Present-Less Parties Have a Lot to Give!

no presents please
Many kids live in abundance, and the idea of present-less parties is a great one to consider. I’m always touched when kids ask for donations to charities in lieu of gifts. I’m even more impressed when the charity actually means something to them personally.

I remember going to a “Spa Mitzvah” once and wondering what was in store…There was an oversized photo of the Bat Mitzvah girl in a robe, so I’m wondering, seated chair massages next?

But…as I entered the room, there were bountiful spa gift baskets ready to be donated to the women’s/domestic violence rescue shelter where this girl volunteered her time. It all fit together so beautifully.

Lisa Kothari, author and children’s party planner, sent me some great tips on how to make “present-less parties” gratifying, especially for kids:

1. Consider a book exchange. Guests bring a wrapped book, and everyone gets to take one home.

2. Give your child an experience rather than a party. If you allow friends to be invited, let the experience be the celebration, not the stuff.

3. Ask for presents appropriate for kids in the hospital and after the party, the b-day child delivers them.

4. Contact a charity that is a favorite and ask for a Wish List, i.e. a list of stuff the organization really needs. As an example, the humane society may need leashes, collars, toys, etc. Request guests bring these items in lieu of birthday gifts to donate and make the wishes come true!

5. Request art supplies and donate them to a shelter.

Editor’s Note: I love Lisa’s inspired ideas. For more birthday party resources, check out our website for a free chart to track cell phone numbers at drop-off parties; it can also double as a gift record/thank you list. Even if the gift is a donation, the child should acknowledge it.

Source Notes: Lisa Kothari is the president and founder of Peppers and Pollywogs, a web-based company that is “All About Kids’ Parties.” During the past ten years, Lisa has organized hundreds of creative and unique kids’ parties in Washington, DC, New York City, and Seattle. Kothari authored Dear Peppers and Pollywogs: What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties.


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2 Comments to Present-Less Parties Have a Lot to Give!

  1. by aman thul economie

    On June 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I truly loved this brilliant article. Please continue this awesome work. Regards, Duyq.


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