February 11, 2013

Reader Question: Ungifting Party

When you have young children, it can seem like you’re going to a birthday party every week. No party would be complete without presents, would it?

Recently a reader asked how to avoid the overwhelming number of birthday gifts her child gets each year, made worse by the fact that the birthday is close to major gift-giving holidays.

I suggested two ideas for dealing with present overload.

One is to put “No Gifts” on the invitation. While I think most parents would be relieved not to have to shop for a gift, there are going to be some who don’t pay attention or who ignore the request.

Another approach is to request something to donate to a particular organization. You might ask each guest to bring a book to donate to a children’s hospital or homeless shelter. You have to decide if this is an occasion for teaching kids about generosity and privilege.

If neither of these ideas appeals to you, you can always ask your child to donate some existing toys in anticipation of receiving new ones for birthday and holidays.

I’ve heard some moms talking about having their kids donate some of their birthday gifts. While I applaud the child’s magnanimity, you don’t want anyone to feel that a gift wasn’t appreciated, so it isn’t necessary to tell friends that you donated their gifts.

What do you think? Would you consider having an ungifting party for your child? Click on Post a Comment, below, and tell us.

Organized by Marcie TM: Save time and money by letting go of what you don't need and finding room for what you value
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