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essence_of_soy
05-16-2012, 11:32 PM
When I had my 50th birthday party, I said no gifts, but asked people to bring food donations for the food closet at my church, because I know a lot of people hate to show up empty handed. They brought so much food! It was great. Having people bring the food donations worked out pretty well.

I love the idea of food donations for any celebration. I have been to parties where people are asked to bring a plate, and there is so much food left over, it is either thrown out or you end up eating the same things for lunch for days on end..

mag
05-16-2012, 11:49 PM
We do food donations for my kids' birthday parties. They have so much stuff and really don't need more. I think I may have posted this before, but it is a great experience for them to take the boxes of food down to the food bank.

nubka
05-17-2012, 12:30 AM
We do food donations for my kids' birthday parties. They have so much stuff and really don't need more. I think I may have posted this before, but it is a great experience for them to take the boxes of food down to the food bank.

How old are your kids?

mag
05-17-2012, 01:34 AM
How old are your kids?

They are now 12 and 15 but we have been doing the food thing, I think, since the now 12 year old turned 7? Maybe 8? I can't remember.

Actually, the younger ones group of friend almost all do some sort of donation thing for gifts. Two usually do the SPCA, and there is one that has chosen a different charity every year. One child, whose birthday is near Christmas, collected toiletries for the local homeless shelter last year. I do realize this is an unusual group of girls.

The older dd and her friends don't really have birthday parties anymore. They get together, but there are really no gifts involved.

Jenny
05-17-2012, 02:40 PM
I do realize this is an unusual group of girls.

That is so awesome - unusual perhaps, but clearly these youngsters have had some great influences in their life.

:respec:

leesaleesa
05-18-2012, 12:13 AM
Aren't you special. It must be exhausting for you to be so hostile over such trivial things. And if that is how your friends have bridal showers, I'm glad I don't know them.

:lol: You got that right. If that bridal shower was such a pearl clutching event in your estimation, the bachelorette party would surely have had you bogarting Aunt Pittypat's smelling salts.

No, I'm not special. I do know when someone tells you they don't want something, they surely do not want something, no matter how desperately you wish to see the "joy" on their face while they unwrap another salad spinner or fondue set.

I will keep you in mind for the next gala I attend, as long as you don't bring a gift.

cruisin
05-18-2012, 03:44 AM
I will keep you in mind for the next gala I attend, as long as you don't bring a gift.

Trust me it would be a cold day in hell before I brought you a gift, or attended anything that you would find appealing. And for what it's worth, I'm not a prude, I'm simply not crass. Can't imagine anything hotter than an unshowered stripper in a crusty thong :rolleyes:.

cruisin
05-18-2012, 02:43 PM
Frankly, I am rather shocked at the level of hostility toward posters who have expressed that they would feel uncomfortable not bringing a gift. And toward those who are sympathetic to that feeling. I am not advocating ignoring the wishes of the person who requests no gifts, I am just trying to explain that it is uncomfortable for some to do that. I was raised to give a gift from the heart, to celebrate something or to say thank you for something. I don't give random gifts, I put an enormous amount of thought into them. I personalize the gift for the recipient, it is not just a "shit, I have to get something/anything" thing for me. I was raised to bring something when I am invited somewhere. If I'm asked not to, I will honor that. But, it goes against my nature. If that angers anyone, they are the ones with issues and who are intolerant. I am highly allergic to flowers, I have mentioned to people that they should never bring me flowers, because of that. People still do, and I still appreciate that they were just trying to be thoughtful. If I got angry over that, it would be pretty sad.

ArtisticFan
05-18-2012, 03:11 PM
While I can appreciate that you feel uncomfortable not bringing a gift, I feel like catering to that puts you ahead of everyone else. Other people have agreed to abide by the bride or groom's wishes. When someone else decides to bring a gift, he or she puts the receiver in an awkward position, as well as the other guests.

You can have the best of intentions, but it can make the others feel uncomfortable because now they have arrived empty handed.

Though it is the bride or groom's prerogative, I am a fan of the couple selecting a charity or cause they would like to see the money or gifts go toward. My husband and I didn't want or need for anything when we got married. My shower (from my co-workers) included a collection for a local food bank. Additionally, everyone was asked to write a note to me offering advice and wisdom on married life. One person did bring a gift, but she did not make a show of it. She simply found a quiet moment and told me privately that she had brought an item she thought I could use.

I should say I'm not a fan of bridal or baby showers. I find them tacky and the least fun events I have to attend. Maybe it was the way I was raised, but I have never found a wedding to be something that needed a gift. It wasn't some big accomplishment.

