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Eagle

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EWWW.

 

So many people think following etiquette rules is outdated. It's become a free fall into really bad taste. I'd rather deal with people following outdated rules of decorum.  

 

ETA I think it's OK to bring cash or gift cards, I think it is absolutely wrong to be told to bring anything at all. Bleah, bleah, bleah

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Geez.  Tackiest thing ever.  "Your gifts aren't good enough; all we want is your money."  I would keep my gift and skip the party, frankly.

 

That's what I thought too.    I'd be busy that day for sure.  Tacky on so many levels.

 

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I am all for tossing many of the etiquette rules regarding gifts but that is just beyond tacky.  I think it is OK to say "no gifts" but to asking for a specific gist is bad bad BAD.  I would either skip the party or bring the gift you already purchased.

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I think there is a better way to phrase, "in lieu of gifts". I would actually give her marks for effort at being forward thinking and not wanting a bunch of toys just to have gifts. However, it was badly worded. I would that your gift and if she wants to return for cash she will. Books are also an investment in their future, perhaps you could write up a card sort of echoing her sentiment. 

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How tacky. You're supposed to pretend as though you are delighted and surprised that anybody even thought to bring a gift, NOT to dictate what to bring - especially when what you're dictating is "cold cash"! Lots of people even think it's inappropriate to suggest "no gifts" or "donations to charity appreciated", and I know many who dislike having a gift list on hand even to offer people who ask for one. Some people never learned any good manners, I guess.

 

If this is a good friend, just go with the gift you already purchased. Otherwise, I wouldn't even go.

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Tacky for all the reasons pointed out by previous posters. I'm also put off by the description of the gift if you do choose to bring something other than cash. Be sure to make it super great if you don't bring money!! Are we now assigning a judging and competitive aspect to gift giving? Sheesh.

 

Erica in OR

 

Edited to remove short phrase quoted from original post.

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I know some people think it's tacky to put "No gifts" on a child's birthday invitation. I personally think that is absolutely fine. But to say CASH or make sure your gift is super awesome is really tacky.

 

Tacky for all the reasons pointed out by previous posters. I'm also put off by the description of the gift if you do choose to bring something other than cash. Be sure to make it super great if you don't bring money!! Are we now assigning a judging and competitive aspect to gift giving? Sheesh.

I wonder what they will do if they open the gifts at the party and any of them doesn't meet their standard of "fabulous." Will the gift-givers be denied cake? :glare:

 

I particularly hated the cutesy phrasing, especially when I saw that this is for the child's first birthday. It's not as though little Joey has any real gift preferences yet, so why try to make it sound like the suggestions are all his idea? :rolleyes:

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I particularly hated the cutesy phrasing, especially when I saw that this is for the child's first birthday. It's not as though little Joey has any real gift preferences yet, so why try to make it sound like the suggestions are all his idea? :rolleyes:

 

 

If she's an otherwise fairly competent person and she has no other children, I would give her a pass because this is a FIRST birthday. I wasn't exactly reading party etiquette books when ds was that age. 

 

Once she realizes that a lot of people will ignore her request or some might even call her on it (hopefully family or good friends in a loving way), she'll get it. She may be trying to set an intentional toy atmosphere or wanting to be more minimal and just hasn't figured out the right way to convey that to gift givers. Given the amount of toys some kids get on their first birthdays, who could blame her. 

 

Most of us have probably tried to convey how we want to raise our children, the tone we want for gifts and parties, yet it might take a few years to realize mostly we have no control over what others do. So I'd grant some grace in this situation. 

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I'd probably say something like "I already bought a present, but it sounds like maybe you don't really want presents. Would you still like me to bring it?"

 

If she were a very close friend, I'd probably point out that the sarcasm doesn't always come across as intended.

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If she's an otherwise fairly competent person and she has no other children, I would give her a pass because this is a FIRST birthday. I wasn't exactly reading party etiquette books when ds was that age.

 

Once she realizes that a lot of people will ignore her request or some might even call her on it (hopefully family or good friends in a loving way), she'll get it. She may be trying to set an intentional toy atmosphere or wanting to be more minimal and just hasn't figured out the right way to convey that to gift givers. Given the amount of toys some kids get on their first birthdays, who could blame her.

