Birthday Party Guidelines

Birthday Party Guidelines: The Art Of Not Turning Up Empty-Handed

A birthday is a special celebration and when you were younger, getting an invitation to a birthday party was one of the most exciting things, from the games you would play with friends to the table of delicious sweet treats to munch on. As we get older, invitations to birthday celebrations become more of a rarity (unless they’re a milestone age), so it’s easy to become out of touch with the protocol for gifts when one of those rare invitations arrive in your hands or inbox. Knowing what to get, how much to spend and whether to even get anything at all when you head to a birthday party could indeed be classed as an art form.

Below, we’ve explored some different kinds of birthday parties to give you some ideas of the best way to avoid turning up empty-handed and red-faced.

Children’s Birthday Party

There’s an unwritten rule that if you’re going to a child’s birthday party, you should make your appearance with a gift in hand. If it’s a child you know well, like a niece, nephew or your best friend’s son or daughter, you probably have some idea of what gift they would love to open on their birthday. If it’s a child you don’t know well or know simply by name, maybe you know them through a partner or friend, then feelings of stress over gift-giving can be normal. However, don’t fret. If you’re worried about buying them a toy that they might already have, a gift card for a toy shop will get them so excited about going out shopping to choose their own toy. Giving a gift card also helps to show the value of money, as the little one will be aware of how much they have to spend, encouraging them to think wisely about their choice.

If your child has an invite to a friend’s birthday party, why not get them involved in the gift-buying process. Children will be much more excited to give a gift if they’ve put the thought into the present themselves. Plus, they’re likely to know their friends much better than you do, so they should be able to pick out something that they’ll like. As children get invited to so many birthday parties, a top tip is, if possible, to stock up on a few toys when they’re on sale, so you’ll always have a gift ready to go when your little one comes home with yet another party invitation. Also, don’t forget, while toy shopping can seem pricey, you don’t need to spend much to get a smile.

If you’re trying to keep to a budget, over at Gift Card Store, many of our gift cards can be purchased with a custom amount, from as little as £10, so you can stock up on toy shop gift cards to give out to the little ones when their birthday party comes around.

Grown-up Birthday Party

After our 18th and 21st birthday celebrations, sadly, birthdays seem to become less of a big deal, and some people swap a birthday party for dinner and drinks with family and close friends. So, what do you do if you’re invited to a meal to celebrate a friend or family member’s birthday at a venue? It’s best to avoid large, bulky presents and instead, offer to pay for the honouree’s meal or drinks. You could also consider putting a gift card in your birthday card, as a little treat for them to indulge in later. If they’re having a birthday gathering at home, it’s perfectly acceptable to arrive with supersized teddy bears and extra-large plants, but they might not exactly thank you for them!

As we get older, gifts become more about sentimentality so homemade gifts such a something baked, a hand-knitted scarf, or a photo collage of great memories, are thoughtful gifts your friend will love. Alternatively, if you know a cause they support, it’s a really lovely idea to make a donation to a charity close to their heart in their name.

Generally, there is less of an obligation to turn up to a grown-up birthday party with a present. In fact, many people tell their guests not to bring gifts, and this should be honoured if requested. That being said, we all like to treat our nearest and dearest on their birthdays, so turning up to a birthday party with a small token like flowers, a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates will show how much your care.

When the birthday party invitations come knocking, there’s no need to panic about what you should buy. With these hints and tips you should be ready to tackle whichever birthday party is thrown at you. Take a look at Gift Card Store and our selection of eGifts and gift cards that will be perfect for any birthday party, so you can be sure that you turn up with something special