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Thread: no gift birthday parties

  1. #1
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    My daughter and her friends are doing something I think is absolutely awesome. Their little kid birthday party invitations say "Just come and join the fun - no presents please. Micah will be getting plenty of new things from his family."

    When she first told me this I thought - yeah, right! Figured people would show up with presents anyway, but ... mostly not. Between parents and grandparents there were enough gifts to be fun at my grandson's recent three-year-old birthday party, but the emphasis was on playing at the park they used, feeding the ducks on the lake, tossing the frisbies she had for favors... just running around and having fun.

    Instead of spending big bucks she rented the pavilion - $25. Bought the frisbies - $1 each for 20 or so. Had fruit (I provided that) a donut cake - wait for the picture - it was SOOO cute - and little pigs in a blanket. Juice boxes and water bottles in a cooler. Baggies of bread for each child to feed the ducks. A few ballons and some plastic tablecloths and they were done.

    I hope this trend continues. I remember sacking up some of my kids' toys to bring out later in the year. It was just too much stuff!

    had to add this of my two grandboys - cousins - walking back from the ducks
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  2. #2
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    What a great idea!! Sounds like a whole lot of fun!! The cake is so cute!!

  3. #3
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    now that's an adorable idea!! Wish I could do that for my daughters 3rd! Her birthday is in December though!

  4. #4
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    that is great. my grandkids want money!!!

  5. #5
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Jan, I love the idea and the pics! What a darling little boy and the cake is too cute!
    I was thinking about something too. We all complain about how materialistic everyone is but look at what kids start out with??? People seem to go overboard with little ones.
    Learned behavior, maybe???
    Thanks for the great post! :D:D

  6. #6
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    We live in S. Texas - his birthday is in February and you can see the short sleeves and shorts. I'm not sure if she had a backup plan - there'd been an ice storm two weeks earlier and there can always be rain, but ... this time it worked.

    I'm also trying to keep to a tradition of having "adventures" instead of giving big gifts. Don't know how long it will last, but for #3 we went to Build a Bear. I took lots of pictures and made them into a little book for him. We made the monkey the week before his birthday then gave it to him at the party. I'm thinking fishing trips, etc for future birthdays. I know this may not work as well when they get older, but am hoping that "your birthday adventure will be next weekend" or whatever will just be what we do together.

    The monkey was less than $40 - got an online coupon before we went. That's cash, but not what I hear others spending on their precious ones.
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  7. #7
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    That is a great way to spend your birthday.

    When my kids got old enough to want a party (didn't do parties until school age, just family.) we had kids bring canned goods for the local food pantry. The catch was they had to wrap them creatively!!! Many, many odd and wonderful wrapped cans and boxes. Fun.:)

  8. #8
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    My grandkids are older now so can't really get by with no presents but my daughter just went for an home party for the boy that just turned 11 with friends from the neighborhood and a couple he knew from his last school. They had a blast. Had a cake and individual ice cream cups. Birthday parties had gotten to out of hand in my own opinion.

    mltquilt

  9. #9
    Super Member bluteddi's Avatar
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    My kids are all grown now... but the birthday child got to pick the " the resturant" for his birthday meal ( most do a little song and dance and a brownie or cupcake with a candle in it--FREE) with your meal.). They we would have a " silly or fun day" with friends for actual " party".....I'd serve cupcakes/fruit/cookies, punch etc ( light fair party wise) then we would do something at the house, more of a play day... even when the kids got older this was their favorite... once year ( summer of course) I bought cheap cans of shaving cream and we chased each other around the yard sraying each other... adults included... a good hose down and a change of cloths ( parents wer told in advance) and there was plenty of giggles to go around.. seems we did this one for the boys about their 16th or 17th Bday ( I know they had just started shaving )
    Fun can be had with costing an arm and a leg....

