J’s 9th birthday party was last weekend! If you remember, we asked for no presents, phrasing it like this: “Please, please no gifts for the birthday boy.” And if guests wanted to, they could bring something to donate to our local animal shelter. We said: “J would like to make a donation to [Specific Shelter] for his birthday. If you would like to donate with us, please consider something small from their needs list: [link].”
I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. J mentioned that some kids said they were still going to bring him a present (in addition to a donation), even though he told them not to. I even heard one mom make a comment to another – that her husband said, “Are they trying to make us feel bad? Are we supposed to do this now?”
A few parents texted before the party with questions, and I reiterated what the invitation said and how we wanted to focus on giving.
J and I had a few talks before the actual party as well – that the party was the present and getting to spend time with his friends. (Just to try to avoid a potential upset kid when he realized there were no presents for him.)
But all in all, it DID seem to work!