11 Ways To Say ‘No Gifts’ On Birthday Invites

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Writing  ‘No Gifts’ on birthday invites might feel like a good idea, but it can seem weird or tacky to the guests.

Gifts are such a big part of the kid’s birthday party that it feels awkward to ask people not to bring any gifts or toys. But thinking about it practically, a kid’s birthday party can include anywhere from 30-60 guests or even more.

This could easily mean 20 gifts at least. Even if they are well-thought gifts, 20 gifts for a kid is simply too many!

This is reason enough to take the plunge and send a ‘No Gifts’ birthday invite to let all attendees know that your kid does not need any more gifts.

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11 Creative Ways To Write No Gifts On Birthday Invitations

Since writing a plain ‘No Gifts Please’ on the invitation card is not easy how about some fun creative ways of saying your family will appreciate the guest’s presence and nothing more.

A little humor can help to get the point across without offending anyone.

#1 Our Tests Have Shown Mike Enjoys Company Of Loved Ones More Than Gifts. Your Presence Is Requested, But No Gifts Please!

#2 Issued In The Interest Of Our Humble House- No Space Left Sadly For Any More Gifts. No Gifts Please.

#3 Make Johnny’s Day Special With Hugs & Kisses, No Gifts Please.     

#4 Toys Are So Passé, Hugs Are In! No Toys Please.

#5 Your Presence Is Strictly Required For Only Eating, Drinking, Dancing and Singing Birthday Songs For Lil’ Johnny. No Gifts Please!

#6 Add A Picture Of Toy Your Kid Ruined With This Caption- “This Is What Johnny Does To Toys”. Please No Toys, Your Presence Is All That Is Requested.

#7 Ana Loves Guests Who Don’t Bring Gifts. No Gifts Please.

#8 ‘Toys R NOT Us’. No Toys Please.

#9 ‘No Gifts’ Please & We Mean It From The Bottom Of Our Heart.

#10 This Is A Just For Fun Party, Gifts Are Strictly Prohibited.

# 11 People Are The Life Of The Party, Not Gifts. No Gifts Please!

(P.S: You Can Easily Sub No Toys in place of No Gifts If You Specifically Don’t Want Toys)

Okay, now you know how to word no toys for a birthday party invitation. But Wait! This is only half the battle won. Do you have any alternative suggestions if the guests enquire?

Before you bask in the glory of mastering the ‘No Gift’ birthday party invitation for your kid, it is important to consider the below important points as well-

Also, check out, fun birthday party themes for boys and girls even adults will love.

Alternatives To Gifts & Toys For Birthday 

People feel guilty for not bringing a gift to a party and especially to a kid’s birthday party. Social norms make people feel obligated to attend a party with a gift, abandoning that social etiquette is going to cause at least some to cross-check the ‘No Gift’ request.

Therefore, it is important to plan other suggestions in advance, when asked. If you can tell them what else they can do instead of buying more toys/ gifts, they would feel better.

It is easy to ask family members for gift cards to ice cream stores, passes to the zoo, etc., but when it comes to other guests asking for gift cards could seem a bit tacky.

Therefore, for non-family members, it is better to suggest an alternative like below-

  • Bring Some Goodies For Donation

Set up an area in the party room for any toys, books, clothes, etc., that you would like to donate to charity. You can suggest guests bring old toys/ new toys, old storybooks, etc., from their own kids for donation to a children’s shelter.

Guests can also make a cash donation or food donation in lieu of gifts for child shelters or charity.

It’s a great way of teaching kids the pleasure of giving to the needy as opposed to just receiving gifts. There are various charities that accept donations for kids.

Look one up in your city and simply ask what can be donated so you can make a suggestion to the guests.

By the way, I recently wrote a post on best gift ideas for an ill child in the hospital, if you know a kid that is currently in hospital (short term or long term) this gift guide will help you find a gift that will bring the child a lot of relief.

  • Suggest An ‘Offer Of Babysitting’ 

All parents know the value of a babysitter. Maybe you can suggest the friend babysit your kid one evening instead of bringing in a gift.

Chances are the suggestion that will be very well received, and you can have an opportunity to attend to anything that you had been putting off or enjoy a quiet evening with your spouse.

