Author Topic: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?  (Read 5027 times)

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MindsEye

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 02:08:52 PM »

Can we make some sort of universe-wide announcement: "If you don't RSVP yes, your child won't get a goody bag"?

(snip)

Or, you could take each apparent aside and say, "I'm so sorry we don't have a goody bag for your child. You didn't RSVP, and I thought you weren't coming. Will you please explain things to your child?" Let them deal with it.

Though I might also say to the kid, "I'm sorry, sweetie--your mom didn't call to tell me you were coming, so I didn't know! Next time, have her call, so the birthday boy can be sure to make a goody bag for you."

On the bolded, I guess I already know the answer, but isn't there a polite way this could be stated on the invite?  I can't think of one that doesn't indirectly insult those who know better, but it seems there should be. 

I don't know how polite it is, but what my SIL does is to put a line on the RSVP stating that she will be doing personalized favors for those attendees who RSVP by {date}

My SIL also has an iron spine and has no problem whatsoever telling a child/their parents that because they didn't RSVP in time (or at all) that they don't get a favor.  (She is also very good at turning away uninvited siblings.  I wish that I had her panache.)

Honestly, OP, I think that in this case your best option is to flout the "social expectations" of your area and just not do goodie bags at all.  Really... what is the worst that could happen if you don't provide goodie bags? 

betty

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2014, 02:31:25 PM »

I don't know how polite it is, but what my SIL does is to put a line on the RSVP stating that she will be doing personalized favors for those attendees who RSVP by {date}


I kind of like this (although it does sound a little like an infomercial: "Call now and you'll get a second bacon bowl maker..."). I like the idea of making it perfectly clear that RSVPs are required and that there are consequences to not responding by the date listed. In a world where everyone responds Yes or No by the date requested, it wouldn't be needed, but clearly this is not that world.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2014, 02:37:51 PM »
Putting aside the issue of the goody bags for a moment . . . I'd like to hear some suggestions for politely letting a non-responding parent know that the lack of an RSVP was noticed.  I don't think that anything should be said to a child; it's wrong to shame them for something they had no control over. 

It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

esposita

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2014, 02:54:52 PM »
Please keep in mind what you are teaching your son.  You are teaching him that other people don't need to use manners or follow the rules and everyone around them will just carry on as if nothing happened.  You are also passing on the message that no one needs to be accountable.  Yes, he is young, no he doesn't want to hurt people's feelings but there is a valuable lesson for him to learn here and one he will remember his whole life.  Young children remember and internalize the lessons they are taught, once they get a bit older they tend to think adults know nothing.

I take issue with this. In a case like this, goody bags and birthday parties, I would probably end up scrambling to make more bags somehow (not that the OP should, or needs to; its just what I'd probably do) and the lesson my kids would learn because we'd talk about it is "people are annoying and rude. I will not raise you to treat people the way they are treating us. but we cannot change them and will not treat them differently in this instance just because they have no manners. maybe its not required, but we're going to do it."

You can point out the failings of others while accommodating them without teaching the next generation to be a doormat.

and oh my goodness OP! Making candy?! You're my hero. :) can you divide up the candies that you have and add some cheap trinkets?

TootsNYC

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2014, 02:58:58 PM »
Putting aside the issue of the goody bags for a moment . . . I'd like to hear some suggestions for politely letting a non-responding parent know that the lack of an RSVP was noticed.  I don't think that anything should be said to a child; it's wrong to shame them for something they had no control over.

I think you say to them, quietly, "I wish you'd let me know you guys were coming. It's hard not to be able to plan." Without heat, without a scoldy voice. Etiquette doesn't require us to pretend other people are right.

MindsEye

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2014, 03:20:39 PM »
Putting aside the issue of the goody bags for a moment . . . I'd like to hear some suggestions for politely letting a non-responding parent know that the lack of an RSVP was noticed.  I don't think that anything should be said to a child; it's wrong to shame them for something they had no control over.

"I would have appreciated knowing that you planned on attending."

Nuala

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2014, 04:15:36 PM »
Can we make some sort of universe-wide announcement: "If you don't RSVP yes, your child won't get a goody bag"?

Let's not limit this to children. Wouldn't we all be happy to make a little goody bags for the folks who RSVP to our dinner parties? And wouldn't many brides and grooms prefer giving a parting gift to the guest who tell them they will attend their wedding, to scrambling to find chairs and food for people who just show up?

Nuala

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2014, 04:21:28 PM »
I don't know how polite it is, but what my SIL does is to put a line on the RSVP stating that she will be doing personalized favors for those attendees who RSVP by {date}

My SIL also has an iron spine and has no problem whatsoever telling a child/their parents that because they didn't RSVP in time (or at all) that they don't get a favor.  (She is also very good at turning away uninvited siblings.  I wish that I had her panache.)

This fascinates me. What does she say? Or is it how she says it that works?

Do the parents leave happily? What are the recurpussions? Do the adults remain friends? What about the kids?

Take2

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2014, 04:35:08 PM »
Here's my current thought, tell me if you think this will fly?

