Mum implements ‘no gift policy’ at child’s birthday party – but some think it’s mean

A mum has split opinion online after she said she would be setting a ‘no gift policy’ at her child’s third birthday party – as some people think her decision is ‘mean’

A group of children at a birthday party
The mum doesn’t want presents at her child’s birthday party (stock photo)

An anonymous woman has sparked a debate online after suggesting the idea of a “no gift policy” at her child’s birthday party which would prevent their 25 guests from bringing any presents.

The mum posted on Mumsnet to ask others what they thought of her idea, and explained that she was thinking of implementing it because she doesn’t want huge piles of presents to “become the norm” for her child, the Liverpool Echo reports.

She insisted that the little one, who will be turning three soon, will receive “significant presents” from their parents, but the no-gift policy will mean the other children who attend their birthday party won’t bring a present with them.

In a post titled “Am I being unreasonable to have a no gift policy for my child’s third birthday?”, the mum wrote: “Just that really. My child is having a third birthday party which 25 other children will attend. Is it ok to ask that no gifts be given by the other children?

Some people worried her idea might be ‘mean’


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“My child will be given a couple of significant presents by me and my husband. I find the flood of gifts for birthdays and Christmas these days completely overwhelming and I don’t want it to become the norm for my child. We already have so much.”

The mum’s post caused a stir with other parents, as some thought she was being “mean” by limiting her child’s birthday presents – with many claiming getting lots of gifts is part of the birthday “magic”.

One person said: “I think it’s mean and will make people feel uncomfortable. Are you planning on doing this for every birthday? I don’t think that’s feasible. Let him enjoy his birthday and the gifts.”

While another added: “I think part of the magic of parties and birthdays at that age is having a little pile of presents to open, not just two carefully chosen gifts from mum. He’ll soon be at an age to realise he takes a present to parties but no one buys him back.”

Many others praised the mum’s commitment to making sure her family isn’t wasteful and doesn’t collect toys and other items they don’t need, although most said it was a better idea to donate unwanted gifts to charity rather than putting a blanket ban on birthday presents.

Someone noted: “You could let him unwrap them but sneak a few away for charity?”

As someone else agreed, writing: “Why can’t you keep a few and donate the rest?”

And there were even people who completely agreed with the mum, saying that banning presents is fine – especially when her child is only three so likely won’t notice the lack of gifts.

One mum said: “I think for second and third birthdays it’s fine to say no gifts. Three is still tiny, they won’t know much different. I recently went to a third birthday which was no gifts, I was so relieved!

“Also, I think no gifts means you don’t need to do party bags. Just cake, games, good times.”

While another posted: “I don’t see a problem with that, to be honest! I’d ask the same, it’s not as if there won’t be any gifts whatsoever just not from friends.”

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