View Poll Results: Should I give a gift I've already made despite a belated 'no gifts' request?

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  • Keep it

    0 0%
  • Give it to him, but not at his birthday

    19 57.58%
  • Give it for his birthday anyway

    13 39.39%
  • Give it to me.

    1 3.03%
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Thread: 'No gifts' birthday question

  1. #1

    Default 'No gifts' birthday question

    Apologies for piling onto the birthday question bandwagon, but I need some input. I have a friend who lives down the street. Her son is the same age as Noe, and the two kids have been best friends since they were babies (we exchange babysitting all the time, and have playdates at least once a week). Her son's birthday is next week, and we'll be attending a small casual party at his house. When she emailed me a reminder about the party today, she mentioned that she wanted to include a "no gifts, please" addendum. Which would be totally fine, except ... I've already knitted him a hat. It's been sitting around for a month waiting for his birthday. I should add that I specifically picked the pattern and the yarn with him in mind, and I think both he and his parents will like it. I feel a little disappointed at the idea of not giving it to him -- making something for somebody is very personal for me.

    I know it's not really about me, though, so it seems that if she doesn't want gifts I should abide by her wishes. In thinking about it, I realized that at Noe's last two birthday parties, their family gave us handmade notes but no gifts, even though we had not specified no gifts -- and let me rush to state that I am absolutely fine with that, and the only reason I mention it in this context is that now suddenly I wonder if giving him the hat will make her feel uncomfortable, since her practice has been to not give birthday gifts.

    What would you do?
    Not give him the hat ever? (It will fit Noe and other small children we know, so it's not really wasted.)
    Give it to him, but at some time other than his birthday?
    Bring it to the party anyway, give it to the mom privately and explain that I made it before I knew she preferred no gifts?

    UPDATE: We hung out last night and talked a little about the bday party, so I mentioned that I had something for him and wanted to make sure it was ok. She said of course, and I can give it to them whenever. Solved! Thanks for all of your advice!
    Last edited by pepperlru; 01-26-2013 at 10:59 AM.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  2. #2

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    I vote the 3rd option and what a thoughtful gift!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I vote the 3rd option and what a thoughtful gift!
    Ditto! She will love it. I would just be very discrete.

  4. #4
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    I would just give it to him, but not at the party. That way you don't make anyone else feel uncomfortable that they didn't get something, either. Plus I think a gift given just because you were thinking of the person is far more special than a gift you felt you had to buy because someone was having a party.
    Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

  5. #5

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    I would bring it, but maybe hide it in your purse. Every party that I have been to that said "no gifts"...well, everyone brings a gift. If you see others are giving gifts, you'll have a gift. Otherwise, you could do it discreetly.

  6. #6

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    I agree, every "no gifts" party I have been to, people bring gifts. The first time I went to one of these I thought, well I'll just bring a card with a gift card in it just in case, and then everyone else there had all these elaborate gifts. It made me feel bad, even though they had requested no gifts!

    So yes, I would bring it, and give it to her discreetly if no one else is actually giving gifts.
    Katie (34) DH (33). DS1 Derek (3), DS2 Adam (1)



  7. #7
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    I cant see the poll on my kindle but i would definitely give it to him somehow because its really thoughtful and they will probably really appreciate it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    I would bring it, but maybe hide it in your purse. Every party that I have been to that said "no gifts"...well, everyone brings a gift. If you see others are giving gifts, you'll have a gift. Otherwise, you could do it discreetly.
    I agree with this. And if there really are no other gifts given, then I agree with giving to his mother discreetly and telling her that you had made it for him before she said no gifts, and that since you made it specifically for him, you want him to have it.
    Lynne, Grandma to three beautiful girls and one handsome little man!


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktbelle97 View Post
    I agree, every "no gifts" party I have been to, people bring gifts. The first time I went to one of these I thought, well I'll just bring a card with a gift card in it just in case, and then everyone else there had all these elaborate gifts. It made me feel bad, even though they had requested no gifts!

    So yes, I would bring it, and give it to her discreetly if no one else is actually giving gifts.
    This!



  10. #10
    3andMe's Avatar
    3andMe is offline Every day is a gift. It's just... does it have to be a pair of socks? Hopelessly Devoted
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    If you feel comfortable contacting, I would just call or email and explain that you already had a present and say it's no problem to pass it on to someone else but ask how she would like to handle it. That's how I did it for the last "no presents" party. I think a lot of people don't want to be the only person without a present, so that's why so many presents show up, or there are relatives who just ignore the request.

    Also, some people are more serious about the 'no presents' request than others. Some people may just want people to come and enjoy themselves without feeling obligated to provide a gift, whereas others may be more concerned about the accumulation of stuff or making birthdays more about wanting/possessions. I can't imagine anyone wanting to turn away a heartfelt, handmade gift (even me, and I tend to be in the 'no presents' category) but it may be more an issue of the timing.

