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Birthday Party Etiquette

Birthday Party Etiquette

Tween is off to a party.

Pants, Tween is off to a PARTY!

And parties means presents. 

Que the ‘what do we buy’ conundrum.

I’m 14 years into the murky world of children’s parties and I’m still none the wiser as to what the etiquette is when it comes to buying a present for the invitee. 

I’ve got no consistency, so Lord only knows what my party present reputation is. 
My gifting has fluctuates between, 
Easily Unnoticed
Lower end of the money scale, usually a fiver stuffed in a card and occasionally a packet of sweets for good measure. Only usually works when there are lots of children going.


Tight Arse
Usually a toy that I’ve bought in a sale for considerably less that the original ticket price which I always leave on so the intended thinks I’ve paid that price. I know I’m know I’m not the only person who does this, but as we’re being honest here I thought I’d better ‘fess up.


Over Ambitious
Can be a mixture of the above but with a much higher original ticket price than anyone else attending would spend. If the invitee is from particularly good stock then cheap is a big no no as it’ll land you as the subject of many a PTFA meeting or school gate debate, so this is always a safe option. Added to the fact you’re never 100% sure on what the other parents are putting in the envelope if opting for the Easily Unnoticed option. 
Play it safe I say.
If the party is an all dayer then I’ll push the boat out a little and engage this method in the hope my child will be invited to further parties, thus insuring a child free day in the future. 

This is the default option if your child is the only invitee as Easily Unnoticed and Tight Arse leave you nowhere to hide.

Or occasionally, 

Frugal / forgot about the party til half an hour before start time 
Otherwise known as re gifting and should only be carried out under extreme caution as there is a real danger that you could regift a present back to the same person who gave it to you. 
This only usually applied when my children were little and often ‘forgot’ about or even ‘mislaid’ some of their presents, or had a whole class party so received a hideous amount of tat, where  all parents were exercising the Tight Arse method as there was very little chance of ever being found out. 
*This is purely an emergency option and only to be used if all other options aren’t available. *

Today’s party is a ‘good stock’ but a middle of the road 3 hours so I’m toying with the idea of Easily Unnoticed with an extra big bag of sweets. Tween isn’t sure how many are going but is adamant on at least 4 others so I can get away with not going Over Ambitious.

Plus throw in the fact Inivitee and Tween will be going to different secondary schools next year so I can’t reserve a place on next year’s guest list. 
However, as I’m wasting precious time writing this post I’m leaving very little opportunity for sweet buying I so am running dangerously close to Frugal. 
On that note, I’m off to the shops. 
best party ever
And then the fun began...



  1. 10th February 2015 / 12:30 pm

    haha this is brilliant Ali! I’m so glad it isn’t just me who puts this much thought into things like this. I usually buy a bag of sweets to give with the money too! It does depend on who has invited your child doesn’t it and if you are friends with their mum then you need to urge on the over ambitious! It’s a minefield this parenting marlarky! x

    • 10th February 2015 / 7:40 pm

      It’s probably the only concrete advice I can offer after 14 years of parenting!

    • 10th February 2015 / 7:39 pm

      I’ve exercised this to some adults as well (hopefully they won’t be reading this)

  2. 10th February 2015 / 5:23 pm

    Ha ha ha! I love your categorisation – very honest – I’m assuming you don’t share your blogging with mum friends?! We often go to Costco now where you can get a Spiderman hoody for about £7.99 – makes the ideal party present!! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout X

    • 10th February 2015 / 7:36 pm

      Probably a bit too honest as I’ve just remembered a few locals have liked my Facebook page! (oops)

  3. 10th February 2015 / 5:25 pm

    I’m dying laughing over your price tag trick! And I think as a kid I would’ve been thrilled with some money and candy – what’s not to like??

    • 10th February 2015 / 7:38 pm

      There’s something special about money falling from a birthday card isn’t there!

  4. 12th February 2015 / 7:54 am

    just hilarious!

  5. 13th February 2015 / 9:53 pm

    hahaha! This is brilliant! I do the price tag trick too….lol x

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