Birthday Party Anxiety: What Do You Mean NO Gifts?
Why is it so hard to not a bring a gift to a kids birthday party? Or at least it is for me. We’re going to a 4-year-old’s birthday party this weekend where the invitation says, “No Gifts Please!”, but I’m having a hard time complying.
At first I thought we’ll just bring something small, but then I thought that would be disrespectful, especially if others actually listened to the invitation and didn’t bring anything. Or what if that person was me, and I was the only one who didn’t bring anything? Why is it so hard to go empty handed? I’m trying to think of something else thoughtful to bring.
I totally get why the parents would say no gifts. I’m planning my son’s 4th birthday and was thinking of the same thing. We have way more toys than we need and I don’t want my son to be focused on presents as the reason for birthday parties. He will get plenty of presents from the family and I don’t think he needs anymore stuff. I’m really excited to plan his party, but I want to keep it simple. But something simple these days is not always that simple. At least not for the mom. When he turned 2 we went to a play gym where they did it all for you and that was easy for me, but not exactly a simple party. I had just had my 2nd and didn’t want to deal. Last year we just celebrated with family.
This year I figured we could just go to the park, but you don’t want it to be like a regular day. You need some sort of activity-music, character, jumpy house, something otherwise it’s just kids running crazy on the playground, right?
I really struggle with trying to keep things simple, yet there is a part of me that likes doing things a certain way and I want everyone to enjoy themselves. Am I just keeping up with the Jones’ when I say I’m not? I just want my kids to have fun with their friends and not have to top myself each year.
So this year we’ve decided to have a nice party, but I’m going to request no gifts. Instead I'm going to try to think of something specific so there won’t be any confusion. Maybe books, shoes or even food for a specific charity. I’ll probably let my son pick and then we can drop off the donation together. What do you think? Would you still bring a gift? Would you have a “no gift” party?
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