December 21, 2020


Mum asks for ideas to reduce the amount of gifts the kids receive on special occasions.

“Our babies first birthday is coming up in a few months. Half of our family is really into buying things. We got overwhelmed at Christmas, despite asking for books or one good present. How can we go about telling people no gifts or just good, memorable keep sakes?

“We don’t want our kids to grow up feeling a need for all the pointless stuff, but there’s a lot of family members who have that “buy all the things” mentality. I know our wishes won’t be respected, but I’d like to try and minimise it as much as possible.”

Some of the great suggestions include:

“Have the invite suggest that they buy their favorite book from their childhood to start your childs own library.”

“Ask everyone to write a letter stating who they are to the child and a photo. When the child turns 18 they get to open the box with lot’s of wonderful memories.”

“You could open a bank account for him (if you haven’t already) and ask them to put money in it instead of a present…. Asking them to invest in his future…. That’s what we did and our families were happy to.”

“Maybe you could go to a zoo/theme park or somthing for example and ask that people simply pay for their own entry rather then buy gifts memories are worth more then gifts.”

“Maybe try the group gift suggest a cubby, sandpit, water play set, swingset some kind of large (to do) item that will last and provide lots of happiness and memories.”

“Ask for money for swimming lessons or zoo pass, aquarium etc experiences rather than stuff. It’s lovely that you want to tech your kids lessons but remember some people love giving gifts and seeing the joy it brings others.”

“Donate to charity”

“You can always ask for donations for an animal rescue or children charity.”

Do you have some good ideas to discourage rubbish gifts for your kids? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • My friends and I tend to give each other a few suggestions so that way the kids will get something they are into and will play with.


  • Dont have parties for their birthdays when they are tiny. A one year old doesnt care. That limits the gifts.
    I didnt have parties for my girls until they were 5.


  • I get asked for suggestions on what they can get our daughter which we usually mention putting it into a bank account or if necessary we mention a specific toy, outfit or book.
    She has a bank account and 2 people put money in it, but everyone else chooses to get toys because they would rather see her opening a gift. Unfortunately, nobody listens to my suggestions and end up getting what they wanted which we always end up getting doubles of.


  • Some great ideas here.


  • We normally write of list of things she needs or gifts we are happy for her to get. Christmas is easy as we do secret santa so she only gets one gift from family although birthdays we are for practical gifts that will last for years or clothes.


  • I think asking for books only is a good idea. The one thing you can’t have too many of is books and I’d you get one you’ve already got you can just regift it


  • Just appreciate the time and thought given to the present.


  • We tried the “ask for money towards swimming lessons” we were overwhelmed with the amount of Christmas presents my kids got and had to completely rearrange the house (no one listened to what we asked at all) which was really frustrating as his birthday was only in October D:


  • Great tips. When you send out official invites, you can indeed make lovely suggestions. love the letter idea stating who they are to the child and a photo ! that will create a lovely memory box


  • Some really great ideas here, a fantastic read.


  • Some good ideas here – love the book idea as this will live with a child forever.


  • Aww I like these ideas. The bank account will surely be very beneficial and perhaps purchase their first car or something memorable


  • I had a donation to charity for my son’s first birthday


  • This is so true. It’s not just ur child’s birthday or occasion presents. It’s with everyone’s birthday presents. I feel so stressed when I have to buy something for someone so I always ask, but sometimes u can’t


  • I tell ppl straight out. This is what I don’t like in my house. No beating round the bush! No glitter, no play dough etc.


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