By grandpup from Morganville, NJ
I agree, asking guests to donate money towards a gift is tacky. In fact, where I am from for the elderly people celebrating birthdays and/or wedding anniversaries invitiations aren't sent out, an announcement is made in the local papers, along with the statement that the honored person/persons request no gifts. We did that for my parents 50th anniversary and they did get some gifts anyway, in fact most of the people that attended brought a gift and most of them were quite nice gifts, not like a lot of the "tacky" looking gifts you see for events like that. None of the people attending were well to do. One person had done a cross-stitched poem with a landscape type scene about the blessings of being together forever.
A couple years ago I was on a web site and a woman wrote in with the question, she was hosting Thanksgiving dinner that year and wanted to ask people to donate money to her, or basically charge for the meal. Most of the replies stated that it would be tacky to do that and instead, she should make it a pot luck type meal, where everybody brings a dish to pass.
Even at going on 75 (on 7/15,) my hubby doesn't care about gifts, expensive or otherwise.
If folks are asked to contribute cash, maybe instead of an expensive gift that will eventually be left behind, why not something that'll create fond memories instead?
I don't know what to suggest, really, but perhaps the money could go for a wonderful dinner at their favorite fancy restaurant, getaway weekend or the production of a "This is Your Life" kind of film?
I would ask friends and relatives to send or bring cards with a letter or note recalling a special memory or an event they might have shared. I think at their ages, that would be much more meaningful than gifts. That's what we did for my Mother's 85th. She loved it. She not only got about 50 cards, but also several bouquets of flowers and balloons. She said it was the best birthday she ever had! My parents had asked the four of us to quit buying gifts for them earlier than 80 as they didn't want anything more to store in their closets.
It's just my personal opinion but in doing this it is assuming people will bring a gift in the first place instead of just the gift of bringing themself and it also takes away from their personal touch, taste and circumstance.
It would be best if you simply sent out a standard invitation to celebrate your parents longevity, leave each invitee to their own choice and it remain that you and/or your immediate family purchase the expensive gift.
Instead of an expensive gift, either a 'senior vacation', or a family reunion celebrating their birthdays. At 80, 10-years from now, I am sure i would rather have a celebration with family and close friends.
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.