A woman from daycare asked us to attend her son’s birthday party, but she doesn’t want gifts.
This led me to think how something like this works.
I am guessing:
Have them bring something for the party instead of a gift. People don’t like to show up empty-handed when they are being hosted, so to avoid “obligation gifts” it might help to have folks bring another item.
Zoos and wildlife conservation organizations often have “Wish lists” of every-day items they need, for example. Have a wildlife-themed party and include a wishlist or assign an item to each family for the animals. Set up a display at the party to show off how much awesome stuff everyone contributed. Rather than asking for a “donation” just include an insert with the invitation:
“To celebrate Timmy’s love of animals, we are fulfilling Local Zoo’s wishlist item! Please bring 3 of the item listed.”
Or as another poster mentioned, have an activity where everyone brings a topping, ingredient, item, or element involved in the activity.
I think that this would be a lot to fillout on one of those cards from Walmart though. But there are places that you can create custom invitations that allow you to fill more in.
I’ve seen many invitations that say “no gifts please”. It is very common.
But I can’t imagine that they really listen.
My sister does this sort of thing though. I mean the non traditional birthday.
One year she sent out invitations to an “ice cream social” and didn’t mention the birthday at all. She just set out a bunch of different toppings and let kids make their own sundaes. Everyone had a blast, including myself, my nephew didn’t miss the birthday element at all either.
Another year she hosted a “garden party” and asked all the kids to bring a packet of seeds. Seeds only cost a dollar or two so I know it didn’t really put anyone out. That party was so much fun and she had a fabulous garden come spring that all of the neighborhood kids felt like they were a part of.