No Gifts, Please: Wording to Not Make it Weird + Alternative Gift Ideas

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Have you heard of the trend spreading across the country — present-free birthday parties and no-gift holidays? It’s definitely a thing, and it’s helping overwhelmed parents catch their breath. Birthday parties and holidays are fun, but the mountain of gifts that you’re left to deal with afterwards? Hard pass. But how do you do you say no gifts without hurting feelings? Here are tons of “No Gifts, Please?” wording ideas to help. Use a suggestion below or combine a few to make it your own.

Related Post: How We Host No Gift Parties

You want to celebrate your child but not be given a ton of gifts? Here are a few "No Gifts, Please" wording suggestions so your guests know!

No Gifts, Please Wording Ideas

It’s okay to ask for no gifts!

“No Gifts, Please” Birthday Wording

Want to celebrate your child without putting an addition on your home to house all the gifts?

Here are 15 no gifts wording suggestions to include on the next invitation you send out:

  • No presents, please.
  • Please, no gifts.
  • Just you, no gifts
  • Just bring yourself, nothing more, nothing less.
  • Gifts aren’t necessary (side note: adding the word “necessary” may be leave some party guests wondering how to handle this)
  • Your presence is present enough.
  • Forget what your mama taught you and please come empty-handed.
  • The only thing [YOUR CHILD’S NAME] needs is you. Gifts aren’t necessary.
  • Your presence is the only gift we need.
  • Our child is fortunate enough to have everything he/she needs. Your best wishes are all we ask you to bring for him.
  • Memories are the best gifts you could give us. Leave all others at home, please.
  • The gift of your time is all that we ask. No presents, please.
  • Being environmentally responsible is important to us. Please help us maintain a low carbon footprint by declining to bring a gift.
  • We’re going clutter-free around here. Please help support our efforts by coming empty-handed.
  • Mom Code: I won’t give your kid a goodie bag if you won’t give my kid a gift.

Kids don't need things, they need fun and memories.

“No Gifts, Please” Christmas Wording

But what about Christmas? Your very loved child is sure to receive a few gifts from well-meaning relatives, but you can at least try to ask to ask for a present-free holiday, right?

Here are some polite and festive ways to ask for no Christmas gifts:

  • The first Christmas was simple, and we’d like ours to be, too. Let’s leave the gifts out of our celebration this year.
  • Christmas doesn’t have to come from the store. Christmas can be a little bit more. Let’s focus on making memories this year.
  • Santa’s snagged everything on Brynn’s list — all she needs now is to be surrounded by people she loves.
  • To help us focus on the true meaning of Christmas, let’s focus on getting together instead of getting gifts.
  • We have found that when we have fewer items, the items we have are treasured. Please help us maintain this in our home by refraining from buying gifts for our family this year.
  • What our child really needs this year is YOU. Please consider not purchasing Brynn a gift. Instead, she would love the gift of your time.

If someone asks, suggest an experience gift instead of a material one for your child. Even better — request that person take your child out for a date (the movies, a manicure, a trip to the park and out for ice cream, etc.).

“Instead of Gifts” Wording Ideas

If guests really want to bring something, suggest an alternative item they can bring or give.

Charitable Donation Birthday Gift

  • Instead of a gift, please bring $5, which we will donate to Brynn’s favorite charity, XYZ.
  • Instead of a gift, here’s our local pet shelter’s amazon wish list. Please consider donating an item on behalf of [Child’s Name].
  • Instead of a gift for [Child’s Name], please bring pet food, dog toys, cat litter, or other pet supply we can donate to a local animal shelter.
  • To honor Brynn this year, we’ll be collecting gifts for the local homeless shelter. Please bring a personal hygiene item.
  • Brynn is fortunate enough to not need a single thing, but many others are less lucky. We’ll have a donation jar available at the party if you would like to contribute to XYZ Charity on behalf of the birthday girl.
Instead of asking for gifts for your next party, ask for a donation to the animal shelter - or nothing at all!

Small Gift Request Ideas

  • Ask that each child attending the party bring a homemade gift or craft instead of purchasing new.
  • Suggest a re-gift. Have party attendees bring something of their own they’d like to pass on to the birthday kid.
  • Request a drawing of a favorite memory each child has with the birthday boy/girl.
  • Have a “fiver party” and ask that everyone bring just $5 for the birthday kid.

It’s okay to say, “No Gifts, Please.”

Make it simple. Make it funny. Make it meaningful. Whatever you do, just make the statement without worrying about making it awkward. It’s absolutely okay to set boundaries for your family. If gift-giving is a boundary you need to set, then be unapologetic about it.

Even if most people ignore your request but ONE person doesn’t bring a gift, that’s one less thing coming into your home and that matters.

Some guests may feel obligated to bring a gift to your party, regardless of what you say.

If you receive a gift, express your gratitude and move on.

You want to celebrate your child but not be given a ton of gifts, right? Here are a few "No Gifts, Please" wording suggestions so your guests know!

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