Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To Gift or Not To Gift...

It seems to be birthday season around here. In the past four weeks my daughter has been invited to six birthday parties. SIX. Some of the parties even coincided on the same Saturday literally back to back. Most of the invites were from classmates. While I appreciate parents inviting "everyone in the class", sometimes I just think seriously everyone in the class?

It just so happens that for four of the parties, we were out of town. I declined the party invitations.

To be quite honest, my daughter doesn't really hang out with many of the kids in her class outside of school. They are school pals. I also agree parties can be a way to better get to know one another outside of school, but in general I think the all class invitations are just out of politeness. I believe in having parties with friends. My daughter is lucky enough to have good friends from a childhood playgroup and others that she's grown up with. We are still figuring out the balance of school friends and lifelong friends.

Which leads me to our recent dilemma. After declining the party invitations I wondered if I should give gifts to the kids or not give gifts. Due to the number of parties we declined, I decided to not send gifts to school for the kids we didn't attend their parties. I figured, no party no gift. I always buy gifts for Sj's friends even if we miss a party, but four gifts for classmates, I couldn't justify it. I didn't think much of it.

But then one day, Sj came home telling us of a problem that arose at school. I guess one of her classmates, "Greg" asked her where his gift was. Of course, Sj responded, "I didn't come to your party or buy you a gift. Didn't you get enough?". But the discussion at school escalated to a point where my daughter had to actually ask the teacher to have Greg leave her alone, as he wouldn't drop it. It made me sad to think that a six year old child would have a party with twenty some kids and still be asking for more gifts.

So did I make the right decision, decline an invitation and not buy a gift. Or would you have sent a gift to school for the four kids?

16 comments:

  1. You did the right thing. I would not have sent a gift to school if we did not attend the party. And anyone who expects you too when that many kids were invited is crazy!

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  2. Sounds like Greg needs a talking to about his greediness.

    Um, no. No gifts. I think I actually read that somewhere, that you only provide a gift if you attend the event.

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  3. Greg....needs to get a life.

    I would not send a gift if I did not attend the party. You did the right thing!

    P.S. My husband is home early from work....RCS asked for a more detailed resume. They are interested!

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  4. Unless we are close friends, we do not send a gift if we did not attend the party.

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  5. I totally agree with you and what everyone else said. BTW, I love Sj's response "didn't you get enough?" hahaha, way to go!

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  6. I do the same thing that you did. If we don't go to the party then no gift (unless it's a close friend).

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  7. I would not have sent a gift either, especially since you don't even know the kid or his family. That sense of entitlement has started very young...scary.
    KDV

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  8. Wow. I can't believe that he would assume that everyone would buy him a gift whether or not they came.

    I agree with everyone, if you don't go, don't buy a gift. Hopefully the other kids have better manners.

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  9. No gift! It's not a wedding it's a flippin' six year old's birthday. People who did not attend the boy's party gave him gifts at school one was a toddler toy it was very strange. But I did not hand out gifts when we couldn't attend a party whether they gave him a gift or not, rude maybe? But I bet Miss Manners would agree.

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  10. It's your own call whether you give a gift or not--I personally do not do this just because as you know there are so many parties, it's hard to keep track.
    Her friend was very out of line for even asking--my kids have no clue who brought what--he sounds kind of greedy.
    Next time he asks SJ for his gift, tell her to ask him for cake and a goodie bag--hopefully he will then see how silly sounds ;)

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  11. Ridiculous. It's a kid's birthday party - not a wedding. I think that if you don't attend the party - you shouldn't be expected to give a gift.

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  12. I would never have expected gifts from classmates who couldn't make a party. I occasionally give gifts to friends who I can't be with...but they're GOOD friends. I think that perhaps "Greg's" parents need to explain to him that it's rude to ask for gifts like that, especially when Sj didn't even go to the party.

    I think you were right in not buying gifts. If you don't go to the party, you aren't obligated to buy a gift. I'm sorry that Sj had to deal with that, but I'm very proud of her for handling the situation so well.

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  13. Geez, can we talk entitlement issues? I think you (and your daughter!) are right on.

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  14. I totally agree that you did the right thing.

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  15. I do exactly what you do. Gift if the kid is going to the party, no gift if not going to the party, gift/not going only for good friends. What a spoiled brat.

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  16. I would not have even considered a gift for a child w/o attending the party. I'm shocked. Maybe a little appalled. We have maybe three friends in our circle that I buy a gift for on their birthday no matter what!

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!