Our recent birthday party invitations highlight a new trend of kids’ birthday parties requesting “no gifts, please”. My son has been invited to some parties like that, and at 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. I like it a lot, too.
Kids’ parties are about celebrating kids
Let me explain better. I’m originally from Brazil, and parties there are a big thing — especially kids’ parties. They have 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. Some parties are bigger than a wedding! I’m not judging — well, maybe a tiny bit. I’m just pointing out that they go out of their way to throw a party for a kid that focuses more on the 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.
Celebrating without gifts focuses on the experience of the party
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. 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 love 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 can be a wonderful thing. Usually kids get invited to so many parties, sometimes more than one on the same weekend. 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 child. And that’s fine, too. They bring a gift because they want to, and because they love your family — not because they have to.
Etiquette if you are invited to a party that says “no gifts”
No matter what, 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. I sometimes buy one and let him decorate. He creates very colorful cards full of stickers. If you still want to give a gift, go small! A little book, for example, shows kindness without being over the top. 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,” they meant it! They truly 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?
Fernanda Seelos contributed this post as a guest writer. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, 2 year old son, and two kittens. Originally from Brazil, Fernanda has lived here for over 11 years. She and her family love the on-the-go city life. They love to travel, especially with their toddler, which isn’t an easy task, but always fun. She enjoys sharing their lifestyle on social media, and you can see more from Fernanda on her blog and her Instagram.
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