What do you get when you invite 50 people to a party for two very lucky five-year-olds? A whole lotta birthday gifts, that’s what!
Let’s do the maths, shall we? 50 birthday gifts times two kids, well, you’re looking at enough to stock your very own toy store!
This is exactly why the mother of these two very lucky twins thought it made sense to ask their guests to bring cash, not presents, to the upcoming birthday soiree.
However, before doing so, she turned to social media to ask for feedback on her idea. And, wowee, did it ever turn into a debacle!
The mother, who is unnamed (good thing for her!), turned to Mumsnet with a simple question:
I’m starting to freak out about the number of presents they will get and where to keep them in the house (plus all that extra plastic that will end up at the dump).
“WIBU (would I be unreasonable) to send a group WhatsApp message asking [guests] not to bring presents or to put a bit of cash in a card and I can take them to get something they choose?
How could I word it? Most guests are their new classmates (only started 3 weeks ago), so I don’t know the parents”.
Mumsnet is known as a hotbed for opinions and this particular situation did not disappoint. The trolls were out in full force, ready to attack, branding the birthday request as “outrageous”, “rude” and “vulgar”.
Here are a few of the comments:
No you can’t ask people your kids have known for three weeks for cash! Outrageous!”
“Omg, of course you can’t ask for cash, how cheeky and rude!”
“If you didn’t want ’50 plastic presents’ then you shouldn’t have invited 50 people!”
“It’s extremely cheeky to ask for cash instead of presents.”
“By asking for cash you’re probably pushing people to up their spending amount. Comes across as grabby.”
“I am sorry, if I saw a request for cash for a child’s birthday, I would think that’s entering the league of cheeky f***wittery.”
Of course, there were a few mums who agreed that it wasn’t such a bad idea, especially for the environment. After all, that’s A LOT of plastic toy boxes!
Is cash really that bad of an idea?
I actually don’t think it is.
After all, kids get SOOO much stuff for their birthdays and often it is overwhelming for them. I find my kids open each gift, look at it and then it ends up not even being played with again because they’ve already moved on to opening another present. Greedy, ungrateful, gift-hungry – not a good look!
I know cash isn’t really much better, but at least they can save up to buy something special or save it for another day when they aren’t already drowning in presents. Finding the right words, however, to ask for cash can be a little tricky.
One of the mums on the Mumsnet thread suggested,
Put a few nice words about saving the environment and only wanting their presence at the party and chances are you will get a few fivers put in the card anyway.”
Another mum explained that she asked for donations towards a large item and that worked well.
Presentless parties for the win!
Sure, gifts are still the norm for now, but could presentless parties be a thing of the future?
They are much easier for the mums of the guests – no wrapping paper to buy, no trip to Kmart needed.
They are much easier for the mum of the birthday boy or girl too – no extra plastic to put in the bin, no extra toy storage needed.
But, best of all, cash gifts can instill patience in children (they can’t play with money straight away), teach them about the value of money and saving up, and allow them to choose a toy or item that is really special to them.
I’ve been to a birthday party (albeit for an adult) where she asked for a bag of dog food from each person, to donate to the local pound. I thought this was pretty cool too. After all, there are only so many bottles of wine you can drink.
I’m sure most kids wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice their gifts for dog food, but, with cash presents, they have the power to choose what to do with the money. And, you never know, they may even choose to use it to buy someone else a gift. After all, Mother’s Day isn’t that far away…