AIBU to think this takes the p*** !

(56 Posts)

One of my kids has two boys in his class who are having a joint birthday party, great, fine, kids will love it.

Then today I get an email, one of the mums friends ( another mum) is having a collection for the 2 children, cash that is, and please will we put our names on the envelope an bring it to her outside the classroom at picking up time.... The message goes on to inform us that she will let us all know how much they collect and let the mums know who contributed what ?? EHHHHHHHHHHHHH .??
I must be getting on a bit because i thought Birthday parties were about kids having fun and mums bringing little gifts along (normally something left over from last party you had ;) lol) Maybe im wrong but WTF ?? Is this not out of hand now or am I just stuck in the past ??

Writehand Wed 06-Mar-13 11:20:22

YANBU. I wouldn't ignore the email because that sort of super-bossy person will make a mental note that you're being "unco-operative" and, at some point, may well make you pay. I'd just say you've already got the presents.

I might also ask (out of malicious curiosity) "Was there any special reason for taking up a collection?" I can see that if all the £5/£10 spent on pressies by each family was gathered together the birthday child could get one big present. However I also think this is a very greedy, materialistic way of looking things.

The only time this might seem OK is if the child is desperate for specific items needed to pursue a very important interest -- say a child was passionate about ice hockey but parents can't afford all the various bits of equipment. Maybe...

But it's still a weird thing to do.

babanouche Wed 06-Mar-13 11:07:59

This is stupid. I've had parents say to me before that an amazon voucher would be handy because the child can put them towards something expensive, but cash like this is horrible. You can't be sure the child is going to receive it.

I'd do as others have suggested and say you already have the presents. Then in the playground I'd very loudly tell them, with a smile on your face, what an unusual approach to birthdays they've taken.

atthewelles Wed 06-Mar-13 10:52:25

I suppose, on reflection, it depends on how the email was worded. If it was a kind of 'Hi, a few of us are thinking of clubbing together to buy a present each for Josh and Ben. If any of you would like to be included in this, please let me know and I'll add your name to the list.' then I wouldn't find it offensive.

But if it was a bossy 'It has been decided to do a collection in order to buy one large present each for Josh and Ben. Can you please put your donation for this in an envelope and hand to me outside the school before next Friday. I will circulate you all with the names and individual amounts donated once the collection is complete and the presents have been bought' then I would think 'sod off'.

BegoniaBampot Wed 06-Mar-13 08:51:39

Not a bad idea if it's only, say, a fiver per guest and it could get the children one decent present rather than all the crap they usually get. Has to be your choice though and telling what people contributed is crazy. I've collected for a class present for the teacher, a few kids didn't contribute but they were included on the card and gift with everyone else.

Emilythornesbff Wed 06-Mar-13 08:48:40

Yes I see.
That's why I'd have a word.
Unless I'd already bought a gift, then I'd politely bow out of the scheme.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:45:37

Emily the point is that these women are saying they will reveal the amounts spent...that's terrible....and they've not reccomended an amount either.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:44:49

MrsEric most parents in my DC school who are having joint parties splut the class in half and each birthday child invites half...the invitations say "Please only buy gift for child who invited you."

Which is a good way of dealing with it.

Emilythornesbff Wed 06-Mar-13 08:40:11

Well gift giving is a bit of a minefield. Monetary differences in presents exist anyway.
No one should be compelled to join in a communal contribution, obviously, but I still would find it helpful. A recommended contribution might be helpful?i

MrsEricBana Wed 06-Mar-13 08:32:51

Party gift giving is a minefield - I have been hugely embarrassed by how generous and thoughtful people have been to my dc in the past when I usually take something nice and hopefully appropriate but not madly expensive like an annual or somesuch. Have also got back in a party bag the same thing plus other bits as I have just given as the party gift! (not the actual same thing!)