    Finally, for a party next week, a reminder for no gifts this late is hard to expect people to comply with. I think most people already have their presents. She will most likely be understanding.
    Last edited by 3andMe; 01-22-2013 at 11:08 PM.


  11. #11

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    I would actually just wait until next week and not let her know it was ever meant for his birthday. I would just tell her that it reminded you of him or something like that

    Mommy to Piper 6/5/09 and an 11/2011
    Make a pregnancy ticker

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwenn View Post
    I would just give it to him, but not at the party. That way you don't make anyone else feel uncomfortable that they didn't get something, either. Plus I think a gift given just because you were thinking of the person is far more special than a gift you felt you had to buy because someone was having a party.
    My thoughts exactly!

  13. #13
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    I would bring it and just give it to her in private, like others have suggested. You were very thoughtful to make a handmade gift for him and I am sure she will appreciate it. If it makes you uncomfortable, than just give it to her at another time, but definitely give it to him. I can't think of any reason that she would not be grateful for such a thoughtful and personal gift!
    Growing fast... DD1 (6) & DD2 (4)
    Forever loved, forever missed... Twin Girls with us for 19w3d 6/12/06

  14. #14

    Default

    I agree with taking it to the party and giving it to the Mom discretely. At that point, she can choose to give it to him at another time. I'm sure that she'll understand, given that her request was so close to the party itself, and if you're like me, I would want him to have it since you made it especially for him.

    What a thoughtful gift, btw. I'm sure he'll love it!




  15. #15

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    The third option!

    *Kimberly* Mommy to Hayden (7), Alexis (5), Makenzie & Brooke (18m)!
    Looking for some bows for your little one? check us out --> www.sweetnsassycouture.com

  16. #16
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    That's a very thoughtful gift, and I think that even the 'no gifts' mom would appreciate it. I would give it to him without any association with the birthday.

  17. #17

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    I voted #3. Just be discreet. Chances are she's just trying to avoid filling her house with more toys. A handmade hat will almost certainly be appreciated. It's very thoughtful!



  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepperlru View Post
    Apologies for piling onto the birthday question bandwagon, but I need some input. I have a friend who lives down the street. Her son is the same age as Noe, and the two kids have been best friends since they were babies (we exchange babysitting all the time, and have playdates at least once a week). Her son's birthday is next week, and we'll be attending a small casual party at his house. When she emailed me a reminder about the party today, she mentioned that she wanted to include a "no gifts, please" addendum. Which would be totally fine, except ... I've already knitted him a hat. It's been sitting around for a month waiting for his birthday. I should add that I specifically picked the pattern and the yarn with him in mind, and I think both he and his parents will like it. I feel a little disappointed at the idea of not giving it to him -- making something for somebody is very personal for me.

    I know it's not really about me, though, so it seems that if she doesn't want gifts I should abide by her wishes. In thinking about it, I realized that at Noe's last two birthday parties, their family gave us handmade notes but no gifts, even though we had not specified no gifts -- and let me rush to state that I am absolutely fine with that, and the only reason I mention it in this context is that now suddenly I wonder if giving him the hat will make her feel uncomfortable, since her practice has been to not give birthday gifts.

    What would you do?
    Not give him the hat ever? (It will fit Noe and other small children we know, so it's not really wasted.)
    Give it to him, but at some time other than his birthday?
    Bring it to the party anyway, give it to the mom privately and explain that I made it before I knew she preferred no gifts?
    the bold part.


  19. #19
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    I would give it to her for him ahead of the party or pull her aside at the party. Whatever time you do it I would say that you had already made this prior to getting the no gift notice. You made that with him in mind so I think you should still give it to him.

  20. #20

    Default

    I agree that you should bering it also. I hate "no gift" parties. How sad for the birthday kid! Just my opinion of course.

  21. #21

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    I've only been to one 'no-gifts' party. Most people I saw giving presents gave them as they arrived and they were very small. One family gave the little girl a cute winter hat and a card. I was really unsure what to do so I brought a card with stickers inside, because I wanted to give something!

    It would depend on the reasoning behind the 'no-gifts.' Whether it's to avoid accumulation of junk toys, to avoid instilling greed/materialism in the kids, or just to avoid burdening guests when the host would rather the party be about celebrating by being together. Though, I can't think of any reason a thoughtful handmade gift would not be welcomed. But definitely give it privately and tactfully (and to the mom first!) That's the spirit birthday gifts *should* be given in; I can't imagine it not being appreciated.

    [/CENTER]

  22. #22

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    Thanks so much, everyone -- such great advice. I feel a lot better about it now. I think I'll bring it to the party, see what the mood is like, and either give it to her privately (if the chance presents itself) or the next time I see them. We see them all the time so it's not hard. If it comes up in conversation, I could also mention to her that I have something for him and ask when it would be a good time to give. I'm sure she would appreciate being asked (thanks, L!).
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


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