Avoiding presents

Although most of us love receiving gifts, sometimes – for various reasons – we want to throw a party but not receive any gifts.

Sometimes it’s because we have everything we need and don’t want to burden our guests with the hassle and expense of seeking out gifts that aren’t needed in the first place. Occasionally the person simply does not like receiving gifts (strange but true!).

The question has been asked: how to request, on a party invitation, that the invitee NOT bring a gift? The simple answer is to print “No presents, please” in small lettering at the bottom of the invitation.  Another, more charming way is to use the following line: “No presents, please – your presence is all we need”.  I love the play on words.

As it happens, we used the latter line on our wedding invitation.  By then we were in our late thirties, and had already amassed all the homewares we could possibly need.  So our wedding invitation requested that no presents be brought…and it was very interesting to see who obeyed the request, and who ignored it!  About half the guests complied with it; the other half felt that a wedding gift is such a social imperative, they couldn’t possibly attend a wedding without bringing one.  (The interesting part was seeing who fell into which camp – and it was quite surprising: some close relatives brought nothing, whereas some less close friends brought expensive gifts.  Go figure!)

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2 Responses to “Avoiding presents”

  1. Nicole Says:

    Will be using the saying ‘No presence please – your presence is all we need’ for my upcoming house-warming party!! 🙂

  2. kate200 Says:

    Excellent! Be prepared for some invitees to insist that they really want to bring a present anyhow, and have some easy suggestions at the ready for them – a bottle of wine; some balsamic vinegar for the pantry; a new apron, doormat or laundry basket; that sort of thing – items that are ‘housewarm-y’, affordable and easy to find.

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