Is It Rude To Not Give A Birthday Gift?

Gift-giving etiquette can be tricky, especially if you aren’t used to giving gifts. If this is the case for you, you may be wondering if it is rude not to give someone a gift to celebrate their birthday. Purchasing gifts for friends and family members to celebrate their birthday is a common practice that has been popular since the 19th century, commonly for children.

The answer to these questions depends a lot on what your connection is with the person who is having a birthday. If this individual is a close family member or friend, it may be considered a little rude if you weren’t to give them something, or at the very least give them a card. In most cases, Birthday gifts aren’t necessarily expected of you, and you likely won’t receive any hate for not giving one.

However, if you are attending a birthday party for a child or perhaps a close friend, the polite thing to do is to bring a gift for that person. Gifts are usually given from the heart or out of an act of being polite. So while you may not be required to do so, you should consider giving a gift to anyone with who you feel close enough to do so.

When deciding on what to gift, or if to purchase one at all, you should consider your relationship with that person. If you aren’t super close with them, like a coworker, for instance, it is acceptable not to buy them anything, and to settle with a nice card at the most. However, giving gifts to immediate family members or close long-time friends should be something you consider.

Continue reading to learn more about gift-giving etiquette for birthdays:

Are Birthday Gifts Necessary?

If you are soon to have a birthday and are planning a party, or perhaps planning one for someone else, you may be wondering if gifts are really necessary. The answer to this question is no! Gifts have always been given out of love for the person celebrating, but if you don’t want to receive and/or give them, you aren’t required to.

But if you are wondering if you can ask for no gifts at your next birthday party, the answer is yes! For one, if you are planning a party you can ask for your guests not do bring gifts because it is your party. It has become popular in recent years to ask guests not to bring anything on the party invitations.

If you are someone who has received a party invitation that has asked for no gifts, you should honor this by simply not buying them anything. Instead, you can give them a nice card and/or a gift card if you really feel like you must get them something. As hard as it can be, some people have a good reason for not wanting anything, so it is polite to respect this.

However, some guests find bringing gifts to be something that they enjoy, so you should keep in mind who you are inviting. But if you wish not to receive any gifts at your party or for your birthday in general, there is nothing wrong with saying that you don;t wait to get anything.

What Can You Do Instead Of Birthday Presents?

In some cases, purchasing a birthday gift isn’t something you can do, no matter what the reason may be. But since birthdays are an important celebration, especially for children, you may be wondering what you can do instead of buying them a birthday present.

Sometimes the best you can give someone is the gift of your time. This is especially true for adults and older friends or family members, such as your parents. Kids often find more value in actual presents that they can open on their special day, but adults often see the importance of spending time with those they love. So here are a few ideas of what you could do instead of purchasing a gift:

Go out for a meal. One of the most intimate things you can do without someone is sharing a delicious meal together. A great way to celebrate a birthday instead of purchasing a gift is to go out for lunch or dinner with them.

You can go to that person’s favorite restaurant, or even make a homemade meal at home. This is a great way to spend time, catch up, and make nice memories that will last much longer than any gift you could have purchased.

Purchase them a subscription. This could be considered a gift in a certain sense, but it is something that will be much more meaningful than some random knick-knack or another item for a child’s growing toy basket. Some popular subscriptions that are great for kids and families would be Disney+, Netflix, or Hulu. These streaming services are a great gift idea that anyone would love!

You could also subscribe to a “box of the month” type company or one that supplies you with educational reading material every month. There are many possibilities of what you could do with purchasing a subscription for your friends or family members. This is a great idea to consider.

Go do something fun together. Spending time together, in general, is a great way to bond with anyone in your life. From parents to grandkids, planning fun activities is a cool way to send your birthday together!

You may choose to plan a fun day out shopping, or perhaps buy tickets to a movie or concert. What you choose will depend largely on your interests and whose birthday you are celebrating, but make sure you get creative and find something to do that everyone will enjoy!

A gift card. Instead of purchasing someone a large, expensive gift, you may choose to simply give them a gift card. This is a great idea for teenagers or college-age kids that enjoy purchasing things for themselves.

You could give a gift card to that person’s favorite restaurant, ice cream place, clothing store, or an e-card for online purchases. Gifts cards are great for sending to long-distance relatives or simply for someone who seems to have everything. Consider this great idea for your family or friends’ next birthday celebration.