My only goal is for children to have fun and for adults to have as little stress as possible. How would you handle this? I've thought about changing so that everyone can choose a friend for a special day, but they really love their party. So I have organized a couple of shared birthday parties (my two oldest children have their birthday two weeks apart) and I have also attended some. I have personally done the two invitation scenarios you mention and I have seen that both were done for other parties and, as far as I know, no one felt any stress, obligation or discomfort.
Amalah is a pseudonym for Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily maternal adventures on Ama. You can follow Amy's daily maternal adventures in Amalah.
Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our popular weekly pregnancy calendar, Zero to Forty. Amy is the mother of first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike. I prefer not to open presents at parties. I don't like to focus on materialism and the possibility of hurting, feeling feelings of shame when children start comparing who has what.
It can be painful for children whose families can't afford an elegant gift. It's also boring for guests, and I prefer my kids to think of throwing a party as an opportunity to make things fun for their guests, not just fun for themselves. We recently celebrated my son's 7th holiday with donations to Heifer International instead of gifts. We could create our own registration page and I included a link to it in the evites.
Some people donated online and others simply put cash on a birthday card. It seemed to work better than “not giving gifts” because people could bring something, but I still didn't end up with a house full of new things. Some people brought regular gifts, which was also completely fine. Have each child choose their favorite book, wrap it up, and then everyone choose one to take when they leave.
This also deals with favor, which is a completely different matter. I should also point out that all this confusion is exactly why the label exists, so that people know what is expected. Trying to change the label is a confusing process. Maybe it has to happen in this case, but it hasn't officially happened yet.
So, the current label still stands: invite people to your party. Don't try to tell them what kind of gift to give (unless they ask you what you want), and be kind no matter what they do, with or without gifts. But then, what's the proper etiquette at a child's birthday party? Open presents at the party or not? Seriously, I don't know. According to Emily Post, you open the gift at the party, oh and aah, and you immediately thank the person.
So, since you've thanked them personally, you don't need to send a thank you note. It's okay if you don't open the presents at the party, but then you should send a thank you note. They invited my son to two birthday parties where the children didn't open the presents; the gift was not recognized with a thank you note either. I have no idea if my gift was opened or if it got lost in the crowd of presents.
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Any answers to the questions posed and any recommendations or information provided therein should not be used as a substitute for medical or other relevant advice from a healthcare provider or parenting professional. As for making it clear that children who have birthdays are NOT siblings, I would make sure that the invitations include their first and last names. The single envelope is a good idea, by the way, as this will make it clear that the parties are a joint agreement at the same time and place, and not two separate “competing” parties. Therefore, full names and invitations that make it clear that each child has their own topic of choice should be a sufficient signal to parents that two separate gifts are appropriate for two unrelated birthdays.
Don't make any explicit mention of gifts of any kind in the invitations. You must make a combined party announcement for all guests who know both of them and a separate invitation for guests who only know your child. I have two children who have always had their party together. Every year they choose who to invite.
If the invitation to one person knows both children, we approach the invitation as the combined party. If they invite a guest only knows one of the children, we only address him from that child. In 5 years of doing things this way, only once has a guest questioned the invitation. In that case, the guest mentioned that he didn't know it was the youngest child's party either.
I assured them that it was OK to be invited to celebrate with the child they knew. They were good and without problems. However, the following year, that same guest also brought a gift for the youngest child. This is a great list.
I love having people at home, but I get into the mess of wanting everything to be perfect and when I realize that I'm not really having much fun (and neither are my guests), it's too late. And I promise to do better next time. I think the host really says to himself: WHO CARES? and simply relaxing is what makes a good meeting good 99% of the time. Our camp program is designed for children ages 4 to 12 who learn to go to the bathroom and who can separate themselves.
To challenge children accordingly, the group will be divided into age-appropriate groups for some activities. Or, if you're specifically planning a holiday party, be sure to order Christmas party invitations well in advance. If there is a particular theme they want, in addition to collecting it on the cake for each child, I buy wrapping paper with that theme to cover the tables because it is much cheaper than themed tablecloths and is very easy to clean. Last year, without knowing it, I was invited to a joint party and I was very happy not to have known beforehand, since I would have debated whether I should bring a gift to the other child even though I didn't really know him.
If you're planning a dinner party in the near future, you're probably sending dinner invitations. .