Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Chonsil on December 11, 2013, 03:44:51 PM

Title: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: Chonsil on December 11, 2013, 03:44:51 PM
My children have been invited to a double 5th birthday party. One of the birthday boys, Charlie, is a good friend to my two. The other birthday boy, Jason, is someone neither I, nor my children know. And I'm a good friend of Charlie's mother, but I don't know Jason's mother at all. We will be giving a gift to Charlie, but what is my gift-giving obligation to Jason? Do I give nothing to him? Or should I get a little token gift?

For what it's worth, the style of party will be a lot of little kids from Charlie's and Jason's nursery class probably all running around, and then eating a bit, and then playing games and dancing. No gift opening at the party.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: EllenS on December 11, 2013, 03:48:06 PM
I would bring a gift for the child I know, but make sure to thank both birthday boys and their parents for inviting us.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: sammycat on December 11, 2013, 04:00:16 PM
What EllenS said.  :)

I'm sure there will be people in the reverse situation, so the amount of gifts will likely even out. I wouldn't expect a (virtual) stranger to give my child a present.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: m2kbug on December 11, 2013, 04:03:38 PM
I think I would give a smaller, token gift, but I don't think you are obligated to do so.  I'm thinking maybe a card with candy or chocolate bar inside.  I wouldn't expect my child to receive a gift from strangers in this situation and imagine the other parents feel the same. 
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: MOM21SON on December 11, 2013, 04:22:44 PM
I am confused again!  Who is Nathan?
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: Chonsil on December 11, 2013, 05:08:37 PM
Apologies! Wasn't consistent with my naming of children. I've fixed that now!

Thanks for opinions!
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: mechtilde on December 12, 2013, 03:10:03 AM
I would buy two presents.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: Library Dragon on December 12, 2013, 03:17:28 AM
A small token gift would be my preference.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: Margo on December 12, 2013, 04:19:16 AM
I think I'd go with a small, token gift for the child your kids don't know, and something a bit bigger for their friend. Ideally I'd go for 2 different types of gift so it wasn't glaringly obvious that you're treating them differently (e.g. if the 'token' gift is a small toy car, the larger gift might be a book, or a game, not a bigger, better car)
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: peaches on December 12, 2013, 05:00:08 AM
At a joint birthday party, you're only responsible for giving a gift to the child you know. Or, in the case of two siblings, to the child or children you know well.

That said, there's nothing wrong with giving a birthday card or token gift to the other child.

It's sensible that the parents won't have gift opening at the party. That can be a real hassle (and problematic) at a joint party.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: sweetonsno on December 12, 2013, 05:04:02 AM
I think EllenS is right, but I'd probably still get a little something for the other kid. If you do decide to do something for him, take Margo's advice and make sure they are pretty different.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: CakeEater on December 12, 2013, 05:36:02 AM
In this situation, we only gave a gift to our niece, not her friend who we didn't know. My niece had a lot of family members present, and her friend didn't, so there was a pretty big disparity in the number of gifts, and they opened them at the party anyway.

It's their choice to have a joint birthday party - I'm only attending in honour of my niece, so only one gift.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: Mikayla on December 12, 2013, 10:42:31 AM
Since you say there's no gift opening at the party, I'd just get a gift for the child you know.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 12, 2013, 02:05:05 PM
Since you say there's no gift opening at the party, I'd just get a gift for the child you know.
this
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 13, 2013, 04:04:09 PM
In this situation, we only gave a gift to our niece, not her friend who we didn't know. My niece had a lot of family members present, and her friend didn't, so there was a pretty big disparity in the number of gifts, and they opened them at the party anyway.

It's their choice to have a joint birthday party - I'm only attending in honour of my niece, so only one gift.

I think this is a good point. A joint birthday party shouldn't be seen as an opportunity for an "unpopular" child to get more gifts, from the near-strangers who are attending for the sake of the "popular" child (to put it in an extreme way). So I would focus my gift-giving efforts on the child I knew, especially since gifts won't be opened and totaled up in front of everyone.

I guess it does make some difference to me who is hosting the party, though. If Jason's parents (the unknowns) are hosting the entire party at their horse ranch so all the kids can ride ponies, I would be more inclined to get something for Jason, as a sort of hostess-gift-by-proxy. After all, my kid wouldn't get to ride a pony if Jason's parents hadn't agreed to host Charlie's friends as well as their son's. So in that case I'd probably get him a card and a "nice token" gift.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: kudeebee on December 14, 2013, 01:26:41 AM
My children went to several parties like this when they were in the birthday-party-attending stage.  They only took a gift for the child they knew, the one who invited them.  We have also been invited to joint graduation parties; again I only take a card or gift for the person who invited us.

So, I would take a gift for the child who invited your children and nothing for the other child.  The second child will be getting gifts from those persons he invited.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: proudmama on December 15, 2013, 12:39:16 PM
We've been to parties like this and brought gifts just the the child that invited my child.  Many of the bounce house type of places in my area charge the same up to 20 kids, so many families split the cost and each invite 10 kids. 

