The “no gifts, please” trend

There is a new trend of kids birthday that requires “no gifts, please” on the invitation. My son has been invited to some parties like that and his own little impromptu party this year I told people we didn’t want gifts. I didn’t see this last year, but this year I’ve been seeing a lot of parties like this and I am liking a lot, too.

Let me explain better. I’m originally from Brazil, and parties there are a BIG thing, especially kids’ parties. There is a whole market for it and some people spend all their savings to throw the biggest one (and two, three, four…) year old party ever. It’s bigger than a wedding sometimes. I’m not judging – maybe I am a tiny bit – I’m just pointing out that they go out of their way to throw a party for a kid that is more focused of adults then the kids. Living in the US, I’ve never seen huge parties like that. Kids parties are for kids, with proper food for them and when I have a little party, I try to think of the adults too and have some food and drinks for everyone. I’ve done it, I’ve been invited to many of parties like this, and I can guarantee everyone has fun.

The fact that a lot of people are saying “no gifts, please” now is a new thing and I like because the message this has it. Parties shouldn’t be about getting gifts and we don’t want to raise our children thinking they get a birthday party just to get gifts. Birthday parties should be about getting people who loves you to come together to celebrate you, nothing else. I’m not against gifts at all, but I think teaching the kids not to expect any gift it’s a wonderful thing. Usually kids get invited to so many parties, sometimes more than one on the same weekend, and buying lots of gifts adds up.

And let me tell you one more thing. No matter how much you say “no gifts, please,” people are still going to show up with a little something for your kid, I can guarantee. And that’s fine too. As long as they are doing just because they want and because they love you and your kid, not because they have to. It’s a nice gesture to give a gift, but it’s a greater gesture not to require one.

So what’s the etiquette if you are invited to a party that says “no gifts?”

No matter what, you should definitely bring a card. That’s something thoughtful and polite to do. Since we’ve been invited to many parties like this and Dylan is into coloring, we’ve been making cards at home or I buy one and let him decorate. It’s always very colorful and full of stickers. If you still want to give a gift, go small! A little book, for example, it’s always a nice thing. But other than that, don’t feel bad if you don’t bring a gift. If the host said on the invitation “no gifts, please” it’s because they meant it and they just really want your presence at the party!

So what do you think? Have you done or been invited to a kids party that said “no gifts, please” on the invitation?


4 Replies to “The “no gifts, please” trend”

  1. I’d love to see this trend take off. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to really experience it and well… with four kids of varying ages, it gets expensive quickly when they are being invited to this party or that party. But I feel I need to send my kids with a gift to these parties because it seems like proper etiquette. I’m also 100% sure that the birthday parents are dreading getting more “junk” that will be forgotten about in a week.

    We actually cut our kids off from parties at 9 and from there on out we take them and a few of their friends someplace they really want to go (The Cat Cafe, rock climbing, New York, etc…), that way its easier for everyone and they have good memories of going places with their friends for their birthday.

  2. Heyyy! I feel (felt) like such a hypocrite saying “no gifts” to our friends because guess what? I never respect it myself and usually bring “just a book”. So I wanted until the party reminder a few days before and did it: no gifts please! I knew many would have bought a gift already or would bring one anyway but it felt nice to think of the parents who were gonna run to a shop Saturday morning or rush order on amazon. We meant to give them no more stress than being in a room with a million kiddos would inevitably bring anyway! Hehe


    1. Yes, I think it’s a nice thing to say on the invitation! And if anyone bring something, fine! And if they don’t, fine too. But overall, I like the idea to teach the kids that parties it’s not about the the present and I think this sends the message. Most the kids parties we’ve been invited this year said that on the invitation and I really appreciate.

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