Monday, May 7, 2012

Kids and Birthday Parties: Are Gifts Expected?

I saw this topic on another website and it got me wondering.
When I throw a birthday party for my kids, I'm just thankful that kids came. I don't expect a gift. Yes, I've put up the money to feed these people, provide drinks and cake and whatnot. But that's not for THEM, it's for my kids. I love the look on my kids' face when they get to play with their friends and I enjoy getting to chitchat with friends of mine. To me, the party is a celebration in honor of my children.
I read this post on Cafemom and this lady declared that she felt it was rude to come to the kids' party and NOT bring a gift and that, in doing this, they've been blacklisted and will not be invited to any other parties.
Personally, I think it's rude to EXPECT a gift. In my opinion, these people are giving a few hours of their day to come celebrate your kid's birthday. Be grateful for that. IF they bring a gift, super. But don't expect it and don't cut them out for not bringing one. If you feel that these people should feel obligated to bring a gift because you've provided food and drink, then maybe you shouldn't have a party to begin with.
I'm not sure why, but this really struck a cord with me. I couldn't IMAGINE feeling so entitled and expecting a gift for my child, a child that, according to the person who posted it, didn't even NOTICE that there wasn't a gift.
Apparently, there are a lot of people out there who actually AGREE with this mindset and have denied their child the fun of going to the birthday party because they didn't have the money to buy a gift. I can promise you, from personal experience, it will bother a child more that their friend didn't show up for the party than it will them not getting a gift from you. Kids LIVE for these things, especially the younger ones. They want a chance to get to run around, scream and enjoy their friends and I'm more than happy to provide and not expect anything in return.
Do YOU expect a gift, card, or anything? Will you not go to a party if you can't afford anything? Please share with me your thoughts.


  1. Great topic! My sister-in-law was that way, my nephew had a friend who constantly came to his parties with no gift and she vented to my mom about how she wanted to stop inviting him, but since he was one of my nephews best friends my nephew objected. My mom felt bad because we were always poor and never took gifts, unless they were handmade, to a party. I rarely got invited to parties because of it. It really made a rift between my mom and SIL.
    We got invited to one last year where they specifically said "no gifts PLEASE" It felt weird not to take a gift, but the party was just as great sans gifts, so I would consider it in the future myself! I have also heard where the kid requests a nonperishable food item that they they could donate to the local food bank in leiu of gifts, such a cool concept for the right kids.

  2. i agree completely


So....what did you think? And are you THAT Sarah Michelle?