Why No-Gift Birthday Parties for Kids Are Becoming a Trend

Jill Holtz

April 8, 2019

no gift birthday party

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Are you tired of unwanted gifts or heaps of presents that your child just forgets about after the party? No-gift birthday parties are becoming a thing, maybe due to the facts that our kids already have plenty, or helping other parents to avoid stress. Whatever the reason here’s why no-gift birthday parties for kids are a trend. 

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Having held many kids parties in my house over the year, I can definitely remember a few gifts that caused a problem. Either it was completely unwanted and it was a waste of the poor parent’s money. Or it was hideous, plastic “crap” that wasn’t to my taste, and that I couldn’t wait to make it magically disappear when I got the chance…

Even with our own house rule of not opening presents until after the party was over, you just can’t really avoid these gift issues. Unless you opt for no-gift birthday parties, which is becoming a new trend and I can really see why.

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Why No-Gift Birthday Parties for Kids are a Trend

It’s Better To Have “Presence Than Presents”

Some parents like the idea because kids should just have fun and hang out with their friends. After all that’s what the memories are made of. You don’t remember many of the toys you are given, but you do remember fun times with your pals.

Plus, it’s teaching kids that celebrations shouldn’t be focused on receiving gifts.

Kids Already Have Too Much Stuff

Let’s face it. Our kids have heaps more stuff than we ever did as children. So some parents are doing it because they feel their child already has plenty of toys and belongings.

They get so many gifts nowadays at Christmas and at their birthday from their own family and close friends. This is a way of keeping what your child has to a reasonable amount.

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You Avoid The Unwanted Presents

Inevitably, someone always gifts that annoying toy or the toy that is not age appropriate but you feel like you can’t take it away since your child just fell in love with it in front of their pals. Or it’s made of plastic which we all should be aiming to reduce nowadays.

It Levels The Playing Field

There’s always one present that has clearly cost way more than the others. Also, sometimes parents may feel they can’t afford for their child to attend a party because of the added cost of buying a gift – especially when there’s an invite for every weekend in the foreseeable future. No-gift birthday parties would help level the playing field for everybody.

It Can Help Your Child Be Grateful

Other parents are doing it because they feel it helps their children be grateful for what they have. Instead of just getting more new shiny stuff, learn to appreciate what you already own and enjoy.

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It Avoids Unnecessary Stress For Other Parents

Aside from the cost mentioned above, there is the ingrained stress parents feel when you realise your child has a birthday party and you have forgotten to organise a gift. You then have to run out at the last minute and buy something totally unsuitable, possibly at extra cost. Something that you don’t know if they’ll even like!

It Avoids “The Unknown”

Speaking of not knowing if they’ll like your gift, I always called it the “unknown” – as in, I couldn’t possibly know what the birthday child was really into or would appreciate from a gift (unless they were really, really close friends of ours).

So I often felt I was buying a gift in the dark. And that the chances of the child liking or appreciating it were small.

It Can Be An Opportunity To Help Others

Some parents hosting no-gift birthday parties are instead asking for donations e.g. to their favourite charity in lieu of gifts. This could be a nice way of encouraging community spirit, charitable giving and thinking of others.

If the charity is unnamed, perhaps there’s an animal that your child loves that has a charity you could donate to? Or even giving to a local child-friendly centre, children’s hospital or service.

It Avoids The “Grand Opening”

Party girl in living room with presents

Although in our house we always had a firm rule of not opening the presents until everyone had gone, I have been at parties where the child opened the presents in a “grand opening” in front of all their friends.

It can be hard on a child seeing that another child has given the birthday boy or girl a more preferred gift. You can also completely avoid the scenario of the birthday girl or boy turning up their nose at the gift they just opened, or announcing that they already have it.

Fiver Parties Are Now Popular

We did this and I loved it, I have to say. This is where every child brings a fiver in the birthday card envelope and doesn’t bring a gift. It helps keep the cost down for other parents and the child can choose one nice big thing if they want to buy with their money.

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Thinking About Throwing A No-Gift Birthday Party?

Not sure of how to word your no-gifts request on your child’s party invitation? A simple phrase like “no presents please” or “a fiver in a card only please” will suffice.

Or even something funny like “Shh! Don’t tell (child’s name) but I’m tired of hoovering up LEGO pieces! In lieu of gifts…”

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Why No-Gift Birthday Parties for Kids Are a Trend - Mykidstime

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Like this? Share it with your network!

Published On: April 8th, 2019 / Categories: Parties / Last Updated: May 16th, 2021 / Tags: , /

About the Author: Jill Holtz

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls

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