  • Suggest Bringing An Extra Side Dish/ Fruit Tray/ Ice Cream

If the guest insists on bringing something that adds to the birthday party fun, consider suggesting a side dish, appetizer, fruit tray, a tub of your kid’s favorite ice cream flavor, etc. This is a simple, yet effective way to appease the guest.

  • Ask For Help Setting Up The Party

This is the perfect time to ask for help if you think you will be a bit overwhelmed on the day of the birthday party. It could be anything from making sure the fruit punch bowl or the water jar is always full, food trays are not empty to helping decorate the backyard for the party.

Your guest will be more than happy to help in setting up the party.

'No Gifts' Kid's Birthday Party Decoration Bunting

Include Your Kid In The ‘No Gifts’ Decision

No matter how young or old your kid is, seeing other kids receive gifts on their birthdays can make your kids feel sad. It is important to make sure your kids are okay with your decision about a ‘No Gift’ birthday party.

This might not be applicable to a baby or a toddler but it is definitely applicable to an elementary kid or an older child. After all, it’s their day, and it is important that they feel happy on this day.

No Gifts Birthday Party Etiquette

Hosting a no gifts birthday party for a child also requires you to follow some etiquettes to make the event easier on guests as well. So here’s –How to Host A No Gift Birthday Party.

Avoid Gift Opening Ceremony If Some Attendees Still Bring Gifts

Don’t trust people to truly listen. No matter what you do, there would be some people who would still show up with a gift. It is better to skip the gift opening ceremony in front of everyone to avoid the risk of making other guests feel embarrassed for following the ‘No Gift’ request.

You can’t ask them to take back the gift, all you can do is say ‘you didn’t have to’ but keep the gift away from the party area, away from other guest’s eyes. 

You want to ever so gently hint you were serious about the no gift request.

Nobody wants to be the one to walk into a party with an extensive gift opening ceremony without a gift in hand. It is mortifying.

To avoid this from happening, maybe mention in the invitation that guests should only bring a gift for a donation to the local charity.

Avoid Giving A ‘Return Gift’ for the No Gifts Birthday Party

It is a good idea to skip giving a return gift if you ask the guests to not bring a gift in the first place, that’s some show of solidarity.

Even if return birthday gifts or party favors, as they are popularly called, are given to guests as a token of appreciation for making time to attend your kid’s birthday party, they are still a gift.

The guests would probably feel a bit weird to first attend without a gift and then to enjoy your food, drinks and on top of that get a return gift! it can feel a bit uncomfortable.

Don’t Expect Attendees To Respond With A ‘No Gift’ Invite

Even if ‘No Gift’ party invites are becoming popular, don’t expect to receive one every time. Just because you prefer guests to not bring any gifts for your kids, doesn’t mean that other parents will also do the same.

It is a fact that the kid’s birthday party is the time to shower them with gifts.

Some parents enjoy seeing their kids open presents during their birthday, Christmas, etc., and the thought of asking guests to not bring any gifts seems unfair to their kid- robbing them of the fun of opening presents on their birthday.

This should also bring to attention all the money you will spend buying birthday gifts for other’s kids, not getting anything back in return. You can’t avoid that!

Buying gifts for other people’s kids might start to seem unnecessary and burdensome since they are not required to buy a gift for your child.


Whatever might be your reason for no gifts, no toys birthday party invitation, it is also for the greater good. Often families can’t afford to send their kids to multiple birthday parties because of the cost of the gift, it really does add up!

Parents also have to spend considerable time searching for the perfect gift, and many a time gift-giving turns into a competition to see who can find the best gift.

Suggested: Genius Ways To Find The Perfect Gift Every Time

In the end, you should also prepare to face the fact that some people will not pay attention to your request and they will continue to shower the kids with toys, etc., like grandparents.

Honestly, there is no one who can stop grandparents from doing that!

Sometimes you can’t deny family and friends the joy of giving gifts to your kids. For them, that’s the best way to show love and affection for your kids.

All that means is you will have to de-clutter your kid’s toy chest more often to donate or give away what’s not being used to the thrift stores.

Writing a plain 'No Gifts Please' on a kid's birthday invitation can seem weird or tacky. Here are #11 fun and creative ways to say your family will love nothing more than the guest's presence along with some important points to consider when sending a 'No Gifts Please' invitation to your family and friends...

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