Why does gift giving / presents have to be so damn difficult? I recently had a birthday party and as a part of the invitation we made it VERY clear not to buy me any presents, and that their company was more than enough. Sure enough the day arrives and a couple of people bought me gifts. Now I am grateful for the gifts and I appreciate what I was given, but I honestly did not want anyone to trouble themselves or spend their hard earned cash on presents for me – particularly when I specifically said not to do it.


Anyway, my wife and I recently went to a kids party for some people that we know fairly well, but I wouldn’t call us close friends.  Their little boy was having his birthday and the invitation clearly said “No presents please”. Now being someone who genuinely didn’t want gifts for my birthday I took the invitation at face value and we didn’t bring a present to the party. As it turns out, of the 30 or so people that turned up, about 75% of them appeared to have brought a present…

Now i’m not sure what to think. Are we tight for not bringing a present? Do the parents of the child appreciate that we didn’t buy him a present, or do they secretly resent us because despite putting “no presents” on the invite, they actually expected people to come bearing gifts. The whole thing is mind boggling to me, and it happens all the time! In Glen world, if you want presents, then you shouldn’t put no presents on the invite.

So now I am confused about the whole thing and I am left feeling as if we should always buy presents no matter what the invite states.


Are you able to shed any light on this? Should we always be buying gifts even when you are asked not to?