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46

It's absolutely possible to give kids presents on Christmas without bringing Santa into the picture. (Indeed, even in families whose holiday tradition includes Santa, there are almost always presents where the tag says "From Grandma" or "From Uncle Tim", not "From Santa".) Interestingly, even if you don't tell your kids about Santa, it's possible they will ...


44

Don't bring a gift; don't call and ask This is an opportunity to teach your son three very important lessons: 1. Your beliefs are not more important than their beliefs. While it may be tempting to give the gift anyway, or try to persuade them to accept the gift, that really isn't respecting their beliefs. If you give the gift, you're forcing your belief ...


39

As the other answers suggested, it's very likely that whatever you put will come of as weird. Still, it's an honest and reasonable sentiment, so it's kind of frustrating that it can't be expressed as such. Here's my best effort (to be placed in relatively small print at the bottom of the invitation): Gifts are welcome, but not necessary. If you would like ...


36

I would suggest handing the gift over privately before or after the party. That way you don't make other parents feel bad that they didn't bring a gift, or feel like you are sucking up, or whatever weird social dynamics can result when one person brings a present and everyone else doesn't. Don't expect to be around when the cousin opens the present since it ...


35

Is lying worse than the good aspects? Aren't the negative things it brings (telling them the truth eventually) worse than the good things? No. Children experience the world differently than adults, due to their incomplete knowledge. It may, in fact, be harder for some children to understand that my daily departure from home for many hours is what ...


33

There is no need to lie. Telling the "Jedi truth" is a different matter. I remember, back in college, turning on the TV and listening to some bible-thumper tell me that we shouldn't tell our children about Santa Claus, because we're eventually going to have to tell them that he's fake. And then...maybe Jesus is fake?!? I'm Christian, so this really got ...


25

I somewhat like Pratchett's take on the question "You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable." REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE. "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—" YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT ...


24

In particular, we are wondering about the benefits of dolls. Helps develop coordination, motor skills, social skills, and imagination. Allows the child to act out different roles. Dressing, grooming, feeding skills are reinforced with doll play. Coordination when carefully carrying the doll, rocking, or pushing in a stroller. Helps add to the ...


24

I don't think you can really tactfully put it on the invitation. In fact, many would say the invitation shouldn't refer to gifts at all. Registries are quite often communicated by family members and not the invitation - although I find that silly, personally, and certainly would add it to mine. However, what I would typically do is ask your parents or ...


21

I personally don't think it's polite to invite people to a celebration while telling them how they should and shouldn't gift you. While I am not an atheist, I would still be somewhat taken aback by that kind of announcement on an invitation. The gifts at celebrations are certainly appreciated, and baby showers in particular are supposed to be oriented ...


18

I think it is unlikely that she actually believes in Santa, it's possible that she's using Santa as a way to express her feelings indirectly. By saying Santa is not giving her the presents she wants she avoids talking about it in a confrontation with you. My 11 most kids have figured out that Santa is their parents, you'll probably find the ones maintaining ...


18

This is a territory problem, but not I don't think in the obvious way... If it's your kid, it's the territory between your house, your rules, and the other kids family's way of doing things. It's all about domain. I'm assuming we're talking about elementary aged kids. There's a lot to be said about what kids know at that age that can't be quantified. ...


17

Re: compromise. The gift recipient's parents are giving the gift of the party to all the attendees. It is natural in society to reciprocate in some way for gifts received, so points to your son for showing a sense of appreciation. Perhaps you could contact the parents of the child and see if there is another way you son could contribute to the party such ...


14

Giving a doll to a child who would obviously love it isn't reinforcing a stereotype. Giving a doll to a girl who you know doesn't like dolls is. That's an important distinction. What you should worry about is avoiding letting her love of dolls blind you to her other interests and talents which you might also support. My 5 year-old daughter loves dolls, ...


13

If the parents are generally okay with gifts, and just don't want them at the party, I would recommend telling him to give the gift at another time entirely, and not making it a 'birthday gift'. The cousin's parents made it clear a birthday gift is not desired, so don't give one. Instead, give it to him at another time - a week later, something like that - ...


