Friday, August 22, 2008

Etiquette on the Internet

Dear Internet,

I could use some advice.

Baby J's third birthday is fast approaching. I KNOW. At any rate, this birthday gets a larger party than normal, because we will cut his hair for the first time.

When we did this for D., we had a lovely party -- we invited about 20 families, had a barbecue at our house, and generally kept the focus off D., because he couldn't have handled being the center of attention with so many people around.

We will likely do something similar for Baby J. We sent out lovely printed invitations for D's party, and we did, against all our good upbringing, state "No gifts please." This was only moderately useful, because a lot of people flat out ignored it and brought gifts.

Internet, my children are so, so fortunate and they have a lot of crap already. I cannot in good conscience invite all the people I want to invite if they are going to bring gifts.

The immediate and obvious thing that came to mind was to suggest that in lieu of gifts, people donate to the Sotos Syndrome Support Association. But, I feel this is unfair to Baby J. in that it YET AGAIN puts him in D's shadow.

What do you think, Internet? Should I just resign myself to cramming even more toys into our playroom? Should I suggest that people donate to the charity of their choice? Should I state that all gifts will be donated to Charity X?

Wonderingly,
WG

8 comments:

chrislm said...

You can ask but knowing me I would probably do both. Give a donation and something for baby J. They are only young once...this comes from the mom who's 7 yr old toy's take up her room and parts of another...LOL Besides when they are young is the only time you can easily buy for them...trust me they become teenagers (i have a 20 and 17yr old) all to soon.

Anonymous said...

I think that you can leave the "no gift" thing off the invite. All of our kids have more than enough but they are only young once and they LOVE to open gifts! It is fun for them and nice to have a few new things. Especially for the little ones.

Anonymous said...

If you really don't want gifts, you could suggest guests bring a child's book to be donated elsewhere. One of my daughter's friends had a party where everyone brought dog toys, food, etc. which were donated to the local spca. kids got a kick out of choosing items...

Anonymous said...

You could ask them to bring gifts to donate to less fortunate kids... that way they can still have the fun of buying/bringing toys, books, clothes, etc, but they will just be piled up to take to a shelter or foundation. It teaches your kids a great lesson in giving what we can when we are so blessed.
You could explain to J. that there will be special birthday presents especially for him from your immediate family, but the other presents are going to be for kids who don't always get birthday presents and make a big deal about taking them wherever you end taking them together. That way the kids are included in the giving in a more tangible way rather than just families donating money to charities.

Brandy said...

That's a hard one. I've considered this for my son given that he's the only grandchild on my side of the family and they buy him a TON of stuff. One thing I've seen others do and definitely will be doing in the future is going through all of his things before birthday and Christmas to clean them out and give them to charity. That way he can play with and enjoy the new stuff and give the things he doesn't need any more to someone that does. Oh and that way people still get the joy of getting to pick things out for him and see him open and enjoy them. I hate to take that away from them either. Good luck deciding!

The Gwench said...

I may be a little late, but I'd probably do it the same way you did for D. If people want to bring something, they can. And you can always tell J that for every toy he receives, he has to give one away. My sis-in-law does that for her sons and it keeps the clutter a little minimized and teaches the boys that they don't need to keep everything. The ones they give away get donated to a shelter or the church nursery.

Anonymous said...

I would phrase it like this: in lieu of gifts, please donate to a charity close to the X family's heart....
Or you could give a choice of two charities, one for Soto's and the other for something more generic like your shul or school.
EIther way, although D is the one with Soto's, Soto's obviously affects every member of the family...

Natalie said...

okay - I'm catching up on old blogs...I think your idea was phenomenal!