The candy in the goodie bags is colored candy bark molded like toy building bricks, to match the party theme, one each in the three primary colors that most of these bricks are made of. To make more tri-colored bags would be labor intensive. But I can pretty easily use my one last container of bark to make a fourth color of bricks and bring them stashed in tupperware. If extra children comes, I can offer one or two of these. If not, my kids will be happy to have a week's worth of tasty treats.

There seems to be a school of thought that negative RSVPs are not required. Which would actually be OK if there was not also a school of thought that it's OK to see how we feel on Saturday morning and whether anything better comes up and then just decide at party time whether to come or not.

I think my plan for uninvited siblings works well. At a venue party, extra wristbands are always for sale. I just assume the parent intends to pay for any uninvited siblings and  assure them that there is plenty of cake and they can get a wristband at the desk. None of the RSVPed kids have an uninvited sibling this year, so perhaps I won't have to deal with that at all.

bopper

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2014, 04:50:29 PM »
Goodie bags (the actual bags) usually come in packs of 8.  So I would make 16 sets of goodie bags.

As the kids come to the venue, check them off on a sheet.  Add the new kids to the bottom of the list.
If anyone not on the list comes, then say "Oh my gosh! I didn't know Billy was coming! We didn't hear back from you.  However, I have checked with the venue, and *they* said it would be okay if a couple  of more kids came. So we can get him in!
(whisper to parent "but I don't think we have a goodie bag for him but have plenty of cake and pizza).  Hey Billy! The kids are over there. 
Mom, we will see you at 5:00 when the party is over."

So act like it is wonderful luck that they can still attend with the small downside of no goodie bag.

MindsEye

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2014, 05:09:09 PM »
I don't know how polite it is, but what my SIL does is to put a line on the RSVP stating that she will be doing personalized favors for those attendees who RSVP by {date}

My SIL also has an iron spine and has no problem whatsoever telling a child/their parents that because they didn't RSVP in time (or at all) that they don't get a favor.  (She is also very good at turning away uninvited siblings.  I wish that I had her panache.)

This fascinates me. What does she say? Or is it how she says it that works?

Do the parents leave happily? What are the recurpussions? Do the adults remain friends? What about the kids?

I think that it is mostly how she says it... She says something like "Oh well if I had known you were coming/known you were coming by {date} then I would have had time to make you a favor.  But unfortunately I didn't know, so I wasn't able to." And she says it with a big smile, in a no-nonsense tone of voice, and just kind of... bulldozes... past anything else the parent/child might say as though of course the agree with her, because of course they must be reasonable people.  (It is pretty breathtaking to watch, frankly.)

I don't know if the parents leave happy, but they generally leave without argument.  And I don't know if my SIL really cares about repercussions.  I know that she doesn't care if she is "friends" with the parents of all of her kids' friends.  And since she also doesn't believe in mediating her kids' friendships, I don't know if she really cares about potential fallout among the kids either.  I think that if a kid had a super meltdown about not getting a favor and decided to defriend my nephew/niece over it, her reaction would probably be "good riddance then, don't need a kid like that around!"

But she has had this policy since she started throwing birthday parties for her kids, since before they were even in preschool.  And pretty much everyone is used to how she does things and because of this, follows her directions pretty well.  Begin as you mean to go on, I guess...

Lauds

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2014, 07:25:20 PM »
Perhaps you could get more goodie bags (perhaps of a different design) and take them empty to the party. Then if anyone turns up unexpectedly you can pop a slice of cake in a bag and send them home with that so that no one leaves empty handed. If you pick a fairly neutral design they can be used in the future if they aren't used on the day.

I'd probably name the goodie bags for the rsvp'd kids in a non-removable way, to make sure they got their bags.

lakey

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2014, 11:24:06 PM »
I agree with Rosewater.
"This is a very good example of why small BD parties are desirable and only for those whose personal info you have so you can call and nag the parents into giving you a yes or no.  The rule of thumb is as many guests as the kids age."
It's too late for the OP this year, but keep this in mind for the future.
Schools require that if invitations are passed out at school they go to everyone, in order to not hurt the feelings of kids not invited. The solution to that is to not pass them out at school.

That being said, I would buy the stuff to make extra goody bags. Passing them out to some 6 year olds and not others would be  hurtful to the ones left out. It's just not their fault that their parents are rude, but they would be the ones punished not the parents.

kareng57

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2014, 11:32:45 PM »
I say that you find a way to give goody-bags to all attendees.  Yes, it is proper to reply to all invitations, but it's terribly unfair to make 6 year-olds suffer due to their parents' etiquette-insufficiencies.

m2kbug

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Re: Birthday party-any guesses on how many will show up?
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2014, 11:59:08 PM »
I invited 25, I plan for 25.  RSVP seems to be rather unknown in my area at times, it can be touch and go.  I have run into the non-RSVPs that show up anyway with friends in tow, so I typically try to plan for that.  No news means no show, most of the time, I think, so you should only be dealing with the 14 that called, but maybe plan on two or three extras just in case.  I have handed the extra goodie bags over to siblings, which they love, as if they got to go to the party too.  My children have received the same when I go to pick up brother or sister, and they always enjoy this.