"No gifts, please. Your presence is the only gift we need."
You've probably seen this wording on kids' birthday party invitations—maybe you've even written it yourself. No-gift parties are a trend that continues to grow. Some parents do it because they worry about their kids becoming too materialistic; others just can't stand the piles of unused toys in their home.
But no-gift parties can be problematic. For one thing, some people insist on bringing something—they feel weird or rude if they don't—which creates awkwardness for those who do follow the no-rule gift. What's more, you might have a problem getting your kid on board. After all, after attending dozens of parties with a gift in hand, it's reasonable that your kid will expect presents at her own shin-dig.
Which is why we're loving this new birthday party idea: the fiver birthday party.
The invitation for a fiver party will say something along the lines of, "Zoe is having a fiver party! She is saving for a [big-ticket] so if you choose to bring a gift, please make it a $5 bill in a card." Similarly, some Canadian kids are having "two toonie" parties, where they keep one two-dollar coin and give the other to charity.
The fiver party solves a lot of problems for parents. It keeps bulky (and often unwanted) toys out of the birthday kid's house, and it also removes the stress of gift-buying from the lives of the guests' parent. Grab a card at the dollar store, throw a five in it, have your kid draw a cute picture, and bam, you're done.
There will, of course, be fiver haters. Maybe you think your kid "deserves" all those gifts, and you don't mind the extra stuff. Maybe you actually enjoy shopping for gifts for your kid's pals. Maybe you and your kids love the chaos of gift-opening at the end of the party. And for sure if your kid is still little—turning three or four, for example—you may worry that she won't understand why there are no presents to rip open.
But for many parents and kids, the fiver party is the perfect balance between no gifts and way too many gifts. People, let's make this happen!
Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners