No Gifts on a Birthday Party Invitation

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: Do you think it is rude to put "no gifts please" on a young child's birthday invitation?
    Yes : (16 votes)
    20 %
    No : (65 votes)
    80 %
  • Post # 31
    2679 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

    At 3-years-old, does he really need to invite his classmates (especially if he hasn’t been invited to any others)? I would keep it small and by default you will receive less gifts.

    Post # 32
    7609 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    onyx81 :  there is no reason to feel guilty for donating gifts after you received them. You can still appreciate it and thank them without holding on to it for a designated length of time. I’ve gotten rid of gifts the day after I’ve received them – that doesn’t mean I appreciate the gesture and thoughtfulness any less. If anything having some item that I don’t want or need would probably make me resentful in the long run! 

    Post # 33
    3038 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2008

    Ugh, I don’t consider them rude, per se, but requests like this make me soooo uncomfortable. 😣 It’s like do I break the social contract of birthdays to make the parents happy, even though most of the guests will bring gifts and I will look stingy? Or do I bring a present and risk upsetting the hostess? Usually I bring a fancy pop up card or one that can be turned into a standee or mask. 

    I had a crapton of toys growing up because I was the only grandchild in my family for 8 years, but I wasn’t spoiled because I was taught generosity and empathy. I still remember the excitement of welcoming my first cousin into the world. Because she was also a girl, I gave her all of my favorite baby toys and books, and when she was older, it was my great pleasure to use some of my summer job money to chip in for the Barbie Dream House she told me she desperately wanted. I think teaching your son to share his toys, give away things he’s not using anymore to younger relatives or charities, and of course buy thoughtful gifts for other children’s parties will go farther than trying to change parents’ behavior. 

    Post # 34
    217 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    The “no gifts” thing has been done a lot in my 3-yr-old’s class.  For exactly the reason you’re describing.  I don’t find it rude or ungrateful at all; most parents around here understand that the kids already have so many toys. 

    Anyway, one cute way I’ve seen is to go with the theme of the party.  For a superhero party, it said something about “Our superhero’s lair is full of [something superhero related].  Please no gifts”.  Which to me, meant that they don’t want more toys to take up space in their house.  So we brought a card with a $10 gift card to a place like Chic Fil A (somewhere kids like).

    For my son’s 3rd birthday, we also knew he didnt need a gift from each of his school friends.  I simply wrote “no gifts please”, and most people complied.  When we go to his friends’ parties, whether they say “no gifts” or not,  I usually have him make a card for the birthday kid with crayons, stickers, etc (which he loves), and he loves to give that to the friend and point out what all his drawings are. 

    Post # 35
    1246 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I didn’t read all the posts, but can you do something like a book swap instead? Each child brings a book and you do an anonymous swap? That way everyone gets to satisfy the “bring something” urge but you don’t end up with a ton of crap. And, yay books. 

    Post # 36
    2520 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    If an invite said ‘no gifts’ I’d take them at their word and be grateful.

    Post # 37
    2807 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    It’s not rude. It’s just a hard concept to get used to. I have always felt weird about not bringing a gift (even though when I tell people ‘no gifts’, I l know I mean it). I finally know all the other moms though. So now we talk and all promise to obey and not bring gifts! 

    Post # 38
    2021 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I wrote that in my sons 1st bday invitation, seemed fine, still got gifts tho 

    Post # 39
    1408 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Pinkpeep :  I think it is a lovely idea, but could easily become the mess others have described. In my early twenties I was invited to a relatives” small Christmas get together and was told no gifts would be exchanged. It was so different than what I was used to and I was afraid someone would have a gift for me without having one in return. So I came with small food gifts thinking that food would not be seen as a formal gift. I figured I’d leave them in my car. Not bringing them in right away would allow me to  see if anyone else had brought gifts. But the host’s son came out to the car, saw the gifts, carried them in for me, and handed them out. No one else had brought anything, and one person said with resentment ” I thought we weren’t exchanging gifts.” I learned, but I was quite embarrassed. So I think some people are so accustomed to a tradition that they will do what they have always done.


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