for birthdays and Xmas these days completely overwhelming and I don't want it to become the norm for my DC. We already have so much.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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Mouldyfeet · 07/06/2022 09:24

I think that would make your child feel very sad tbh. It really isn't about you.

Mally100 · 07/06/2022 09:26

Why can't you keep a few and donat the rest. Stating no gifts comes across a bit 🙄.

dillydally24 · 07/06/2022 09:27

I don't think he will feel hard done by given the presents he will receive from me and my DH, but maybe that's wrong. It just doesn't sit right with me. We don't need loads more stuff. He will be delighted with the 2 presents my DH and I have bought for him.

OP posts:
Lazypuppy · 07/06/2022 09:27

Its not about you but your child, how will they feel when all their other friends get presents on their birthdays? What about whrn they are invited to other parties and you take a present and he'll wonder why he didn't get any?

Just blitz through the gifts you do get, give a few away he won't notice at that age and keep some good ones. Most will probably be colouring etc.

AllPlayedOut · 07/06/2022 09:30

I think it's mean and will make people feel uncomfortable. Are you planning on doing this for every birthday? I don't think that's feasible. Let him enjoy his birthday and the gifts.

SleepingStandingUp · 07/06/2022 09:30

I think part of the magic of parties and birthdays at that age is having a little pile of presents to open, not just two carefully chosen gifts from Mom. I'm sure he WILL love the gifts you've brought, but he'll also love the book Tommy got him and the jigsaw Jules hot him etc.

He'll soon be at an age to realise he takes a present to parties but no one buys him back. Do they not like him? Do they need other people to buy them things because they're poor? Etc

dillydally24 · 07/06/2022 09:30

Mally100 · 07/06/2022 09:26

Why can't you keep a few and donat the rest. Stating no gifts comes across a bit 🙄.

That's not a bad idea. I'd have to donate a bit further from home as I wouldn't want the parents to see them in the local charity shop.

OP posts:
Tamarin456 · 07/06/2022 09:31

Yabu! It’s part of the fun. You could let him unwrap them but sneak a few away for charity?

SleepingStandingUp · 07/06/2022 09:32

And you haven't got to keep everything or have it immediately for use. Books just go on the bookshelf, you can't have too many. Colouring stuff just put away and use one at a time. Saves you buying a new colouring book or crayons so soon. Same with art stuff. Jigsaw puzzles, games, toys - if they're decent again you just rotate it into his toy stash and if it's doesn't fit your aesthetic for his early years development you donate it.

loafandleaf · 07/06/2022 09:35

I don't see a problem with that to be honest! I'd ask the same, it's not as if there won't be any gifts whatsoever just not from friends.
Them attending the party would be the gift I guess

JudgeRindersMinder · 07/06/2022 09:36

The other side of this is how excited children are to give a gift, it’s not actually all about the receiving

Needmorelego · 07/06/2022 09:37

I personally wouldn't have such a large party for a 3 year old. They don't need it at that age. It's just noise, chaos and usually ends up with tears.

minuette1 · 07/06/2022 09:39

I think it would be quite mean, and would probably make people feel a bit awkward turning up empty-handed. We just did a whole class party for 4 year olds and got a ridiculous amount of presents. We let DC open one per day, and this was really fun for them. We are keeping some, donating some and regifting others (got a few duplicate presents).

EveryName · 07/06/2022 09:40

I tried this once with friends I knew well and its didn't work.
It ended up that some people still bought presents and others didn't.
It was confusing and I worried that people might have felt awkward.
The Mums were all people that knew me well and who would have known I didn't ask for no presents for the wrong reasons.

A lot of kids lik to bring presents too.

I had four kids and was making an international move soon and didn't want extra 'stuff'.

Proudboomer · 07/06/2022 09:40

dillydally24 · 07/06/2022 09:30

That's not a bad idea. I'd have to donate a bit further from home as I wouldn't want the parents to see them in the local charity shop.