We did go to one party for a set of triplets.  The mom said that my son was the only child that got 3 invitations.  He was friends with all 3 and we got gifts for all 3.  Others just brought gifts for the child that invited them. 
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: barefoot_girl on December 15, 2013, 01:56:02 PM
Personally, I would bring a nice gift for the child who invited my child, and a small token gift for the other child. A toekn gift won't break the bank and it makes me feel good.  I don't like turning up to children's birthday parties empty-handed, no matter what my relationship with the child!
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: AuntyEm on December 16, 2013, 06:53:42 AM
I would bring two gifts.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: turnip on December 16, 2013, 02:15:21 PM

I would bring to gifts. 

In this situation, we only gave a gift to our niece, not her friend who we didn't know. My niece had a lot of family members present, and her friend didn't, so there was a pretty big disparity in the number of gifts, and they opened them at the party anyway.

It's their choice to have a joint birthday party - I'm only attending in honour of my niece, so only one gift.

I think this is a good point. A joint birthday party shouldn't be seen as an opportunity for an "unpopular" child to get more gifts, from the near-strangers who are attending for the sake of the "popular" child (to put it in an extreme way). So I would focus my gift-giving efforts on the child I knew, especially since gifts won't be opened and totaled up in front of everyone.

I guess it does make some difference to me who is hosting the party, though. If Jason's parents (the unknowns) are hosting the entire party at their horse ranch so all the kids can ride ponies, I would be more inclined to get something for Jason, as a sort of hostess-gift-by-proxy. After all, my kid wouldn't get to ride a pony if Jason's parents hadn't agreed to host Charlie's friends as well as their son's. So in that case I'd probably get him a card and a "nice token" gift.

The bolded just makes me sad.  How about using this as an opportunity to meet a new friend and extend you and your child's social network, rather than making a statement about who you like better?
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: esposita on December 16, 2013, 02:17:44 PM
I would bring two gifts.

Me too, if both parents are hosting, then I'd bring two. Someone who doesn't know me is extending hospitality to me, so I'd find something for their kid and encourage my kids to make a new friend!
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 16, 2013, 02:45:55 PM

I would bring to gifts. 

In this situation, we only gave a gift to our niece, not her friend who we didn't know. My niece had a lot of family members present, and her friend didn't, so there was a pretty big disparity in the number of gifts, and they opened them at the party anyway.

It's their choice to have a joint birthday party - I'm only attending in honour of my niece, so only one gift.

I think this is a good point. A joint birthday party shouldn't be seen as an opportunity for an "unpopular" child to get more gifts, from the near-strangers who are attending for the sake of the "popular" child (to put it in an extreme way). So I would focus my gift-giving efforts on the child I knew, especially since gifts won't be opened and totaled up in front of everyone.

I guess it does make some difference to me who is hosting the party, though. If Jason's parents (the unknowns) are hosting the entire party at their horse ranch so all the kids can ride ponies, I would be more inclined to get something for Jason, as a sort of hostess-gift-by-proxy. After all, my kid wouldn't get to ride a pony if Jason's parents hadn't agreed to host Charlie's friends as well as their son's. So in that case I'd probably get him a card and a "nice token" gift.

The bolded just makes me sad.  How about using this as an opportunity to meet a new friend and extend you and your child's social network, rather than making a statement about who you like better?

I think that's a very nice way to look at it. But I don't think the parent should feel obligated to get a gift for the other birthday child. I think I would acknowledge the other child's parents in their role as host/co-host though, if applicable, which might mean getting their child a gift of some level.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: cwm on December 16, 2013, 03:02:18 PM

I would bring to gifts. 

In this situation, we only gave a gift to our niece, not her friend who we didn't know. My niece had a lot of family members present, and her friend didn't, so there was a pretty big disparity in the number of gifts, and they opened them at the party anyway.

It's their choice to have a joint birthday party - I'm only attending in honour of my niece, so only one gift.

I think this is a good point. A joint birthday party shouldn't be seen as an opportunity for an "unpopular" child to get more gifts, from the near-strangers who are attending for the sake of the "popular" child (to put it in an extreme way). So I would focus my gift-giving efforts on the child I knew, especially since gifts won't be opened and totaled up in front of everyone.

I guess it does make some difference to me who is hosting the party, though. If Jason's parents (the unknowns) are hosting the entire party at their horse ranch so all the kids can ride ponies, I would be more inclined to get something for Jason, as a sort of hostess-gift-by-proxy. After all, my kid wouldn't get to ride a pony if Jason's parents hadn't agreed to host Charlie's friends as well as their son's. So in that case I'd probably get him a card and a "nice token" gift.

The bolded just makes me sad.  How about using this as an opportunity to meet a new friend and extend you and your child's social network, rather than making a statement about who you like better?

