34 answers

How to Ask People NOT to Buy Gifts!

My daughter will be having her First Communion in April and I don't know how to tell our friends and family NOT to buy her gifts. We have already had a few say that they saw a "cute picture frame" or asking what she would like from a particular store. What she REALLY wants is to be able to buy a TV for her room. So, how do I politely ask people to contribute to her "TV Fund", rather than another knick-knack? Our house is on over-load with toys, clothes, etc. and I would much rather buy her ONE item that she wants, rather than having another closet-full of returns/re-gifts. I do appreciate everything we receive and I am grateful, but for this time, I would like help in how to let everyone know that there is something in particular that she wants. Help , please, on how to approach even those that did not ask what she wants, and how to offer the information to them.

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Thanks for all the input. Will take them into consideration.

Featured Answers

I didn't read any of the responses so I apologize if I'm repeating anything. If it were me, I would just put "No Gifts Please" on the invitation. The reality is that you're inviting people to share in her 1st communion and it's not request for gifts. That said, we all know most people will bring a gift anyway. I personally would uncomfortable telling people what to get since a gift giving is very personal. I would just hope for the best and whatever money cards you receive could go towards the TV Fund. If people aren't asking what she wants, then you do need to respect the idea that they want to give her something of their own choosing.

One of my friends, very generously suggested on their shower cards that they were so blessed that they preferred that any gifts go to a specific children's charity - not everyone took them at their word, but some did and so some children that don't have much got some lovely books and other toys.

hi C.,
on the invites just ask Please no gifts. but get them out soon so all will know.
it works great and no one is affended.
hope this helps
O.

More Answers

Well I am probably going to have a super-unpopular opinion here, but I'll share it.

This is a communion. This is not a birthday, or a graduation...it is the celebration of a religious event. Gifts are, IMHO, very unnecessary, and have traditionally been given to commemerate the event. So yes, picture frames, religious "knick-knacks"...those are the things given.

Again, IMHO, you have three APPROPRIATE choices.

#1. Put on the invitations, "In lieu of gifts, please make a donation to _____," and have your daughter choose her favorite charity/cause. This seems to me to be the one that would make everyone the "happiest." You would not have knick-knacks, your daughter would get to have the experience of giving, and the gift-giver would feel fulfilled.

#2. Put on the invitations, "No gifts, please."

#3. Accept whatever gifts are given graciously, understanding the meaning and thought behind the gifts.

I am with the other poster who said that the TV is a bad idea, especially at age 8. And really, what child DOESN'T want a TV in their room??? Of course she does! That doesn't mean it's the best for children! Kids also want to wear make up to school, shorts when it's too cold outside, and to ride their bikes in the streets. Parents have to say "no" to some things.

You certainly do not want for you or your child to come off as "tacky" and I truly think that you will come off that way if you ask for money for a TV.

2 moms found this helpful

Good luck with that. This is a religious event of a lifetime and you are worried about a TV for her room?? Wow.....
Well, people usually give a gift of money for these events anyways. Or religious items, rosary, cross necklace, bible, etc. Something I am sure she should cherish much more than a TV. Does she fully understand the purpose of her first communion? Do you?
Not to mention none of kids will ever have a TV or computer in their room! I enjoy time with my kids.
I am sorry to be so blunt but what is this world coming to???

Mom to four appreciative kids.

1 mom found this helpful

accept the gifts, put then aside later and pray and ask the Lord what to do with them, i wouldnt tell someone not to give me a gift, you might need it later on or you may have a need later on and recieve it recieve it,

1 mom found this helpful

I find it a little curious that a young girl would get a TV as a gift for receiving her First Communion - but that is beside your point that you also do want a house full of toys and clutter to celebrate this occasion in your daughter's journey of faith. I would suggest asking your family and friends to donate to a charity of your daughter's choice.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think that you can be choosy when it comes to gifts, especially for something so important as a first communion. I think a "TV fund" is tacky. There's really no good way to communicate this. All the etiquette books I've seen say when someone specifically asks "what does your daughter want?", then you can give them specifics, but you shouldn't write anything on an invitation--even "No Gifts". People are often offended by that. It's always been my experience that people give money for communions anyhow.

1 mom found this helpful

Our house is also full of too many toys, my children pick out every few months toys to give to charity. Also, when there are duplicate toys given, they happily give to a charity as well. I also feel that asking for money is inappropriate, especially for a communion. Though, my son just had his First Communion last year and was given gifts of money by several people so that will happen without you saying so. Specifically stating that cash is your wish is not very tasteful.
Also, regarding TVs in bedroom, studies show that students with TVs in their bedroom have more behavior problems down the line and their academics can suffer as well. Just a thought...
Congratulations to your child receiving this special sacrament.

1 mom found this helpful

I just had this same situation with my 3 year old daughters birthday party. She had her birthday in February and she already had so many gifts from Christmas. I was trying to think what would be a practical gift to get her. She has been sleeping in her daybed for the past 6 months and she really needed a twin bed. So I emailed all my family & friends to explain the situation. I asked them NOT to get her presents but to write a check for a certain amount of money so we can put that towards the bed. Everyone thought that was a great idea, and also liked the idea of not having to go out and buy something. You would be surprised at some of the reactions (smile). Just be upfront and honest with everyone.

I sent out evites and explained the whole thing in a very professional and fun way. I had zero problems with it, and we got a great bed with sheets and a duvet cover and a bed skirt. We still have some money left over.

The great thing is that your daughter has no clue what is going on. I bought a couple gifts for my 3 year old so she didn't feel completely present less. But even then, she didn't have a clue. She was just happy to have her balloons and cake (smile).

Good Luck,
A.

1 mom found this helpful

First of all, I totally understand your child wanting a TV in her room. I wanted and had one when I was a kid. I got it for Christmas-a small blk and white set. I loved it! She's obviously a normal kid. That being said--I don't actually think it's a good idea. I realize that's not what you're actually asking in your inquiry but I felt compelled to say so. I realize that you are on here doing what we all are doing--trying to make the best decisions for your kids. I don't think it's a trivial issue, either. Did I mention that I was a classic under-achiever with a very limited attention span? For more information in making your decision here are some links with compelling info. Cheers! P.S. How about a nice new desk that she picks out?

http://www.creators.com/lifestylefeatures/sylvia-rimm-on-...

http://www.mindpub.com/art338.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/health/05beha.html

http://www.lpch.org/newsEvents/NewsReleases/tv.html

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