Almost as frustrating as people not RSVPing to an event, is the line "no gifts please" attached at the end of a birthday invitation. Especially a child's birthday invitation. Maybe it is the "Southern Bell" coming out in me...but who can go to a party of any sort empty handed? That is just unheard of where I come from! Even if you are going down the street to your best friend's house for supper, you come with something in hand, whether it be a jug of kool aid or a bouquet of fresh roses you "borrowed" from the neighbor's bushes.
Besides, half the fun of a party I am not hosting is planning and creating a fun gift for the birthday child that I hope they will enjoy.
This line was attached at the end of a party we attended just before we left for Louisiana. The line in the evite said, "No gifts please-and I mean it!" (Sorry to use your example K, but I still love you!)
I took it as a personal challenge to BRING the birthday child a gift :) I do that sometimes, get all worked up over something small. And, I had a lot of fun making a pink and white tutu for little ms. 4 year old. I guess sort of like I am getting all worked up over this post lol.
Now, here's the thing...I could care less if you bring my child a gift or not when you attend his party. Because it is not about the gift. Seriously. I know these "hard economic times" make it almost impossible to balance the bills, let alone any extras...don't let that keep you from coming and having fun, because really, that is what is most important. If I could not afford to buy a present, I would not, and based on the situation, would decide if I'd allow my child to attend the party or not. (If I don't really know someone and couldn't do it, it'd be different then a really good friend inviting my child)
However, when an invitation says, "No gifts", a few thoughts run through my head.
If it is for a girl and I have a craft I want to try out, I get a bit angry. :-) I don't have girls! Birthday parties are basically the only time I get to get crafty and pink and curly and cute. Saying "no gifts" is like slapping this mom of three boys who is crafty in the face!
Another thought..."yeah, your kid has a hellofalot of toys, I get that...but couldn't you let me decide if I want to add to your madness or not?" Though, as pointed out in comments, that is kind of rude of me to not honor a parent's wishes.
And...how am I supposed to teach my child the value of a dollar (if he spends his own money on a present) or the importance of giving instead of getting (yes, I know that contradicts the me getting mad at no presents things) ??? Edited: Maybe teaching them that parties aren't about getting is good, too :)
So...next time you send me an invitation saying, "No gifts"...be prepared. I don't always follow instructions. AND...if you have a girl, you BETTER not even think about banning me from making some cute (or not so cute, we will have to wait and see) idea I found floating around in bloggy-land. :)
So, what do you think? Should a parent specifically list to not bring presents? Should the parent just leave it up to those invited to decide for themselves? Maybe add a tag line like, "presents appreciated but not necessary" so that those attending don't feel the need to bring a gift but know they can if they want. Do you think by letting kids get lots of presents at parties we are setting up some wacky morals that kids can get whatever they want?
Oh, and this past year, I sent out a super tacky email asking if someone happened to want to bring a present for Jack, if they didn't already have a present/have something in mind, he would love a few dollars to go towards a cool rocket ship toy he wanted. So, he got a few presents and all the money (about $75 or so) to buy the rocket. I kind of want to always do this...narrow down what he is getting and still allow parents to just give for the sake of giving if they so desire. (And I think Brennan wants to take horse back riding lessons and those don't just pay for themselves :) )
FYI: This post was written while I am really tired...so if it rambles on and on or just doesn't make sense or pisses you off, sorry! And Ladub...don't be mad, but I maybe already planned out a little something for someone who lives with you...but come on! She's a GIRL so you gotta let me do it :)