  10. #10
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    I just ran into a picture of my youngest son's birthday, pre-party. At each birthday party kids were allowed 3 or 4 friends, and got to choose whatever they wanted for the party. And had to "help" make the cake. The picture showed big sister, 13, and son, 4, decorating the cake. At that moment son wanted the cake inside to be colored, so poured on some food coloring, which made the cake look like it was bruised from a beating!!! Plenty of frosting hid that, thankfully. And he wanted snails for lunch..too much nature TV about then. But after collecting his snails from the high school's hedges, he named them and then refused to eat them, so back we went to school and released Jimmy and John and Pete and George and Ralph (named after big sister's husband). Then I got snails in cans that came with lovely shells... Son was the only one who ate more than one snail, but all finished the hot dogs I had "just in case".
    Those were the innocent days, now green stuff is all that is wanted after the single digit ages.

  11. #11
    Super Member great aunt jacqui's Avatar
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    for winter parties, snow men, forts. spray bottles wit food coloring. making snow men near a nursing home for residents to enjoy.
    collecting food for ,your local food bank Ice skating outside, barbecue outside, hot choc.,,,have parents join too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer22206
    now that's an adorable idea!! Wish I could do that for my daughters 3rd! Her birthday is in December though!

  12. #12
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    What a great idea! Thank you for sharing his party with us :D:D:D

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    What a great idea! Thank you for sharing his party with us :D:D:D

  14. #14
    Senior Member kraftykimberly's Avatar
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    We do the "no gifts please" thing too, and also put a note on the invite that we will gladly accept can goods or winter coats or blankets or dog/kitty items to donate on behalf of all the kids. We pick a different charity for each birthday. We have been able to make great donations every year, and my daughter loves being able to walk in the centers to present them with the items. Puts a smile on her face and ours.

  15. #15
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    No gift parties are quite the thing in my area. Food pantry donations, dog shelters, gift cards for different shelters to use...it is a wonderful thing!!

  16. #16
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    Emerald - your area is pretty much the area I'm talking about. My daughter lives in Sugar Land. How awesome that this is a wider spread idea than I'd thought!

    Maybe we'll have a generation of people who think fun is doing, giving, and playing rather than just being the center of attention and getting.

    One can hope, right?

  17. #17
    Super Member Janet L52's Avatar
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    What a delightful idea, the pictures are wonderful and I am so glad you shared them. I hope there is a trend back to simple celebrations like " the good old days"!

  18. #18
    Super Member wanda lou's Avatar
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    What a great idea, thanks for sharing.

  19. #19
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Great idea! I just love the pictures, never thought of a donut cake!

  20. #20
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    What a wonderful party idea--Thanks for sharing the ideas and the party!

  21. #21
    sueven's Avatar
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    We have a no gift party for my DGD. She will be 8 this year. We rent a series of sites at a nearby park and set up a badminton net, the kids bring their bikes, the site is off the main path and has a circular road in the center. Some of the high school kids from my class come and anyone can invite whomever they wish. We usually give balls,frisbees,or bubbles as favors. She has a great time.

  22. #22
    Super Member grannypat7925's Avatar
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    What a wonderful idea. Focus should be more on having fun and not expensive presents.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Kathi in PA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftykimberly
    We do the "no gifts please" thing too, and also put a note on the invite that we will gladly accept can goods or winter coats or blankets or dog/kitty items to donate on behalf of all the kids. We pick a different charity for each birthday. We have been able to make great donations every year, and my daughter loves being able to walk in the centers to present them with the items. Puts a smile on her face and ours.
    My youngest DD did that for Junebug's 1st b-day and items were donated to a local women's center for single moms. Everyone brought a covered dish and the cake was homemade with single cupcakes. All the items were donated in Junebug's name as her gift to those less fortunate!!! Lots of great ideas and I think the donut cake is priceless!!!

    Kathi in PA

  24. #24
    community benefactor
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    How gorgeous are these photos, what a wonderful idea. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  25. #25
    pal
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    Just want to let you know that you've made my day.

    I have been to children's birthday parties and have gone home completely heart sick seeing the expensive gifts that are given.

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