1. Kate

    I agree that people don’t want to come empty-handed to a child’s birthday party. In my community children often invite their whole class to a birthday party. No one wants that many gifts. Some things people have done include suggesting that everyone bring:
    1. a dollar in lieu of a gift to be donated to a specified charity chosen by the birthday child.
    2. a dollar in lieu of a gift for the birthday child to use to buy something for the children’s classroom, such as a puzzle, a game, or a book.
    3. an unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots.
    4. a gently used household good to be donated to a local charity.
    And when one of my sons has had a smaller party and wanted to receive gifts instead of using one of these approaches, I’ve told him that if he unwraps a gift he doesn’t love, he should leave it unopened and then we quietly donate it to Toys for Tots at the end of the year.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      It is incorrect to mention gifts at all, whether to say no gifts please or make a donation instead. You just have to take whatever people bring. You can then donate the unwanted gifts to charity (after writing a thank-you note of course).

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