"You just need three things to have a successful birthday party - kids, cake and presents."-Nonna

So, it seems all around us the above 'formula' is getting messed with.  Parents are requesting no gifts, requesting cash instead of gifts, asking you to donate to charity or requiring you buy a gift off their registry.

Not okay, friends.

Here are the 3 reasons why the Birthday Party Formula should be left alone:

1)  A child gets one day a year for it to be all about them.  1 out of the 365 days in a year, that child is special and singled out and the world revolves around them.  Let them have their day.  Let them eat cake, play with their friends and open up some gifts.

2)  I like taking my child to pick out a gift for another child.  It teaches them that the world does not revolve around them the other 364 days.  It teaches them to be generous, to give from their heart and consider someone else.

3) If you, as a parent, want to make a donation to charity, make a donation to charity. Or donate the gift that my child spent her time selecting (and she does take her time making a choice!), but don't ask a parent to make a donation.  Being socially responsible is each person's individual choice and one should not be forced into it.

Also, it is not my responsibility to fund your child's college education.  It is tacky to ask for cash, it just is.  Don't do it.  Of course we don't need one more piece of plastic that lights up and plays music. Or another Polly Pocket, Barbie or random big girl toy that could cause a choking death to Madeline. But we do not get to choose the gifts given to us or our children, that is the choice of the gift giver (or whether to give a gift at all for that matter!).  Whatever you receive, be gracious and move on.

So there you have it.  The above reasons do not apply if you are asked for a list or ideas/suggestions.

What do you think?  Should gifts be given at birthday parties?  Have you received a "no gifts" invitation lately?  Does it make you feel guilty for not putting "no gifts" on your invitation?