5 Things You Should Know About a “Please, No Gifts” Birthday Party


If you’re invited to a child’s birthday party and see the parents have requested your presence, not presents, here are five things you should know about kids’ no-gift birthday parties. 

no gifts1.If the invitation says something to the tune of no gifts, respect the request. The hosts/parents actually mean it. It’s not a backhanded way to ask for gifts. The birthday child could be getting tons of presents from family members or maybe the family has somehow successfully become minimalist.

2. “But the birthday boy is going to be so sad about not getting presents at his party!” This isn’t for the guests to decide. The hosts/parents have probably had conversations about this with the birthday child, and the child knows what to expect. 

3. You really, really do not need to bring something. However, if you still feel funny showing up empty handed to a child’s no-gift birthday party (you don’t need to though), consider one of these reasonable yet fun items. Just don’t wrap it up like a gift. An envelope will do just fine.  

  • A card your child has colored, glued, cut and made just for the birthday kiddo
  • A card that sings or lights up
  • One (1) balloon – could even be new, uninflated balloon taped to a homemade card!
  • A printed photo or hand drawing of your child and the birthday boy/girl
  • A “coupon” for a playdate

4. If you’re a family member (hint: grandparents) and simply insist on breaking the rule, opt for something non-material but experience based like a movie date or a zoo membership. 

5. Consider using the invitation as an opportunity to talk to your kids about how the most fun part is the celebration, not the gifts

Would you have a no-gift birthday party for your kiddo?