Request Specific Birthday Gifts -- the Non-Tacky Way!

kids birthday parties

Photo by DawnMarie1018

Your toddler's 2nd birthday is coming.

The little sprout is growing so fast, as is apparent from his highwater pants and 3/4 length sleeves.

With your funds not growing quite as rapidly, you'd really like to put a note on the party invitation asking guests to buy clothes instead of toys. After all, your son already has tons of those, and will be getting plenty more from family alone.

I've often wondered about the etiquette here and have been tempted to do the same thing, so I'm glad JrsMommy07 thought to ask in Advice for Moms.

I think everyone agrees it's okay to put a clothes gift request into your mom, sister and close friends -- and to mention it to anyone who asks for suggestions ...

But is it tacky to just announce it randomly on invites?


"I don't think so at all," says littlemama9130. "People can go to Walmart and find a cute outfit for a good price. Probably more-so than finding toys. That's what I ask for my 6 year old, because he goes through clothes like you would not believe. I think clothes are cheaper and kids constantly need them."

But postermomt said the reason she and other moms like to buy toys instead of cheap clothes because "Cheap toys don't look half as bad as cheap clothes." And other moms said that they like the way a child's face lights up when they open a toy. They don't get the same reaction or excitement with when they open up a sweat suit.

"It's not a stranger's responsibility to buy clothes for your children because they don't know them that well," postermomt adds. "I say leave the clothes to close family and friends let everyone else buy whatever they want."

But what if you could get your message across without actually spelling it out, without offending anyone? Here's a few brilliant suggestions that just might work:

  • When talking about his upcoming birthday to friends or family, simply say in conversation, "I really hope he gets some clothing. He really needs it. I can't believe he is X size already!" -- nothinbutsmiles
  • Rather than saying that you would prefer clothes to toys, I would write in the upper left corner  "Johnny wears a 3T or Small." Don't mention toys at all. My sister does that for her kids and usually she gets mostly clothes. -- MumsTheWord571
  • For Kalyssa's 2nd birthday, I made the invites and a put a list of  "Possible Gift Ideas" -- both clothes AND toys -- inside them. -- Kanne06

Do you request specific birthday gifts for your children? How do you do it without coming across rude?

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