 

Most of us have probably tried to convey how we want to raise our children, the tone we want for gifts and parties, yet it might take a few years to realize mostly we have no control over what others do. So I'd grant some grace in this situation.

The thing is, she didn't say "no toys," and there was no indication that she wanted to be minimal. She specifically stated that "fabulous" gifts were an acceptable alternative to cash.

 

Tacky, tacky, tacky.

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Oh, that is cringe worthy.

Considering it is a first birthday party I am going to assume first baby. I had all kinds of ideas with my first. You have lots of time to read parenting books. I am sure I was less than gracious during my "I don't want all that plastic noise making carp."

Hopefully, she has someone in her life to offer some guidance and with experience and time she will mellow.

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I would bring the gift. The invitation is really awful IMO. "Please bring money. We don't want your less-than-fabulous gifts." I received a wedding invitation once that requested cash donations so the couple could go on their "dream honeymoon". Blech. I bought them a gift. I do not want to encourage money grubbing.

 

The point is to celebrate the milestone of a birthday with your friends. Gifts are an extra, and each one should be appreciated and acknowledged. Even if you don't love a certain gift, you should appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver and express your thanks, hopefully in a handwritten note.

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Take the books and put in a note that you would like to invest in his entire education by fostering a love of reading, not just his theoretical post-secondary education that is 18 years away. 

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If she's an otherwise fairly competent person and she has no other children, I would give her a pass because this is a FIRST birthday. I wasn't exactly reading party etiquette books when ds was that age.

 

This is something that really should've been drilled into her when she was a small child.

 

But there's no use blaming people for their own poor education. It's not their fault they don't know better.

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This is something that really should've been drilled into her when she was a small child.

 

But there's no use blaming people for their own poor education. It's not their fault they don't know better.

 

Assuming she's married and had any kind of wedding, I thought you get a lot of drill about this then.  Maybe people selectively research this stuff!  I guess I have certainly gotten a couple wedding invitations I'd consider tacky.

 

First birthday parties are for parents anyway.  Not that I didn't have one for my kids - I totally did and it was fun.  But I totally acknowledge it was for ME!  ;)

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Yes, correcting other people's manners rarely goes over well, and in most circumstances is incredibly rude. (I was taught as a child that it was the very rudest thing you could ever do, to correct somebody's manners publicly.) I wish I knew a polite way for you to let your friend know that other people will judge her on this sort of thing.

 

The takeaway for the rest of us is to make sure we really, really talk to our kids about this stuff before they go out into the world.

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Thank you for all of the replies. I definitely still intend to go, I just want to know what to expect. Based on the responses I am guessing there will be others who still bring their less-than-fabulous gift instead of cash. I am curious to see if there is a big piggy bank prominently displayed. This is her first child and I do agree that she is new to this situation. I am guessing that she attended very few parties growing up and doesn't have many examples to guide her.

 

I have known this mom for quite a few years. She doesn't appear to have been taught etiquette for many situations, so I should expect this type of thing by now. I still get caught off-guard though at what she comes up with. She also threw herself a baby shower. With a 50/50 draw. I would love to help her but I have no idea how to do that without being rude and hurting her feelings. She is a very sweet person.

 

 She threw herself a baby shower?  Wow.  :confused1:   And by 50/50 draw, you mean she had like a raffle?  :huh:   Next she'll set up a GoFundMe to take baby to Disney.  Someone would be doing her a huge service by talking to her.  But I almost think it would need to be a very close friend or relative.  I wouldn't feel comfortable either if I weren't very close to her though. 

 

If this is her normal mode of operation, I would just bring my gift without a 2nd thought. 

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This is something that really should've been drilled into her when she was a small child.

 

But there's no use blaming people for their own poor education. It's not their fault they don't know better.

 

Really, I guess I'll add to things my parents didn't teach me. I was to receive all gifts graciously, but if I wanted to deviate from the norm of gifts, they didn't drill that knowledge into my head. 

 

Assuming she's married and had any kind of wedding, I thought you get a lot of drill about this then.  Maybe people selectively research this stuff!  I guess I have certainly gotten a couple wedding invitations I'd consider tacky.

 

First birthday parties are for parents anyway.  Not that I didn't have one for my kids - I totally did and it was fun.  But I totally acknowledge it was for ME!  ;)

 

And some people are trying to deviate from the norm and perhaps don't know how to word it tactfully, obviously in this case. 