On the other hand, if I had a child invited to a relative's birthday party and it was a joint party with another kid, I don't know that I'd be comfortable buying a complete stranger a gift. I went to cousin's birthday parties because we lived in the same large city, but I lived far enough away that expanding my social network was a ridiculous idea. My parents were willing to drive an hour one direction once a year for a birthday party, not for regular playdates. There was no reason to expand anyone's social network.

Yes, that's not the case in the OP, but in the OP it's not a case of who you like better from two known children. The OP said that she doesn't know one of these boys at all, neither do her children. In that case, of COURSE the OP and her kids like one of them "better" at this point, because accepting an invitation implies some level of liking the birthday boy, and any level of like is higher than a null value.

I vote one gift to the boy the OP and children know. Especially if they're not going to be opening gifts at the party.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: CakeEater on December 16, 2013, 03:04:11 PM

I would bring to gifts. 

In this situation, we only gave a gift to our niece, not her friend who we didn't know. My niece had a lot of family members present, and her friend didn't, so there was a pretty big disparity in the number of gifts, and they opened them at the party anyway.

It's their choice to have a joint birthday party - I'm only attending in honour of my niece, so only one gift.

I think this is a good point. A joint birthday party shouldn't be seen as an opportunity for an "unpopular" child to get more gifts, from the near-strangers who are attending for the sake of the "popular" child (to put it in an extreme way). So I would focus my gift-giving efforts on the child I knew, especially since gifts won't be opened and totaled up in front of everyone.

I guess it does make some difference to me who is hosting the party, though. If Jason's parents (the unknowns) are hosting the entire party at their horse ranch so all the kids can ride ponies, I would be more inclined to get something for Jason, as a sort of hostess-gift-by-proxy. After all, my kid wouldn't get to ride a pony if Jason's parents hadn't agreed to host Charlie's friends as well as their son's. So in that case I'd probably get him a card and a "nice token" gift.

The bolded just makes me sad.  How about using this as an opportunity to meet a new friend and extend you and your child's social network, rather than making a statement about who you like better?

When I did it, there was no chance of extending my child's social network - the child in question lived in a different city. And yes, we do 'like' our niece better than a friend of hers we hadn't met and haven't seen since.

If the joint party was for two children from my child's class and she knew both of them, I would take two gifts.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: MariaE on December 16, 2013, 11:09:51 PM
I would bring two gifts. One might be a token gift, but I'd still bring two. I'd feel extremely rude to only bring one.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: kudeebee on December 16, 2013, 11:34:11 PM
I would bring two gifts. One might be a token gift, but I'd still bring two. I'd feel extremely rude to only bring one.

Why would you feel it is rude?  If you were invited by both persons and only took a gift for the person you liked best, that would be rude.  But to only take a gift for the person who invited you isn't rude in the least.

My daughter and a friend had a joint party one year as their birthdays were the same day and they had several mutual friends.  Each also invited a few (3 or 4) friends that were specific to each one.  We did not expect these friends of the other girl to bring a gift for our dd, and vice versa.  And noone did.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: MariaE on December 17, 2013, 12:28:31 AM
I would bring two gifts. One might be a token gift, but I'd still bring two. I'd feel extremely rude to only bring one.

Why would you feel it is rude?  If you were invited by both persons and only took a gift for the person you liked best, that would be rude.  But to only take a gift for the person who invited you isn't rude in the least.

I have never been to a joint party where both people didn't figure on the invitation. It's always been something along the lines of "We'd love to see you at our birthday party at X time and Y place. Love Person-I-Know and Person-I-Don't-Know(-As-Well)".

If the invitation didn't make it clear that it was a joint party, I might view it differently.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: CakeEater on December 17, 2013, 01:51:16 AM
I would decide whether or not to buy a gift for the other birthday girl/boy based on whether I would have been invited to their party if they'd had one on their own. If I would have, then I'm their guest as well. If  not, then I'm not really their guest. Just because the families want to share the costs of throwing their kids a birthday party, doesn't mean I need to double my expenses by buying a gift for someone who would not have had me there if it was solely their party.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: bopper on December 17, 2013, 08:25:53 AM
My DD's good friend used to have double birthday parties with another friend...they can afford a better location that way.
We only ever brought a gift for DD's friend. The invitation was from her friend, so we don't even know who the other kid is, really.
Title: Re: Gifts at children's double birthday party
Post by: cwm on December 17, 2013, 08:31:36 AM
I would decide whether or not to buy a gift for the other birthday girl/boy based on whether I would have been invited to their party if they'd had one on their own. If I would have, then I'm their guest as well. If  not, then I'm not really their guest. Just because the families want to share the costs of throwing their kids a birthday party, doesn't mean I need to double my expenses by buying a gift for someone who would not have had me there if it was solely their party.

Thank you for phrasing this so well. This is why I'm not going to buy a gift for a kid that my kid's never met.