easy child Invited to birthday Party - "No Gifts Please"


New Member
easy child got an invitation to a classmates birthday party this Saturday - it's a pool party, but the invitation says: "No Presents Please. Fun and friends are the best gifts ever!"

It's a nice idea - and truthfully, our kids don't need another Bratz doll accessory kit or Pokeman dog tag, but I feel strange sending her with nothing. Any ideas on how I should handle it?

When an adult has a party with a "no gift" policy, I usually purchase a card at the very least - and more often than not I pop in a small gift certificate to a local restaurant or something similar anyway. I guess I just can't go with nothing.

I was thinking maybe because it's a pool party, we could pick up some inexpensive pool toys - diving sticks, a couple of those 'noodles' or a floating basketball toy or something - and then just give it to the birthday boy when we get there?? Or, should I just go with the invitation and bring nothing?

Any ideas???



No real answers to life..
I like your idea of pool toys....Are you staying at the party or is it one of those drop off things? (Which I am paranoid about, especially the pool part....) Maybe keep stuff in the car until you see what others have done???? Hope the weather co-operates...


I wouldn't bring one. I know it would feel not right, but if I asked for no gifts, It might make those who do not bring one feel guilty if others bring them. I would maybe offer to have the child over and take her bowling or to a movie or something.


Former desparate mom
It's a strange feeling, I agree. I think pool toys or some group thing may make you feel better.
Call the parent and ask if pool toys would be ok or if you could bring cut up fruit or some other "gift".
If she said no gifts,(which I agree with) then I wouldn't take a child a gift.


Well-Known Member
I just sent in invitations to school for a pool party the first week of vacation. I made a point to write that it isn't a birthday party because otherwise everyone has been trained to bring a gift. I would call & offer to bring a dish, sunscreen or see if she needs an extra adult to watch the pool. Those are the "gifts" I'd appreciate. Also, this parent may be trying to teach their child a life lesson, and I wouldn't want to undermine it.


New Member
<span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #3333FF"> i wouldn't go against the hostesses very specific wishes. maybe you can send your daughter with-a small supermarket type floral bouquet for the mom.

besides if all the other kids don't bring gifts they will feel awkward if your daughter does.

</span> </span> </span>


Active Member
My easy child recently had a birthday party thrown at her dad's house. It was OVERBOARD to say the least. A science company brought in for experiments and other stuff, most of her classmates and most of her teammates from hockey team. Close to 40 kids all together. The day before, her actual birthday, I had a small family bbq here to celebrate, a few gifts from me and a few from family. She seemed overwhelmed by the end and truly although she received some beautiful and thoughtful gifts, there weren't that many of them and she was pleased as punch. I figured with nearly 40 kids coming to her party at her dads he would do the "no presents please" thing in the invitations too. Nope. So she turned 8 years old with more than 40 presents just from kids attending, along with the gifts here the day before and all the gifts from her fathers family (large family). To me it sends a message, not a good one, to a 8 year old. Even easy child was overwhelmed with it all.
I would say a birthday card is perfect and leave it at that. There is a reason the parents are asking for no gifts. They may well be instilling very good values in their child. I wouldn't want to bring even pool toys if I know the parents have a reason of their own to have asked for no presents.

Sue C

Active Member
Not sure what you should do, but I wanted to say I myself have been invited to ADULT birthday parties that say NO presents and then people show up with gifts anyway!!! And the b-day person opens them. If you did not bring a present, then you feel kinda bad.

I like your idea of the pool toys, but I also like the idea of you volunteering to help supervise.


hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I was raised that when you're invited to a party, ANY party, the 'right thing to do' is to bring SOMEthing. ANYthing.

A small token something for the mom would be nice, like a small plant that your child planted in a decirated pot would be nice. Or perhaps a box of fun icepops! Or those little tiny water pistols - they come in cute animal shapes now and the smaller the better for lite fun. When my kids were younger and had parties, I bought a LOAD of those little water grenades, prefilled them and put them in giant bowls, set up teams and the kids had a blast. I realize water ballooons are not for everyone, but around here, they've always been fun.

Anyway, something small and simple would be nice. I like the potted plan idea best. It's for the mom.


Active Member
I think the idea of bringing something for the mom/parents is good, even if it is just a small bunch of flowers or a bowl of fruit for the party.

But like the others have said, it may make others feel uncomfortable if you brought a gift for the child.

Another idea.....get a card and put a handmade certificate for the child "Good for one afternoon of fun( or evening or a night at the movies....you get the idea) at easy child's (your house) house....good anytime and sign easy child's name.


New Member
A birthday party but no gifts for a child? Odds are few of the parents are going to follow that idea.

I wonder if their religion actually denies birthday celebrations and the parents just don't want their child totally left out? I had friends who would have a party in the middle of the year to celebrate their children rather than their birth to get around this. It was really lovely.

I think I would get sneaky on this one. Buy a gift, wrap it and keep it in the car. If you see a lot of kids going in with gifts, then your child can add to the pile. If not, save it for the next birthday party. If people respect the parents' wishes, you could invite the child to a day out at the movies, local park or whatever.

The other thing I would do is call and offer to bring something -- food, a couple of pool toys, whatever. I'm also one of those who was taught you never attend a party without bringing something.
Any "Lord of the Rings" fans here? I always liked the way hobbits celebrated birthdays: the birthday person gives the gifts.

I think the others are on the right track: a small mark of appreciation to the parent and an invitation to the birthday child to the movies or a play date at your place. Meow's idea is good too - have a standby gift just in case, if not this time it might come in handy another day.


New Member
One other thing. I'm against bringing something for the parents. Something for the party, yes. Something for the parents, no.

Imagine you are an 8-year-old child, it is your birthday party and the parents get a present but you don't? I would feel awful no matter how it was explained to me.


New Member
A lot of great ideas. I do feel strange not bringing something. I don't think their religion would prohibit gifts - maybe it is just a life lesson sort of thing.

I love the idea of a box of popsicles or something similar. Not really a gift, but it's a treat.

I know the Mom a bit, so I think I will call and see if she needs a hand. I usually stick around for any party that is near a body of water - lol - can't bring myself to leave easy child (or difficult child) - although they'd love it if I did!

Thanks everyone! :wink:


Well-Known Member
Staff member
When my easy child was in first grade, her best friend (and this girl is still her best friend) had a party where her family had agreed ahead of time to ask guests to bring a present that would be donated to a local children's shelter.

This was an affluent family where the child already had tons of toys. I thought it was wonderful that they were instilling in their children the concept that giving is better than receiving. They invited easy child to go along with them to drop off the presents.

I still think that it is a great idea.



Well-Known Member
Personally, I would not send anything but my child. Anything you send will be a "one up" on the children whose Moms follow the

A quick call to the Mom asking if there is anything you can do to
help is a great idea. Once again, though, I would make it a low
key offer so the Mom can feel comfortable saying "no thanks". DDD


I am a CD addict
I like that idea too. When my kiddos were younger at Christmas we would gather gift for the shelter. We knew they would be replenished and they got to contribute to the community and others in need.
An offer of assistance is always appreciated even if it is not needed.