Three Reasons Why I say “No Gifts” at Parties

Check your Facebook upcoming events right now. I would almost bet you have a minimum of five upcoming events that you’re invited to, that require a gift. Baby Showers, graduation parties, bridal showers, birthdays, wedding receptions, house warming parties, it never ends. What’s acceptable as a gift? $20? $50? An actual gift instead of cash? What if I don’t have the money? Do I pretend to be busy that day and skip it? Or show up empty handed and ashamed?? What do I do?!

Before I get into this, please know that I’m by no means looking down on or judging anyone who does host parties with the intention of receiving gifts- but these are the reasons why I personally won’t do it.

Why my Party Invitations always say “No Gifts

  1. I want people to show up and celebrate! If I’m hosting a party, I’m doing it because I want to celebrate with my friends and family. I don’t need gifts. I may not be loaded, but I have always had everything I’ve ever needed. I never want my friends or family to sit out a celebration or feel ashamed for not having extra money to throw around.  Come as you are, eat and be merry!
  2. I don’t want to take away from friends and family. Not only do I not want to transfer money from someone else’s hands to mine- but I want them to have the ability to take care of others first. This is especially true during graduation season, some people have twenty or more parties to attend! I would much rather allow them to spread their gifts further. As I said earlier, I may not always have a lot, but I have enough. I don’t want to take away from a fellow graduate who isn’t as fortunate as I am.
  3. I would much rather shop for myself. Do all of my friends and family know that I hate the color yellow? Probably not. What do I do with these yellow hand towels now? Burn them? Drop them off at Goodwill? Use them even though I hate them? I’m a very particular person- just give me the gift of your presence for an hour, and I’ll do the shopping myself!
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Do you like the idea of going sans gifts? Do you want to try this for yourself?

Here are a few things I noticed about making this request:

  • Some people still feel uncomfortable not bringing gifts, even if you specifically asked them not to. To help them with this, ask for something else, that doesn’t have an ulterior meaning. “Cards Only” may be interpreted as “No gifts, please hide cash in the cards!”, but “Bring your best Newlywed Advice” or “Recipes Only” probably won’t be assumed to have a double meaning.
  • Your grandparents, aunts, and uncles will still not listen, and they will happily bring gifts. Make sure you thank them profusely and in person, and let them how much you appreciate them. Try to do this in private though, so that others don’t feel guilty or left out.
  • After thanking the gift bearers repeatedly, put the gifts in a discreet location. You don’t want someone looking at the pile of gifts and panicking because they might have read the invitation wrong!
  • If you’re doing physical invitations, make sure you include the “No Gifts” on the card. If you’re doing an e-Vite or a Facebook event, make sure you include “No Gifts” in the description and as a post. So many people only skim for dates and times, so put it in an eye catching place, repeat it, or even bold it.

What are your thoughts on showers and expected gift giving? Am I the only one who feels guilty and / or rude? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. As always, thank you for reading!

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