We all love presents on our birthday. But how do we know our children are going to receive something they’ll use and love? Well the short answer is we don’t! I’ve read many threads on netmums about receiving unwanted presents and so I’ve put some thought into what one can politely do to avoid our lovely guests spending money on “stuff” that is only going to end up catching dust.

A few questions to think about:

Do I want guests to buy gifts for my son or daughter?

Do I want there to be a limit on how much guests spend?

Do we want gifts opened at the party or saved for home?

It’s not unusual for parent’s to ask guests not to buy presents for their children. If this is the case then you’ll need to include this on the invitation. The reason for this could be perhaps your child already has everything they need and additional toys and trinkets will only clutter the house. If you want all gifts to be of equal value so other family members, mum’s and dad’s don’t feel the need to spend too much then add to your invitation “we appreciate presents but we feel £5 is more than enough so please don’t feel the need to spend anymore!”. Another option could be to ask your son or daughter to choose a charity. On your invitation ask guests who were going to buy a present to put the money towards the cause instead. 


Unwanted presents

Give them away to a school, nursery, hospital or charity shop. Sell it or swap it and please don’t feel bad about it! There is no point holding onto something your child may already have and won’t make the most of.


Opening the presents

With young children it may be worth waiting until the party is over to do presents.. just to avoid any new presents getting broken or the dreaded green monster. If this is the case, create an area for people to put presents when guests arrive, then once everyone has arrived, pop them in the car or a bag.

Some children may want to see their presents being opened. If you fancy it you could turn this into a game of sorts, a treasure hunt, guess who the present is from or blind unwrapping to make it more fun for other guests. If you have older children who can handle the green monster go ahead and have the presents opened at the party.