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My friends are having a birthday party for their son's 3rd birthday tomorrow. They made it a facebook event, and on it said,
"Don't worry about presents, Zach's family will spoil him enough"

I take that to mean, don't bring gifts.

I know that they are going to be financially tight over the next year, and my impression is that they said that so that everyone doesn't show up with all kinds of gifts for Zach, thus causing them to feel obligated to buy for all our friends' kids' birthdays as they roll around..and there's about 20 kids in this group.

So far today, 4 of my girlfriends have mentioned that they need to run out and get a gift for Zach's party tomorrow...and when I brought up what they said about gifts, 3 of them said, " I can't go to a birthday party and not take a gift" and one said, "yah, but she probably didn't mean it!!"

So....curious to see what you guys think.
 

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Maybe the family that is spoiling the child is the extended family. Perhaps the parents are thinking that with prices rising like they are, that they thought some of the friends might be hurting financially.Therfore decided to put the no gift thing on the invite, not wanting to risk friends not coming because they couldn't afford a gift. When we do parties for our kids I ask for no gifts, instead I ask for donations. In October for daughter's birthday I ask for a toy for toys for tots, in July (other dd's b-day) school supplies for a local charity that gives them to low income children. I do this because people don't like to go to a party empty handed, but my kids really don't need more stuff. Extended family has them spoiled quite well. When my oldest was 3 she was quite sure the UPS man was Santa because of the amount of packages he delivered from Grandma.
 

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It could mean any number of things, but most likely it means that they don't want people to show up with presents...
 

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IME when I've had invitations for birthday parties asking for "no gifts", everyone has brought them anyway.

Either way you're fine etiquette-wise. It's now a matter of what you feel most comfortable doing :)
 

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I think birthday gifts for kids parties are a big waste of money and resources, 90% of them are toys they will never play with and then you have to turn around and buy their kids a bunch of junk that they'll never play with either. The amount of waste upsets me and I tell people all the time not to buy toys for my kids. Yes, I definitely 'mean it'.

If she said no gifts then friends should respect that and just bring a card. If they can't bear the thought of showing up empty handed then bring something small and consumable (ie. special decorated cookie from the bakery).
 

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I would honor their request. If the child was older I'd arrange a date in the future that would incude their child on some fun family outing.
 

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I always say it so that those who are hurting don't avoid the party just because they can't buy a gift.

Does not always work and I can tell the last minute odd excuses are due to finances.



And oddly enough people always bring gifts even when I tell them not to!
 

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We do this for our kids' parties. We put "No gifts, please" on all of the invitations and then make it a point to tell the parents our wishes.

Our kids are 15 and 13 and we have been doing this for many years. We would rather their friends show up and have a great time than stay away because their parents cannot afford a gift.

Just three weeks ago DS had his party at the paintball field. We went so far as to pick up each kid and bring them so the parents did not have to use their gas.

DS still got $425 in cash for his birthday just from our families. Keep in mind our kids still have all of their grandparents, two aunts, an uncle, and four sets of great grandparents. He by no means missed out on anythng by us asking his friends not to bring a gift. He and DD really have never complained about the no gift rule. They know they get more than enough from our families.

I think no gift parties are great. I honor the parents' request because I want them to honor mine in return.
 

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I wouldn't bring a gift.
 

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I take it to mean "bring no gift" and I think it's great! I wish more parents felt that way.
 

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That's a tough one for me, because I would want to bring a gift. I wish parents wouldn't throw bday parties if they don't want the kids to get gifts, why not just have a bbq or something for the kids just to get together. I'd probably still get something, a gc or an outfit, since things will be hard, and just give it to them after the party or something.
 

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I'd bring a birthday card, or if you have a nice picture of the kids together in a dollar store frame, have your little one paint the unfinished frame and decorate it. I've given and received these, and my kids love them. The parents whose kids received them have always enjoyed them as well. Once the novelty of the frame is doen, they can always take the picture out and place it in the child's scrapbook.
 

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I always did this for my kids parties. I did it for two reasons.
1. they have plenty and don't need more
2. I don't want their friends not coming to their parties just because they can't afford a gift....or worse yet, buying a gift they can't afford.

On a few occasions they have received cards with cash in them, but I never allowed them to open the cards at the party. A birthday party is meant to be a celebration with friends, no strings attatched. JMHO
 

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A card, yes, but I wouldn't bring a gift. I would honor the parents' request.
 

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I wish more people would do this, I say don't bring a gift, I waould take a card instead, he won't remember the gists but if they keep the card then he will be able to keep that.

I'm sure that they meant it when they said do'nt bring a gift and I think that it is refreshing!
 

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I like the idea of not having people bring gifts. We buy our children enough stuff. My children would enjoy the other kids just coming to their party and having fun with them. I think the gift thing is out of control.
 

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That's a tough one for me, because I would want to bring a gift. I wish parents wouldn't throw bday parties if they don't want the kids to get gifts, why not just have a bbq or something for the kids just to get together. I'd probably still get something, a gc or an outfit, since things will be hard, and just give it to them after the party or something.
I think the kids deserve a birthday party no matter what their parents decide about gifts. You get to have all your friends over for your special day, you get to have your favorite cake, and decorations based on your favorite hobbies/interests. Its a special day with or without gifts.

As for the OP, I wouldn't worry about why the parents have asked for no gifts, I'd just honor it. If others choose to bring gifts that is their choice and I wouldn't get involved with that either. I wouldn't get a card for a three year old either... they can't read it and it will end up in the trash. If you don't want to show up completely empty handed or are worried that you will be the only one to follow the "no gifts" request then call ahead and offer to help set up for the party, pick up some balloons, or help clean up after.
 

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I always did this for my kids parties. I did it for two reasons.
1. they have plenty and don't need more
2. I don't want their friends not coming to their parties just because they can't afford a gift....or worse yet, buying a gift they can't afford.

On a few occasions they have received cards with cash in them, but I never allowed them to open the cards at the party. A birthday party is meant to be a celebration with friends, no strings attatched. JMHO
I think the kids deserve a birthday party no matter what their parents decide about gifts. You get to have all your friends over for your special day, you get to have your favorite cake, and decorations based on your favorite hobbies/interests. Its a special day with or without gifts.

As for the OP, I wouldn't worry about why the parents have asked for no gifts, I'd just honor it. If others choose to bring gifts that is their choice and I wouldn't get involved with that either. I wouldn't get a card for a three year old either... they can't read it and it will end up in the trash. If you don't want to show up completely empty handed or are worried that you will be the only one to follow the "no gifts" request then call ahead and offer to help set up for the party, pick up some balloons, or help clean up after.
Two great posts, here. :) Shopping for birthday presents is always stressful for me because I'm not very good at it and there's been times when the money just wasn't in the budget. I don't like the idea of people stressing AT ALL before they come to our parties. I just want them to chill and have some fun. My kids love having people over, and I personally don't care for the whole gift opening thing. My kids are always reluctant to stop the play to open presents. :laugh:

When I say no gifts, I mean it.
 
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The way I would do it would be to find out what the boy is into as far as favorite characters go. Then I would bring a "modest gift" of that character t-shirt (under $10). I was juast looking at the ads in trhe papers and saw a light-up Transformers shirt in the 2t-4t sizes for $9. Not only will HE love it, but his mom can add it to his new school clothes. So they'll both thank you for it. and don't be surprised if you can hopefully find it, that it'll be the 'hit' of the party!! I think it was Penney's ad that I saw it in. You can even check by doing a search on jcp.com.

HTHs!

Theresa :)
 
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