MrsEricBana Wed 06-Mar-13 08:28:52

The trouble with joint parties is that instead of one pressie to buy there are two or more and friends and I have clubbed together in the past like this to get each of the children a slightly more expensive gift than we would have been able to justify alone. I guess this mum (who isn't one of the party mums if I've read it right) is trying to help and take pressure of people thinking they have to buy two gifts. Maybe in terms of telling the mums what people have contributed she just meant that she'll say this gift is from X, Y & Z and then individual gifts will come from others ie to make it clear you have given a gift at all, not the specific amount. This is the sort of thing I'd do - only for it to spectacularly backfire like this!!!

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:16:06

Emily I think that what THEY think is "unfair" if that were the case, would be irrelevant!

It's not about how much people pay!

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 08:14:42

Emily it very much depends on the school demographic. When my DD was in a private prep people thought nothing of bringing gifts for DC that cost twenty or thirty pounds.

Party bags were so over the top it was embarrasing if you'd spent 7 quid on a doll!

In most state schools, 5 t0 10 pounds would be usual though...but some parents are single or unemployed and could only buy something from a pound shop...they would be humiliated to offer a pound!

ClairesTravellingCircus Wed 06-Mar-13 07:57:27

We do a collection in one of my dds classes, and it works well BUT we all put the same amount, which is roughly the same for all the kids.

To name and shame sounds absolutely horrible!shock

Emilythornesbff Wed 06-Mar-13 07:46:59

I see your point mrs m about outing parents on their contribution, which is not ideal, but probs ppl would give 5 or 10 quid? Maybe they think it's a way of personalising it a bit????????
Maybe they think it's unfair if someone gives 50p and another £10 that it's not recognised???????
I would enter a dialogue with her.

MrsMushroom Wed 06-Mar-13 07:40:47

Emily in effect I agree but the fact that the woman is going to tell the parents who gave what makes it an abhorrent idea! OP....definitely email and say you have already bought the gifts for the boys...you wont be the only one!

HollyBerryBush Wed 06-Mar-13 07:37:31

Would there be a reason behind it - ie the child would like a large item like a bike?

I've done it before, in a small group of 4 or 5, each put in a tenner and the resulting 50 quid bought a decent present. But I wouldnt be involved in a round robin off the cuff collection

Emilythornesbff Wed 06-Mar-13 07:32:06

I think this sounds like a good idea. Low on hassle IMHO.
I would e mail her asking what the recommended contribution is and what kind of gift is planned.
But then I find it tricky to think of reasonably priced gift ideas for school age children, so it would help me out.

MammaTJ Wed 06-Mar-13 05:42:49

As the total opposite, my DD is going to a party soon and when I text confirmation she would be there, the reply was 'Lovely, DS does not need presents, we are asking all guests to sponsor him in swimathon. 1 or 2 £ would be fine'.

Lovely idea.

YANBU

Monty27 Wed 06-Mar-13 02:42:23

do the mums know? confused

ripsishere Wed 06-Mar-13 02:40:51

I can see the other side though. Until last year, DD always had whole class parties. She was overwhelmed with tat. Imagine 25+ presents made of plastic.
One of the mums in the class had the brilliant idea of a collection and a big present or two smaller ones. It worked out well.
I can understand not wanting to put in and certainly not if the sum is to be made public.
Ludicrous.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 05-Mar-13 23:24:52

A collection for a birthday party hmm? Tell them you've already bought the presents so won't be contributing anything.

Beepbeep1 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:32:19

Sounds like someone's 'bright idea' gone desperately wrong. Ignore take recycled present take your own present.

DontmindifIdo Tue 05-Mar-13 21:03:09

Yep, e-mail back (ccing everyone if she did a group e-mail) saying "no thanks, I've already got gifts for the birthday boys."

I bet you aren't the only thinking this is a bit dodgy...

ENormaSnob Tue 05-Mar-13 20:59:13

Wtf? shock

oldraver Tue 05-Mar-13 20:42:26

Is it usual then for school Mums to have email addresses of others ?

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