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Alexandra

How do you word 'No gifts please unless you want to contribute to...'

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I am working on an invitation. I would like it to say 'no gifts please' but I know most people will bring one anyway. Can I say 'If you insist on giving something, I would be honored if you would make a small donation to xyz organization? How would one word that gracefully?

Thanks

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I have a friend who says something like, "In lieu of gifts, please consider a donation to ______" (charity of her choice) whenever she hosts a gift-giving occasion.

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Here's one for our daughter for which we simply asked for "no gifts":

 

Please know that your presence at this celebration is the best present G--- could want. No other gift is necessary.

 

Here's the wording from one of our son's early parties:

 

(Our family likes to keep things simple, so we are asking guests not to bring gifts. However, handmade cards or similar tokens would be very welcome. -- Thanks!)

There were a couple of years when our daughter asked for donations to a local charity instead of gifts, but I can't find any of those files at the moment.

I think we used a variation of the first statement above that added a sentence that said something like, "Guests who wish to do so are encouraged to bring an item for donation to Give Kids the World. The organization's wish list is available online."

I promise it was more politely worded than that, though. We worked on it for a long time.

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Dd was invited to a No More Chemo party that said something like, "Instead of gifts, please consider making a donation to the Leukemia Society (I forget the exact name) in XXXX's name" and provided a link to her fundraising team page.

 

But, I have to warn you, that most of the mom's ignored this request and sent gifts. Dd was one of the few girls who had done the donation thing instead.

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I have a friend who says something like, "In lieu of gifts, please consider a donation to ______" (charity of her choice) whenever she hosts a gift-giving occasion.

 

:iagree:

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I know the "no gifts" thing is well meaning, but honestly I get rather flustered when I read it. It makes me feel compelled to give a gift. I worry I'll show up and everyone else will bring a gift. Maybe I'm being silly, but I'd prefer not to read it.

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I know the "no gifts" thing is well meaning, but honestly I get rather flustered when I read it. It makes me feel compelled to give a gift. I worry I'll show up and everyone else will bring a gift. Maybe I'm being silly, but I'd prefer not to read it.

 

That is why we sometimes included an alternative: charitable donation, hand-made card, book, etc.

 

For what it's worth, we did this sort of thing for years and had many people tell us they loved it. The only time anyone brought gifts after we included one of these statements was to my daughter's graduation party. There were a few people who slipped gift cards into greeting cards and a couple of kids who brought something small and silly they thought my daughter would enjoy.

 

No one seemed to be confused or unhappy.

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I do not mention gifts at all, but recently I hosted a no-gifts party by wording it like this:

 

"Please join us for a celebration of friendship and fun!

 

DD1 requests the honor of your company on date at time at location.

 

Rsvp 123-456-7890"

 

That's right. We didn't mention the birthday on the invite. Everyone had a great time, especially the birthday girl, who'd already been briefed on the situation as well as her expected behavior.

 

We had a cake and sang Happy Birthday, too.

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I know the "no gifts" thing is well meaning, but honestly I get rather flustered when I read it. It makes me feel compelled to give a gift.

 

When we have indicated no gifts, it's been because we didn't want gifts. We have enough cr@p (I mean treasured belongings) in our house as it is. I'm not sure why the gift thing gets everyone all het up (not directing this at you, Wendy, just in general). The way I see it, when you are invited to a birthday party, you take a gift. It's socially expected, unless the norm in your peer group (as in my kids') is NOT to take a gift ... the kids my kids are friends with usually draw a picture for the birthday child. If an invitation states "no gifts," don't get all in a tizzy about it ... the family doesn't want more cr@p (pardon me, treasured belongings) in their home. Be polite and don't bring a gift.

 

I feel like the gift thing is an issue where "traditional etiquette" is out of step with real life. The idea that registries are crass because they indicate that a gift is expected is silly. When people get married, they register for gifts. It's expected that you give a gift. EVERYONE knows it, and to get all het up about being notified where they are registered is, imo, ridiculous.

 

Tara

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I know the "no gifts" thing is well meaning, but honestly I get rather flustered when I read it. It makes me feel compelled to give a gift. I worry I'll show up and everyone else will bring a gift. Maybe I'm being silly, but I'd prefer not to read it.

 

I've gotten around this by enclosing money in a card. I figure that way the family can donate it to the charity they want to or use it for the birthday child.

 

Lisa

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If an invitation states "no gifts," don't get all in a tizzy about it ... the family doesn't want more cr@p (pardon me, treasured belongings) in their home. Be polite and don't bring a gift.

 

 

 

:iagree: I have always taken people at their word when they say, "No gifts." And I like Nance's suggestion for invite wording.

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