 

The thing is, she didn't say "no toys," and there was no indication that she wanted to be minimal. She specifically stated that "fabulous" gifts were an acceptable alternative to cash.

 

Tacky, tacky, tacky.

 

She missed the point, obviously. Reading between the lines shows she is trying to do something differently than a societal norm and simply didn't know how to word it properly.  I'd probably roll my eyes and show up with the gift I already picked. 

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The invitation is rude and awkward.

 

I would give them some grace and chalk it up to not knowing better. I assume that this is what they're thinking: A one-year-old does not need boatloads of toys. A start on a college fund would be grand.

 

It is not unsound thinking. You might say to someone who calls and asks what the child wants or needs (because some people have no idea what to buy so they ask the parents), "If you'd rather bring Quarters for College instead of buying a toy, it would be welcome. He also likes books/could use a few bath toys/whatever." You just don't write it down on the invitation and send it to everyone.

 

Meh. Awkward and rude, sure. But these are people who love you enough to invite you to their child's first birthday party. I'd take the gift, assume it will be appreciated (instead of calling it "less than fabulous" in your head--that's a sure way to mess with your own head :P ), enjoy the party, and forgive them for not knowing the request is rude. :) Have fun!

 

Cat

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Thank you for all of the replies. I definitely still intend to go, I just want to know what to expect. Based on the responses I am guessing there will be others who still bring their less-than-fabulous gift instead of cash. I am curious to see if there is a big piggy bank prominently displayed. This is her first child and I do agree that she is new to this situation. I am guessing that she attended very few parties growing up and doesn't have many examples to guide her.

 

I have known this mom for quite a few years. She doesn't appear to have been taught etiquette for many situations, so I should expect this type of thing by now. I still get caught off-guard though at what she comes up with. She also threw herself a baby shower. With a 50/50 draw. I would love to help her but I have no idea how to do that without being rude and hurting her feelings. She is a very sweet person.

 

:blink: :huh:

 

Well, you cannot correct another adult (usually). You can only behave properly yourself. Of course, if she were ever to ask you opinion, then you could gently suggest that what she's thinking of doing is not polite. 

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I also believe that this is a very tack invitation, however, my SIL went through the same thing when she had my niece. She really, really felt like she was drowning in baby stuff as it was (her parents were big gift givers) she lived in a small home and had no place to put things so she had similar invitations, except that she put NO GIFTS, which no one honored. My dd was horrified at the thought of not giving her cousin a birthday gift. Everyone else felt the same way... so there were lots of gifts anyway. So, my guess is that this is not a money grab, so much as a stuff avoidance. 

 

Books are not stuff or clutter, EVER, so bring the books, lol.

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Guest submarines

The invitation is rude and awkward.

 

I would give them some grace and chalk it up to not knowing better. I assume that this is what they're thinking: A one-year-old does not need boatloads of toys. A start on a college fund would be grand.

 

It is not unsound thinking. You might say to someone who calls and asks what the child wants or needs (because some people have no idea what to buy so they ask the parents), "If you'd rather bring Quarters for College instead of buying a toy, it would be welcome. He also likes books/could use a few bath toys/whatever." You just don't write it down on the invitation and send it to everyone.

 

Meh. Awkward and rude, sure. But these are people who love you enough to invite you to their child's first birthday party. I'd take the gift, assume it will be appreciated (instead of calling it "less than fabulous" in your head--that's a sure way to mess with your own head :p ), enjoy the party, and forgive them for not knowing the request is rude. :) Have fun!

 

Cat

 

Agreed. The sentiment is nice and I wish there was a nice way of saying the bolded. The wording is the tackiest I've seen, but some people are just awkward. If she was a good friend of mine I'd shrug it off, and celebrate with her. If she was a casual friend, I wouldn't attend. No biggie.

 

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Telling people what to give you is already not receiving gifts graciously.

 

Which is exactly my point. The standard etiquette is that you receive graciously and as another poster pointed out, sometimes you wind up with a bunch of stuff you really don't want or need. However, this mom, as the OP pointed out, does not have the greatest of "standard etiquette" skills, which in my book is not a call to shun or shame her. So, she may simply be trying to avoid the stuff grab and really not know how to say it. This board is also quite outspoken that no is a complete sentence, she may be graciously trying to say no to gifts and bumbling quite loudly about it. 