PDilemma
05-18-2012, 03:21 PM
Frankly, I am rather shocked at the level of hostility toward posters who have expressed that they would feel uncomfortable not bringing a gift. And toward those who are sympathetic to that feeling. I am not advocating ignoring the wishes of the person who requests no gifts, I am just trying to explain that it is uncomfortable for some to do that. I was raised to give a gift from the heart, to celebrate something or to say thank you for something. I don't give random gifts, I put an enormous amount of thought into them. I personalize the gift for the recipient, it is not just a "shit, I have to get something/anything" thing for me. I was raised to bring something when I am invited somewhere. If I'm asked not to, I will honor that. But, it goes against my nature. If that angers anyone, they are the ones with issues and who are intolerant. I am highly allergic to flowers, I have mentioned to people that they should never bring me flowers, because of that. People still do, and I still appreciate that they were just trying to be thoughtful. If I got angry over that, it would be pretty sad.

I am also taken aback by the hostility some show over being given gifts. How do people not comprehend that a gift is an expression of generosity and kindness? And then they somehow consider themselves better than the giver for not wanting anything...I don't get it.

As for the "give to this charity" parties and weddings. That can be problematic as well. I've been invited to events where the designated charity was highly offensive to me. In one case, I gave a gift instead and it was received with gratitude. All charities are not created equal and not everyone wants their money going where you want yours to go. Forcing people to donate to your preferred cause can also be extremely awkward.

cruisin
05-18-2012, 03:26 PM
While I can appreciate that you feel uncomfortable not bringing a gift, I feel like catering to that puts you ahead of everyone else. Other people have agreed to abide by the bride or groom's wishes. When someone else decides to bring a gift, he or she puts the receiver in an awkward position, as well as the other guests.

You can have the best of intentions, but it can make the others feel uncomfortable because now they have arrived empty handed.

I understand your point, including the part about making others uncomfortable. But, I have said, several times, that if the celebrant requests no gifts, that should be respected. But, not bringing a gift can feel very uncomfortable for some people. I am not saying put your feelings ahead of the celebrant's, just that it is uncomfortable. I' not directing this at you, but I don't see why that should anger anyone.

danceronice
05-18-2012, 04:10 PM
I am also taken aback by the hostility some show over being given gifts. How do people not comprehend that a gift is an expression of generosity and kindness? And then they somehow consider themselves better than the giver for not wanting anything...I don't get it.


Going for the hat trick, I'm also surprised no one's pointed out it is COMPLETELY RUDE for the intended recipients in any way to suggest they're asking for gifts, expecting gifts, or assume invitees will think bringing a gift is conditional to their invitation. Including writing "no gifts" on the invitation. Technically parents and siblings aren't supposed to host showers, either (and NEVER the bride and groom) because that makes it look like a blatant gift-grab/shakedown by the family.

The people doing the inviting are (ideally and in a civil world) inviting you because they want you to be their guest at a special event. The people who give gifts are doing it because they would like to thank their host and honor their special occassion.

cruisin
05-18-2012, 04:32 PM
Going for the hat trick, I'm also surprised no one's pointed out it is COMPLETELY RUDE for the intended recipients in any way to suggest they're asking for gifts, expecting gifts, or assume invitees will think bringing a gift is conditional to their invitation. Including writing "no gifts" on the invitation. Technically parents and siblings aren't supposed to host showers, either (and NEVER the bride and groom) because that makes it look like a blatant gift-grab/shakedown by the family.

The people doing the inviting are (ideally and in a civil world) inviting you because they want you to be their guest at a special event. The people who give gifts are doing it because they would like to thank their host and honor their special occassion.

Well said!

mag
05-18-2012, 04:39 PM
ITA Danceronice!!!!! I have been thinking this as well, although it is tricky because so many people do say "no gifts" so if you don't, it looks like you expect them. I do see children's birthday parties as slightly different because the gift opening is a huge part of the party as well as donations in lieu of flowers on death announcements as fine.

As for asking people to write something, eek, that would cause me to hyperventilate! I can't imagine anything more stressful.

You know, many people look down on manners as being something restrictive and snobby, but the rules for "polite society" were developed to help make people comfortable rather than uncomfortable. When there are clear rules in place (like you always take a gift to a birthday party) it makes it easy for everyone. The flip side of this, is that the gift is completely the decision of the giver and no matter how small or how large, each is received with the same warmth and enthusiasm. After the party, what the receiver does with the gift is his or her business. Keep, donate, regift, or dump, up to you.

skatingfan5
05-18-2012, 04:44 PM
The flip side of this, is that the gift is completely the decision of the giver and no matter how small or how large, each is received with the same warmth and enthusiasm. After the party, what the receiver does with the gift is his or her business. Keep, donate, regift, or dump, up to you.If the recipient of the gift has already been tactless enough to have "no gifts, please" stated with the invitation, is she/he now expected to send a written thank you note for the unwanted gift? Or would not doing so that make him/her a double offender against the "rules of polite society"? Or would his/her feigned warmth and enthusiasm at the time the gift was received be considered to be sufficient? :slinkaway