Gift Etiquette: A Modern Guide for Today’s Child

As experts in children’s party planning in New Jersey, the team at Parties for Peanuts gets plenty of questions from parents and other party planners. What should I serve for food? How to keep the kids from being bored? What about gifts? Today, we’ll talk about gifts and gift-giving in the modern world.

To Gift or Not to Gift
This is the question! In a world of materialism and consumerism, do we really need more gifts? On the other hand, we are celebrating a child’s life… doesn’t that deserve gifts? What’s most important is that the party planner makes an active plan for how to handle gifts—including sharing this information with other parents. It can seem rude, but sharing expectations beforehand makes everything easier. Start your party planning right and check out the next few ideas of how to handle gifts.

Gift Limits
One of the most popular strategies to manage gifting is setting a price limit. Consider your financial status, as well as those of the children/families you will invite. Typically, $10 or $20 is an appropriate limit for a child and does not place too much stress on the families, although some studies show that some are spending up to $40 on gifting! We like to encourage people to focus on experiences, not price tag.

“Fiver” Parties
In contrast to the big givers out there, “fiver” parties are gaining popularity and ask that each child/family contributes just $5, which is then used toward buying a bigger gift for the child. This saves money, but entirely removes the fun of choosing a gift for a friend or even opening that gift.

Gift Alternatives
Feel uncomfortable asking guests to bring gifts at all, to tell them how much to bring, or to just ask for money to spend on a “big” gift? Try alternatives instead—and again, let all invited know about these alternatives! Fun ideas include allowing only homemade gifts, only recycled/upcycled gifts, only cards, or only allowing coupons for future favors. The thought and effort are still required, just not the commercialism.

For a party that’s fun for everyone, shift the focus away from gifts and keep it on the excitement! Bringing a custom character, bouncy castle, or other special entertainment to your child’s next party in New Jersey will create memories that last much longer than toys and gifts.