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View Full Version : When an invitation says 'No Gifts' do you still bring one?



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taf2002
06-07-2011, 09:14 PM
mag, that's a wonderful idea.

numbers123
06-08-2011, 01:24 AM
By all means honour the No Gift request. However, if you have a good photo of the couple, especially with you, put it in an inexpensive frame and give it to them. That is meaningful and personal but not really a gift.


Then they have to put the frame in their house. STUFF!
Manhn I agree. My parents are trying to downsize all the time. Any picture in a frame is one more thing to deal with.


If they are wine drinkers, you could bring a nice (but not extravagant) bottle of wine along with whatever food dish you bring. Then they can open it and serve it to the group as part of the potluck, or they could consider it a gift and put it aside.


By all means, no gifts means no gifts. Flowers, wine, food (especially since it is a potluck) and good company are all welcome additions I'm sure.
Again, you need to know the people really well. My mom and dad don't drink wine and my mom is allergic to flowers. For them, just the pot-luck and interaction with family and friends is more than a gift, it is a treasure.

A nice card would be OK if you want to give them something tangible, instead of just saying "Happy anniversary".
I thought that a card was already sent.

overedge
06-08-2011, 01:36 AM
.

I thought that a card was already sent.

It was, but I read it as a card to mark the anniversary. I was thinking of a card for the party, e.g. "Thank you for inviting us to be part of your special celebration".

manleywoman
06-08-2011, 04:02 AM
No gifts here too. My son's birthday is on a big holiday, so we always throw a bbque that's a combo of celebrating his birthday and just having people over. We have 1000 square feet, so when we say no gifts, really, we mean it! But people love buying for kids so they bring them anyway. Sigh.

skaternum
06-08-2011, 06:10 PM
^^^ I wouldn't even take flowers. That would be considered kind of gift-y in my crowd.

sk8pics
06-08-2011, 11:14 PM
I honor the no-gifts request but may take a bottle of wine along with any pot-luck food. The problem with bringing flowers is that if a lot of people have that idea it could be a problem!:lol: Plus, where I live we are not allowed to put yard waste or flowers in the regular trash. It has to be part of a separate pick up (which I don't have) or you take it to the nearby county compost instead. So it is kind of a pain for me now if people bring me flowers. That said, a friend brought me flowers a couple months ago when he came for dinner and that was very sweet. Because it was just one person.

When I threw a birthday party for myself a few years ago, I asked people to bring non-perishable food items for the food closet at my church, because I know people hate to show up empty-handed. They brought a lot of food! It was great. A few people still brought me small gifts and it was okay. Two of my skating friends had put two tickets for freestyle time in a card and they said, "We know you said no gifts, but we thought it would be okay to support your skating habit!":lol:

JasperBoy
06-08-2011, 11:45 PM
OK, I take it back. Don't put the photo in a frame. Put it in in your card.

mag
06-09-2011, 02:19 AM
...When I threw a birthday party for myself a few years ago, I asked people to bring non-perishable food items for the food closet at my church, because I know people hate to show up empty-handed. They brought a lot of food! It was great. ...

Slightly OT, but this is what my kids do for their birthdays now. They really don't need anything and they realize they are very fortunate. Everyone brings non perishable food and then I take the birthday girl down to the food bank after the party. The first time we did it it was a big eye opener for them. My teenager recently asked people to bring small personal care items (toothbrushes, shampoo etc) and part of the party was to make up small bags for the local shelter. We found some cute toiletry bags at the dollar store and the girls spent almost an hour figuring what should go in each one.

jlai
06-09-2011, 05:21 AM
Slightly OT, but this is what my kids do for their birthdays now. They really don't need anything and they realize they are very fortunate. Everyone brings non perishable food and then I take the birthday girl down to the food bank after the party. The first time we did it it was a big eye opener for them. My teenager recently asked people to bring small personal care items (toothbrushes, shampoo etc) and part of the party was to make up small bags for the local shelter. We found some cute toiletry bags at the dollar store and the girls spent almost an hour figuring what should go in each one.

I wish more people would do that instead of buying the nth toy car or toy train or Barbie doll for kids, even if it's their bday.

BigB08822
06-09-2011, 05:51 PM
I think no gift should be taken quite literally. I do think you could get away with bringing a card, though, so long as there was nothing in it to constitute a gift. You mentioned being afraid of showing up and other people having gifts and then you would feel bad. This is part of the reason some people request no gifts, because they don't need anything and they don't want people to feel bad if they can't or don't bring something. The ones who bring stuff anyway are breaking the rules and causing others to feel bad. Follow the rules and no one gets hurt, lol

mag
06-09-2011, 08:03 PM
I think no gift should be taken quite literally. ...

I agree, but the term "gift" is defined differently in different social circles. I would never, ever, ever show up to someone's house for dinner without at least a bottle of wine and/or flowers, and most of the time both - it depends on where the dinner is to whether it is one or both. Neither would be considered a gift. Also, if it is near Christmas, I would take a hostess gift instead of flowers, and my dh would still take a bottle of wine. That is just how our group of friends operate. For a birthday party, if "no gifts" is NOT specified, then there would be flowers, wine, and a gift. Again, that is just the custom.

Now this is not to say that this custom is the "right" way to do things. It is just the way we do. That is the problem with these sorts of discussions on an internet forum. What is acceptable among one group of friends may be totally unacceptable among another.

So if the invitation says "no gifts," in some places that means take absolutely nothing at all, and in other places with other groups it mean don't take a gift, but a bottle of wine or flowers is okay if you want, and in yet another group it means no gifts, but flowers and wine are still assumed.

You can begin to see why strict rules about manners were developed. If there are strict rules that everyone in society follows, there is never any questions about what to do. I remember ready about English society during the Victorian era. Now they had RULES. Serious rules for those considered part of "society." Of course, there were lots of problems with that too so I'm pretty sure we don't want to go back to that kind of structure!

Vash01
06-11-2011, 06:02 AM
I am a late comer to this thread and I agree with others. If they requested 'No gifts' you have to honor that request. Once I went to a birthday party of a friend who had completed 40 and he and his wife had requested 'no gifts'. I felt uncomfortable going there without a gift, so I took a small one- decorative plate- which the 'birthday boy' accepted graciously. However, I was the only one that brought a gift and I felt a bit embarrassed that I did.

I am wondering if an Anniversary card of good wishes may still be OK? It's not exactly a gift; just some good wishes.

VIETgrlTerifa
06-11-2011, 08:26 AM
Am I the only one who hates receiving greeting cards of any kind?

I mean the designs are cute and can be really sweet and I do love it when your loved ones write something insightful or touching, but really, they just end up clutter for me to deal with. I hate throwing them away since they look nice and having something nice written in them, but I end up doing that anyway after time has passed.

So if I told people "no gifts" I would especially not want a card.

numbers123
06-11-2011, 10:10 AM
no = I never know what to do with the cards once the event or occasion is over with. The exception has been the holiday cards I receive from FSUers. I do keep those and cherish them.

Aceon6
06-11-2011, 01:21 PM
Going back to the original dilemma, if you're someone like me who hates to turn up without a "gift", I've started offering specific help. A general "can I do anything?" rarely elicits a response, but "is there anything I can pick up en route?" or "is there anyone needing a ride?" usually gets the hosts thinking. If the hosts are family or close friends, I call about 2-3 hours before the party, figuring the hosts have completed inventory and know what is left to be done. Most times, I get an "I'm SO glad you called, can you pick up X?" Something as small as bringing nutmeg so the hosts don't have to go out is appreciated much more than bringing something they haven't planned on.