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  1. #1
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    Default Is there a polite/acceptable way to ask for no gifts?

    One of the other threads got me thinking - is there an acceptable way to ask for no gifts for a child's 1st birthday?

    Has anyone done it...and have you been successful?

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    We put on the invite 'gifts are not expected', I thought that was the politest way to put it. EVERYONE still brought a gift. But I didn't want to deny others the joy of giving, so didn't want to enforce a no gifts rule.

    We have limited space, so I just put half the gifts away in a cupboard and have rotated them out across the year. DS thinks it's great as every couple of weeks he gets new toys to play with

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    Little Ted  (18-04-2015)

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    I am toying with the idea for our 4th child's birthday. We have no room and there are already plenty of things. We'd still like to get together with friends/family to celebrate it though. We still have a few things from Christmas that are unopened.

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    There's a no gift rule at many of my family parties (usually the older generation though), the invite usually says 'no gifts by request' or 'no presents, just your presence'.

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    Little Ted  (18-04-2015)

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    I went with "no presents, just your presence" but precious few followed it. People love to give gifts so I wasn't going to begrudge them that. In similar vein to the other thread, one of the presents he got is something I never would've bought him and he absolutely LOVES it!!!

    Mostly I just didn't want fifty thousand more stuffed toys to add to the fifty thousand he already has.

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    I would write:

    'No gifts please - your presence is our present'

    or

    'We request that you do not bring a gift - your presence is our present'

    If you just write 'your presence is our present' people make think it's cute but still rock up with a gift. The two above are still nice but very direct so people should get the message 😊

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    I would just say you just want friends and family to celebrate with your child and no present is required. I frankly find it a breath of fresh air. You will probably find people still buy, but they buy bc they want to, not bc it's expected. Maybe with people close to you if they insist on something they can add to a savings account for your child? or a donation to a charity?

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    Little Ted  (18-04-2015)

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    I've been to two occasions (Wedding and Baptism) where the host asked for no gifts, however money to be donated to the charity they chose. They provided the charity information with the invite.I didn't give a gift, I just donated. I actually felt like I would have disrespected their request
    Last edited by 2BlueBirds; 19-04-2015 at 08:54.

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    Traditional etiquette would say that mentioning gifts at all is impolite.
    However if someone asks directly, it's fine to offer a suggestion.
    I don't think things are as set in stone these days.
    If it's a first birthday and most people are family, you could follow up each invitation with a phone call perhaps asking people not to bring a gift.
    They may be more likely to follow that if you chat to them directly as they'll understand you're serious about really not wanting gifts.

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    We wrote - 'no gifts please. Your presence is our present and your company is a gift.'

    Everyone ignored it. DS1's birthday party was a nightmare, so I don't know if it was compounded but I really did feel frustrated. I've learned to accept that the grandmas think such silly rules don't apply to them, but I was hoping others would respect it. That sounds really ungrateful - of course I was grateful for the gifts, but I was genuine that I didn't want any.

    That was also the birthday when exMIL wrote in DS's card

    'Dear [DS]

    I love you so much. I want you to know that whatever happens there will always be room in my heart and at my table for you. And if your mummy decides she can't look after you any more, I will always be here.'

    So, yeah, maybe that's what annoyed me, on reflection :-)

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