parents

"This is a kids' party, not a wedding, and I'll buy your daughter whatever I want."

I’m sorry, but kids need to learn that sometimes, they’re going to get crap presents.

Kids’ birthday parties are for laughter and games, for too much sugar and for kids accepting the gifts they get (if they get any) and being happy with what’s inside the wrapping.

It’s time to drop the wishing wells and catered hors d’oeuvres, time to axe the multiple entertainers and the lavish party bags.


I’m begging here. Please move on from the marquees and pony rides with white-coated waiters and retreat back into the world of pass-the-parcel and chocolate crackles.

It’s all too much and this latest piece of parenting outrage is the final pin in the donkey’s nose.

A British celebrity has hit out at over-the-top kid’s parties after she was sent an email that asked parents in her daughter’s class to group together and buy a Kindle as a birthday present for one child, and a desk for another.

Read more: “The top 7 things about your child’s OTT birthday party that piss me off.”

Myleene Klass, a former singer and now British TV and radio presenter has posted extracts of the request on social media calling it “bonkers”.

Myleene Klass

The parents were kindly asked to contribute £10 ( A$19.50) each towards the gifts.

No pressure, of course.

Myleene posted the email: “Jane and Hannah would prefer a class birthday gift for their daughters this year.”

“Sarah would like a Kindle and Lola a desk (very studious choices!!) so if you would like to join in, please can I collect a suggested £10 from you before the party on Feb 9th.”

A second email she revealed on social media, from one very helpful mother offered to collect the fountains of cash adding that while £10 would be a “popular amount” you can give what you like.
She suggested that her response was a little less conciliatory.

“Dear all, for Ava’s birthday, she has requested a real, live unicorn. I will be collecting unicorn money via her book bag, in the playground or at www.getwhatyouregivenandendthismadness.com.

(Additionally I’d like a Ferrari and Leonardo DiCaprio, so by all means, do feel obligated to contribute to this too).”

Overwhelmingly the response to her reply was a collective high-five.

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You can’t tell me you are shocked. This is not unusual.

Read more: Dear parents. Please ensure you invite the whole class to your child’s birthday party.

In my life as party-gift buyer and taxi-driver-to-parties for three children, I have seen this and more. I’ve received requests to contribute towards a $400 Lego set and have been helpfully provided bank account details, enclosed neatly alongside the party invitation, to fund one six-year-old’s budding swimming career.

And scarily a simply peruse through parenting forums reveals a growing trend of gift registries for kids’ birthday parties.


After all who really wants to receive five rainbow-sparkle My Little Ponies?

Mums, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents. STOP.

Here’s a lesson we are all taught as kids that we seem to be forgetting to pass on – you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

Have we forgotten that in our quest to attain?

We can hope that these parents were simply trying to be helpful. We can try and seek assurance through the fact that in Myleene’s case it was after all a kindle and a desk. We can justify it through the fact they ARE educational.

I am not trying to be outraged for outrage sake but there is a fear that we are getting dangerously close to breeding a generation of divas and Princes, of small people who don’t realise they are just children.

I’m not saying that lightly.


It’s frightening to hear these tiny dictators screaming when they don’t get their way, and to watch their bone-weary parents give in because life is easier.

Our children demand it all NOW, in a carbon copy of what they see their parents doing.

Let’s back off, relax and for goodness sakes please let our kids just be kids, and if that means getting shit they don’t like for their birthday then teach ‘em to suck it up.

Have you ever done a gift registry for your kids’ birthday parties? 

This article was originally published on iVillage, and has been republished here with full permission.

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