But if your child is given a gift it is not yours to give away. If he already has a lot of stuff then go though what he has with him and see if he wants to donate some he no longer plays with.

Mally100 · 07/06/2022 09:43

Donating is a great idea. We did this for ds 2nd birthday. He received so much, and some were duplicated as well. There was a children's home near us, and they were absolutely thrilled to receive the items. I sent in a few trays of cupcakes as well and the little ones were so happy. I agree with you that there's just too much stuff, so give away whatever is excess and it will always be appreciated somewhere.

InDubiousBattle · 07/06/2022 09:45

YABU kids love giving and receiving little gifts. They don't tend to get massive toys etc at this age, usually books, craft things, smaller bits and pieces so don't take up huge amounts of space. On the rare occasion we've had an invitation with 'no gifts' on it feels a bit mean for the birthday child and parents don't really know what to do. It's a social norm to bring something to a party so feels rude to turn up empty handed so half of the dc bring a present anyway and those that adhere to the no gift policy then feel rotten!

Justjoinedforthis · 07/06/2022 09:47

I think for 2nd and 3rd birthdays its fine to say no gifts, 3 is still tiny, they won’t know much different. I recently went to a 3rd bday which was no gifts, I was so relieved! Also I think no gifts means you don’t need to do party bags. Just cake, games, good times. This weird charade of receiving a present, saying thank you, giving it to someone else, they say thank you and donate to charity…what’s the point at this age.

PeekAtYou · 07/06/2022 09:50

If you don't want lots of gifts then have a smaller celebration next time.

NerrSnerr · 07/06/2022 09:50

Mine love choosing a present for friends. My children have also received gifts they've loved at parties, stuff that we wouldn't have considered buying for them.

Guests will also feel uncomfortable turning up without a gift.

Youseethethingis1 · 07/06/2022 09:50

I feel you. We aren't having a party for DS 3rd Birthday this year as I'm due DC3 the month after and I can well do without the torrent of Stuff entering my house at a time when I'm trying my best to sort things out.
I actually broke down in tears at the amount of stuff he got over Christmas, mostly from BIL and MIL as they are a "More is More and More is Love" type family. My family got him presents too if course, nothing like the same scale, but they've said they will cut back again as they saw how stressed out I was.
We were tripping over things, moving stuff from one place to another in circles out of the fucking way, still haven't uncovered the conservatory which is so full that DS can't even play in it anyway with all his great big toys in the way 😭
When we go to parties, birthday child gets a custom t shirt made by DHs cousins small business and a book. Usually matching the theme of the party as that will be what the child is into so can't go wrong. Small, useful, thoughtful, not bulky shite that's more of a burden than a gift is what I aim for.

Fupoffyagrasshole · 07/06/2022 10:00

I do always request no gifts! Our flat is absolutely stuffed!!! People don’t listen of course and give us something usually. Last time I asked for people to donate to the local food bank If they really wanted to do something!

all this gift giving is just pet of why the planet is so fucked all the plastic shite being purchased to give on birthdays and Christmas.

my family and close friends only ever get us useful things - like experiences, things we actually need (sometimes that is a particular toy)

when we have a party for my child though we go small! Only a very small amount of friends and then mostly family.

the more people who come the more likely you are setting yourself up for gifts even if you don’t want any.

Viviennemary · 07/06/2022 10:02

I think stating to guests that no gifts are wanted at a child's party is quite rude.

Spanglemum · 07/06/2022 10:03

That's a big party! Good luck OP. I think saying 'no gifts' could send a message that you are a but fussy about what your child plays with.

Could you say something like 'don't feel you have to get X a present but if you would like to they really likecolouring/painting/jigsaws/playdoh'.

Ruffelo · 07/06/2022 10:11

You can certainly say no gifts please (and many parents will thank you for it!). Kids enjoy a party. Lots of stuff is overwhelming for adults, imagine what it's like for a child!

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