11

I know I am probably a bit late on the uptake here - responding the day after Christmas - however, I felt I had a slightly different take on this one than the answers already offered. I am inclined to agree with GdD in that I suspect your daughter either knows and is using St. Nick as a way to manipulate - or at least she is suspicious and is saying the ...


11

The sample behaviors you describe seem to concern different issues, not all of which I would perceive as materialistic behavior. I would suggest that you explore your feelings of discomfort to find out what is going on with you, what your values are and how you respond to the possibility that your daughter may not share them. It can be hard, I know. In the ...


10

I think there are a couple of important points here: My son (3) likes to give presents. (...) We recently received an invitation to a cousin's 5th birthday. The invitation says "No gifts please!".   This child's parents have specified "no gifts" for other events, as well (previous birthdays, family holiday celebrations, etc.), but the boy still ...


9

Our approach with the tooth fairy was always to explain that if the tooth fairy had a lot of kids in one night, you might get less, and sometimes you would get skipped altogether until the next night (this because we could never remember how much we gave the time before, and sometimes we would forget altogether!). You could try that approach - "Some years ...


9

Have him be with you when you write the thank you notes. Help him draw a picture or sign his name to the card, so that he can take part. That way he's giving back a little. There is joy in the giving that he may relate to. It's also good to help him understand who the people are who care about him. Some parents have a tradition with their children where ...


8

If the other parents have requested 'no presents' then you should respect their wishes. Even if you give a gift before the party it is still going to cause problems, when guests subsequently compare with each other at school. Since your child is keen to be generous and give gifts, why not suggest that he gives a gift to a needy child via you rlocal ...


8

My experience was a bit different from most. I found out, at age seven, on a bus full of other kids on the way to school the day after Christmas vacation ended. I remember a burning sense of shame, and of betrayal. Shame for being so "stupid" as to have believed a lie, and betrayal toward parents who had put me in the situation where I had half a bus full ...


8

If you have a registry, I assume that you will simply not include religious items on it. If people mostly buy from the registry, problem solved. I think it would be rude to say you don't want a certain type of gift, whether that is religious or whatever. Like if you said, "Please, no orange shirts, because I hate the color orange", I think that would be ...


8

The title of your post "How can I..." asks a slightly different question from the content, "should we say..." I will answer the latter. In a word, no. You should not mention it. Look at your fundamental motivation. You want to avoid causing your friends and family to waste money. That is an admirable desire, but how your extended family does or doesn't ...


7

This is an opportunity to begin to teach your son about honoring the wishes of others. If your son gives a gift, he is not giving what the receiver wants (the receiver having specifically asked for "no gifts"), he is instead giving what HE wants. This is a little bit abstract for a 3-year-old, though, so I would try something like: "I love how you love to ...


6

I don't understand the problem. Since when has the "wants" of a 3 year old guest been more important than the house rules? Take the opportunity of teaching your son the importance of respect and compromise. The "no presents please" comment should not be ignored, and the only compromise that needs to take place is on the side of the child - the party hosts ...


6

Many other answers focus upon the assumption that the "no gifts" rule is to prevent public competition. However, I would ask the parents directly and explain the situation. There could be other reasons, any of which could provide good options. For instance, both of my daughters have had a bad habit of leaving small pieces of toys (rubber bands, plastic ...


6

If my child was the guest of honor, and I was the hostess, I would just say "No, it is so and so's birthday." You can say it to the cousins and avoid the mother if you want. Probably better to have this conversation in advance with the mother on the phone. "So, I know in the past we've let them help open presents, but it bothers me because.... Instead, could ...


6

you're in charge of allowing or not your kid to play with that present. accept it and say thanks, then at home, talk to your kid about why you don't think it's a good idea for him/her to play with that toy and say you're gonna save it for when he/she is old enough to play with it. end of story :-)


6

The benefit of a factory doll versus a made-up doll is, generally, more anatomically correct and potentially safer because it's (allegedly) designed for safety versus a (glass?) jar of pickles. Anatomically correct is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but generally speaking it matters for practical applications, especially in the fine motor skills ...



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