It’s all too much!
One mum was quite keen to nip this situation in the bud entirely. She’s hoping to suggest guests give cash instead of actual birthday gifts, forgoing the unwanted present situation completely.
She headed to the parenting forum Mumsnet to ask other mums and dads if this was a reasonable request.
She explained that her twins were having a fifth birthday party in a week’s time, and that fifty guests have been invited to the shindig.
“I’m starting to freak out about the number of presents they will get and where to keep them in the house – plus all that extra plastic that will end up at the dump,” she writes.
Those feelings make a lot of sense, really, and are perhaps a sign of overall parental party anxiety, too.
“[Would it be unreasonable] to send a group WhatsApp message asking [kids] not to bring presents or to put a bit of cash in a card and I can take them to get something they choose?” this mum asks.
She explains that her children just started at the school three weeks prior and that she’s not friendly with any of the parents as yet.
Making sense of the 50 guests situation she writes: “The twins are in separate classes and I wanted to do a whole class invite so the kids could get to know each other outside of school (and the parents could too), plus it’s way too early to know who their friends are yet.”
The parents of Mumsnet were almost wholeheartedly against the idea of asking for cash, with many noting this mum had also left it a little bit too late to change up the gift requirements now.
A few admitted they didn’t have an issue with this otherwise, and were fans of the ‘fiver party‘ idea.
“Love [the] idea of change for her piggy bank,” one commenter wrote. “I would love to give a fiver instead of buying crap and wrapping it up.”
But many, many, many others thought asking for money was flat-out rude.
“I would not be happy receiving a message asking for cash for a child I have only known 3 weeks,” one parent commented.
“No you can’t ask people your kids have known for three weeks for cash! Outrageous!” another agreed.
Think outside the (gift) box
Other commenters thought that there were creative and charitable ways to get around the worry of too many plastic gifts – and avoid asking for cash.
“Just say you don’t want presents; ie your presence is present enough or something. Some will still bring something but most will be happy to cross it off their to-do list,” one wrote.
“How about asking for them to donate a book, which will be given to charity. Or just say ‘no gifts please, just bring yourselves’,” another suggested.
“You could consider giving some to your local hospital’s children’s ward as they always seem to be in need of new stuff,” another commenter pointed out, perhaps also feeling it was a little late to shift the gift-y goalposts now.
Selfish or smart?
But one parent thought that perhaps this mum-of-twins should also think of the families she’d invited. Many of them might have planned their gift way, way ahead she reasoned.
“I buy reduced toys just after summer season and Christmas for parties throughout the year. I am absolutely skint and wouldn’t be able to afford cash in a card,” that parent revealed.
Chastened, the mum-of-twins popped back in to reveal her final decision.
“Ok, I get the point,” she wrote. “I actually already sent a note saying that presents weren’t expected at all when the invites first went out so I will leave it there, and find somewhere to put aside presents for re-gifting.”
Perhaps the ‘no-gift party’ really is set to become the next big party trend?