We've been getting birthday party invites with some unexpected fine print lately. Instead of "bring your bathing suits" or "feel free to drop off," it's "no gifts please." Sometimes in lieu of presents, they ask for a charitable donation and provide a link. I can't decide whether I think this is a great idea or a terrible idea that deprives a child of one of life's simple thrills -- tearing open tokens of acknowledgement on their special day.
The first few times I got invites like this, I admit I blatantly ignored the request. Not getting a kid a gift just seemed so ... harsh. But more recently, the wisdom's started to sink in.
After our daughters' joint 6-year-old dance party last year, the amount of presents my husband and I hauled home literally made us sick.