I struggle when my children’s birthdays roll around. They are lucky girls with a room bursting with toys. I love throwing parties for them, but really, the last thing they need is more toys to add to their existing stash.

I’ve tried putting “No gifts, please!” on the invitation, but that seems to leave parents in a quandary. Do you do as the card says and risk being the only parent who listened? Or do you bring a gift anyway and risk making other guests feel bad?

I thought there was just no way to win, but we asked our Facebook fans what they did when faced with a “no gifts!” request and they came up with some great solutions.

I always want to do something. I will often bring a food gift – like a small box of chocolates from a fine confectionery, a bundle of dipped pretzels in colorful cellophane, or a miniature homemade cake on a pretty plate. Then I toss in a card. It’s a token, consumable, and I feel better about it all. 🙂 ~ Dayna Bonebrake


It depends – offering a service or a card with a donation to a relevant charity seem to go over well – we have had parties where we requested food for our local food bank instead of presents & requested “cards only” – kids played, had fun, shared treats & toys & didn’t miss the presents!! ~ Sherrill-Shane Davis


We just had my son’s 1st bday party and wrote “no gifts” on the invitation but he still got a truck load of things. My favorite was a friend who made a donation to March of Dimes in honor of our son instead of buying him a toy. I loved that idea so I did it the following week at another party that asked for “no gifts” too. ~ Debbie Sweeney Sprawka

What do you do when the invitation says “No gifts?”

Birthday Party Invitation by Tiny Prints

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Category: Birthday, Mom Talk
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  1. Elizabeth says:

    Our son has been extremely blessed with family who have showered him with many many toys. For his first birthday instead of gifts we asked that people bring an unwrapped gift for the local Children’s Hospital for those kiddos who were too sick to celebrate their birthdays at home as we were able to do with our little guy. Needless to say there was an outpouring of gifts…nearly 100 in all were donated. We were so excited to deliver them to the hospital as well as cash that was donated.

    It’s also a great way to teach your kiddos about giving back. I think we will try making it a tradition.

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