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I never have run across a "first birthday party" to which were invited anyone other than close family and perhaps also the godparents.

 

It is very common here to invite pretty much everyone you know to a first birthday party. I have been to quite a few. Two of them had 50 or more guests. I've never seen the attraction myself; it isn't like the child knows what is going on, and they usually have a melt-down at some stage. We chose to only have grandparents over for a breakfast party for each of our dc. I will happily attend friends' parties to celebrate with them, I just didn't need a big party to make our celebration special.

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I have a pretty firm rule: I raise my children, you raise yours.

 

In other words, parents need to pay for the boring stuff that is part of raising children! I will go to a lot of trouble to find a great gift, but I am not going to contribute to your kid's college fund, help send them to camp, buy them practical shoes, and so on. 

 

If people don't want a truckload of gifts, then they shouldn't invite a truckload of people. 

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If people don't want a truckload of gifts, then they shouldn't invite a truckload of people. 

 

I am in full agreement that this invitation is beyond rude.  But I also disagree with the above statement.  I *do* think it is OK to say "no gifts."  Wanting to celebrate a major milestone with as many people as you want does not also mean you want (or can even handle) 50 gifts for a baby that does not even care about stuff.  While I know it is against the current etiquette rules to say "no gifts," it is one rule I think needs to go.  To me gathering together with people who are important to you to celebrate a birthday/anniversary/wedding/etc should not mean being obligated to accept physical items that you do not want.  It is always rude to reject a gift.  One should accept gifts graciously, even if given after being asked to abstain.  But I also think there is nothing wrong with requesting "no gifts" if one simply wants to gather and celebrate without an avalanche of stuff.  It is my hope that the rules will change in this direction soon.  Meanwhile, despite being a huge stickler for etiquette rules in general, I will break this particular rule with no apologies.  Luckily, most of the people I run with feel the same way so no one is offended.

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I am in full agreement that this invitation is beyond rude.  But I also disagree with the above statement.  I *do* think it is OK to say "no gifts."  Wanting to celebrate a major milestone with as many people as you want does not also mean you want (or can even handle) 50 gifts for a baby that does not even care about stuff.  While I know it is against the current etiquette rules to say "no gifts," it is one rule I think needs to go.  To me gathering together with people who are important to you to celebrate a birthday/anniversary/wedding/etc should not mean being obligated to accept physical items that you do not want.  It is always rude to reject a gift.  One should accept gifts graciously, even if given after being asked to abstain.  But I also think there is nothing wrong with requesting "no gifts" if one simply wants to gather and celebrate without an avalanche of stuff.  It is my hope that the rules will change in this direction soon.  Meanwhile, despite being a huge stickler for etiquette rules in general, I will break this particular rule with no apologies.  Luckily, most of the people I run with feel the same way so no one is offended.

 

Oh, I should have said that I actually think that is fine also, especially for a 1-yr-old! And someone has to break the current etiquette rules in order for them to eventually change. I know the thought is that you don't mention gifts in any way because you aren't supposed to be thinking that you will receive any, but really, that's a bit silly. 

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I am in full agreement that this invitation is beyond rude.  . . . While I know it is against the current etiquette rules to say "no gifts," it is one rule I think needs to go.

 

I agree.  I think society has changed and people these days often have too much stuff and little need for more, and a small postscript requesting no gifts should be considered acceptable.  I don't think people should feel hesitant to celebrate with family and friends because they'll be stressed from all the gifts.  After all, isn't the goal to emphasize relationships and experiences over stuff?

 

However, that doesn't change the fact that when etiquette rules are in flux, things still don't always work out.  It would be ideal if a request for "no gifts" was considered appropriate/inoffensive and was respected by guests.  But oftentimes people ignore such requests, or else risk being one of the few people who respect the request and show up empty-handed as everyone else comes bearing gifts.  I think if you truly don't want gifts, you can't call it a birthday party or an anniversary party - just invite people and as part of the celebration bring out a birthday or anniversary cake.  But that doesn't always work, either - I'd sure be more likely to rearrange my schedule to attend a 50th birthday party or a 25th anniversary party than to attend what appears to be just a barbecue, KWIM?

 

For those who have requested charitable donations instead of presents, how has that worked?  Has that met guests' needs to bring something?  Or have they brought presents anyway?

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