How to poltitely reqest ‘no gifts’ for your child’s birthday party

I am a firm believer that kids don’t really need a lot to be happy and healthy. When I was expecting my first child, I only registered for the basics and stuck to my plan. I knew most of the specialty baby items were completely unnecessary and that friends and family would be giving me things they wanted my new child to have anyway. That’s just the nature of it and I appreciated everything my daughter was given. A piece of energy from each of those family members and friends was a part of those gifts and their energy helped my daughter grow into the little girl she is today.

She has since had three birthdays and three parties. Each time, I have tried to avoid getting an abundance of toys and other plastic items that would clutter up our home. So I had to think of a polite way to ask guests not to bring gifts without offending those who would genuinely like to give one. Here are some examples of wording I have used.

First and Second Birthdays
No gifts please. Handmade birthday cards or other small tokens would be welcome.

Third Birthday
No gifts please. Handmade birthday cards or other small tokens would be welcome.
If you do feel strongly about bringing a gift, Juliet loves all things Crayola and the color pink.

What I have discovered:

1. You will get gifts even if you don’t ask for them but it lets families who may         be tight on money off the hook without feeling stress or guilt

2. Handmade gifts and cards are creative and pretty cool! They demonstrate         thoughtfulness and often become handmade treasures your child loves.

3. One child’s outgrown toy may become your child’s favorite item.  For                       example, at J’s first birthday, I was given a children’s Sandra Boynton book           & CD that was passed down to me through 2 generations of my friend                   group and each family had written a special note inside. I loved it and now           my daughter loves it!! It’s personal, special and filled with meaning and love,       Now that’s what I call a gift.

4. The memories your children make with their friends at the party really is               the BEST gift.

Do you allow gifts at your child’s party? Why or why not? Please leave a comment below. 

4 thoughts on “How to poltitely reqest ‘no gifts’ for your child’s birthday party

  1. Amy says:

    This is such a tough one… I feel the same about not wanting a lot of STUFF for my little one. She has more toys than we know what to do with – mostly gifted, and she’s only 11 months old. We just sent out her first birthday invitations and had a big discussion about how we could ask for no gifts even though we knew some people would bring gifts anyway. In the end, we decided to say nothing and accept defeat this year. We knew that family would be getting big gifts that they would want opened in front of everyone, and if friends showed up empty handed (following our instructions), they might feel bad or left out seeing other people’s gifts being opened and “shown off”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mrsmotherdirt says:

    Amy, you bring up a good point…know your guests. Family, grandparents and in-laws are exempt in my perspective. They want to shower the grandkids, I get that. The way we work around it is that we do a separate low key family party where we give gifts but for the party with toddler friends, we encourage the other kids to give homemade cards, handed down toys, etc… Thanks for stopping by!


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