Friday, June 30, 2006

The Big “1st Birthday” and the “No-Gift” Controversy

So next weekend is my daughters 1st birthday bash – and it was as the cliché’ goes - the first year really did go by fast! Her first party is something I’ve been planning for some time now; my wife would probably argue even before she was born. We’re having a catered Polynesian Luau themed-party at our local clubhouse on a lake and are expecting around 110 people (There’s even a surprise entertainer that only 3 people know about which should be allot of fun for both adults and kids). A little extravagant (OK, allot for a 1st birthday) but more than likely the only big party we’ll end up having for her. But it gives us a good reason to celebrate our little one, throw a big party and see allot of people we haven’t seen in the last year too.

With so many people coming my wife and I decided to put “No Gifts Please” on the invitation for a few reasons:

1) She’s only 1 and doesn’t know what a gift is
2) She still has allot of stuff unopened in the closet
3) We think the addition of 30, 40, 50+ gifts is really obscene
4) We want this to be a celebration and not some gift frenzy

One of my cousins recently had a birthday party for their toddler and invited around 60 people, there were so many gifts that she just cried.
We just thought we could do gifts when she figures out “birthdays=gifts” (all kids learn this soon enough) and then we’ll invite just a few of her friends.
Does this reasoning seem odd to anybody? It makes perfect sense to me, but I’ve been getting weird reactions from random people like I’m a bad parent, or worse - some snob, for cutting out gifts.
I know there are people that still insist on giving her something; I’m not against that at all and they’re usually close friends and family –we’re cool with it. We just don’t want everybody to feel obligated to bring something or anything at all but themselves. What’s wrong with just going to a party?


Ryan said...

We recently went to a birthday party and the parents actually said, "no gifts", which I thought was pretty cool. At 1 they don't really know what is going on, but I definitely saw a big difference between 1 and 2. My son is only 2.5, but oh how he loves gifts...

radioactive girl said...

My 8 year old decided for her birthday that instead of gifts, she would rather have the kids figure out where they might want to donate the money they would have spent on a gift for her. I was extremely proud of the idea she had but when people started acting all strange about it, I suggested that instead of a gift for her, they write her a note or letter describing things she has done with them, or things her friendship meant to them. Most people were happy to do this instead of a gift, and now she will have these memories for a lifetime instead of toys that she will never use. I know it is too late for you to use this idea but it worked out great for us.

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

radioactive girl--

Wow - That's a GREAT idea! I'll have to remember that one...

Anonymous said...

Hi! Nice article. Hint: A lot is not spelled allot. :)