A no-gift birthday party is a party where guests have been specifically requested to refrain from bringing gifts. There are a number of different styles of such parties, and there are a variety of reasons to decide to hold one. People who have been invited to a giftless party might think it's a bit strange, but it is important to respect the wishes of the people hosting the party. Those who are considering throwing a party should consider some things before taking the plunge.
This concept generally specifically applies to children's parties, since adults may celebrate their birthdays in different ways, and many adults do not expect gifts at their birthday celebrations. Many parents started turning to no-gift birthday parties because they were concerned that gifts placed a heavy emphasis on consumerism, and some of them wanted their children to embrace values of charity and fellowship. Others felt that the cost of birthday presents could get prohibitive for the parents of children with lots of friends, and holding a birthday party without gifts allows those parents to participate without feeling pressured or guilty.
An invitation to this type of party usually includes a small line that says “no gifts please.” In other cases, the invitation may indicate that the hosts of the party are collecting donations for a charity. Attendees may donate if they wish, or donate to another charity if they do not support the cause that the hosts are collecting for. Some parents believe that teaching children about charity at a young age is important, and that parties without gifts may be ultimately more rewarding and enjoyable.
Some children seem comfortable with the idea of a no-gift party; in fact, some might even suggest it, especially if they have attended a no-gift party for a friend. Others might be extremely opposed, since the concept does seem to go against the very tradition of a birthday party. Parents who are thinking about having a no-gift birthday party should talk it over carefully with their children before committing, and they would do well to ask their children for input on what should be done with donations or funds collected.
The goal behind the party is to get a group of kids together to celebrate their friendship. Cake and food may still be served, and entertainments such as party games are typically on offer. Presents, however, are kept absent, with any gifts from the parents or close friends being given privately, and gift bags for attendees are usually not a part of the party planning.