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How do you think this sounds for a kids birthday party? What would you think if you got an invitation like this?

My son's birthday isn't until September, but I came up with an idea about a month ago.

Instead of people bringing gifts for my son, I want to ask that everyone bring a toy to donate to the local children's hospital instead. My husband and I, my parents, and my MIL all plan on getting him really good presents, so he will still get plenty of things at his party. He has so many toys already, so I thought it would be nice to make a large donation of toys to less fortunate kids, from him. On the hospital website, they have a list of ideas for toys to donate, so I was thinking of printing that out and attaching it to the invitation.

My thing is...does it look like I'm ASKING for something? I mean...everyone always brings a gift to a children's birthday party, but how can I word it so that it's not like I'm telling people that they HAVE to bring something? I don't want it to sound tacky at all. Any suggestions?

Oh, and my son is 2, btw. If it ends up working okay, I'd like to do it again in the future, but only if he feels good about it. This year, he won't understand, but I don't think he'll miss the extra toys or clothes. :)


Asked by LovingSAHMommy at 9:58 PM on Jun. 19, 2011 in Holidays

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This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • What a great idea!!! I've heard of couples who do this sort of thing when they get married - ask that donations be made to their favorite charity in lieu of gifts, etc. Never thought of it for a kids birthday, though. Perhaps a footnote at the bottom of the invitation that goes something like:

    "No gifts, please. (However, if you'd like to make a toy donation to a less fortunate child, please go to for a list of suggested donations.) Thank you."


    "No gifts will be accepted, thank you for your cooperation. If you would like to consider contributing to our toy donation, please go to for donation suggestions. Thank you."

    Hope that helps you get some ideas, at least. Good luck, and I hope you will inspire other parents to do similarly! =)


    Answer by GwennasMom at 10:33 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I think that's a great idea! Personally, I would be more than happy to donate a toy or a gift to a cause for children in your child's name. I think giving to others is one of the best ways to celebrate! Happy early birthday to your sweet little one!!!

    Answer by Robsmommy at 10:03 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • That is a really cool idea. The Children's Hospital will appreciate it. On the invitation, let everyone know that they don't have to bring anything. Any toys that are brought to the party will be donated.

    Answer by dustbunny at 10:03 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I love the idea but I would not let your son see the presents.. He is too young to understand they are not for him..

    Answer by midnightmoma at 10:26 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Love it!!

    Answer by sugamama3 at 10:36 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • My cousin did the same thing for her son's birthday a few years ago. I think her invitation said something like "All gifts will be donated to bring plenty of them!" I thought it was cute plus, i could buy whatever i wanted.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 9:42 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • I think this is a good idea. But if i were you, i would not bring my gifts for the birthday child to open at the party in front of the guests, because that may make them feel uncomfortable since they will not have a gift for the birthday child. Let the birthday child open his gifts from you at home, and explain to him that gifts people bring to the party will be donated to less fortunate kids at the hospital. I would include the list of gift ideas in the invitations, alot of people will not take the time to look for themselves on the website.

    Answer by Honda309 at 7:11 AM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • its a great will teach your little one that giving instead of recieving is better sometimes.......

    Answer by SMALLfry05 at 9:53 AM on Jun. 22, 2011

  • i think its a really nice idea , nice of you to want to do something like that ... but for me personally, i would probably feel annoyed that you are basically telling me that i cant buy your kid a present (especially if he was my family and i wanted to buy him a birthday present) and i would feel like i have to bring a toy because if not it looks like i dont care about donating to unfortunate kids. idk .. like i said i think its nice of you but its not something i would do

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 10:13 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Thanks Dustbunny, that's what I'll do. Just let them know that nothing is expected, but if they'd like to bring something, to bring something to be donated. The thing is, we're having a really nice, new house built, and my son already has so much...and I just think it should go to someone who needs it. I think most people will appreciate the idea, I just wasn't sure how to say it exactly. It'll mostly be family anyways, and my family is all pretty awesome.

    And PURPUL, if someone wants to bring my son something, they can, I just thought that people might like this idea as much as I do. If it were me, I'd probably bring a gift for the birthday child AND something to donate. But...I'd be fine if someone came with nothing too.

    Comment by LovingSAHMommy (original poster) at 10:22 PM on Jun. 19, 2011