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Mom Throws A First Birthday Party With No Food Or Games & Asks Guests To Donate $5 Each To Renovate Their Backyard In Lieu Of Gifts

Photo: Tanya Consaul Photography / Shutterstock
baby girl with birthday cake and decorations

Kids’ birthday parties tend to be a pretty big deal. But what about the ones they’ll be too young to remember?

One mom decided to simplify her one-year-old’s first birthday party because she won't remember it, and she's hoping to earn a buck or two in the process.

A mom is throwing her daughter’s first birthday party in the morning without food and gifts.

TikToker Rachel Gibbs shared her birthday plans for her daughter, Hazel Paige,  which caused quite a stir on the app.

“This is a list of things I’m doing for my daughter’s first birthday party that I didn’t do for my son’s first birthday party, that are just a little bit not normal first birthday party things to be doing,” she said.

   

   

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For starters, Gibbs is holding the party in the morning, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. “I do not expect you to sacrifice your entire Saturday for a child’s birthday party who’s not even going to remember it,” she said. “Please leave my house. My child needs to nap.”

Additionally, there will be no meal or substantial amount of food as there usually is at birthday parties. “Please eat breakfast before you come,” Gibbs requested of guests. “I will have some snacks, and that’s it.”

In a comment on a follow-up video, Gibbs said she would go to Panera to pick up coffee and donuts.

Mom Throws Birthday Party With No Food And Asks Guests For Cash DonationsPhoto: bernashafo / Canva Pro

There will also be no games at the party. Gibbs said she might set out some toys for children to play with, but that’s it. “I am not spending money on this,” she insisted.

Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of the party is that Gibbs is requesting that guests not bring gifts. She said that her daughter has all she could ever need and acknowledged that this is due in large part to her work as an influencer. “I had a whole bunch of toys show up to our house today that we truly don’t need,” Gibbs said. 

   

   

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Instead of traditional gifts, Gibbs is asking that guests who feel “inclined” to give something bring a $5 donation that they can put towards redoing their backyard. In a separate video, she explained that this renovation is so the kids can have somewhere to play outside.

Gibbs explained she would not serve alcohol at the party, even though that has become common for children’s birthday parties. “We don’t drink, so it’s like we do that for other people,” she said. 

There will also not be a traditional cake. Gibbs said she might decorate some coffee cakes to fit the Harry Potter party theme, but her son has a suspected allergy to red dye, so they try to stay away from regular birthday cakes.

‘Fiver parties’ are gaining popularity.

   

   

Many people who commented on Gibbs’ videos were unfamiliar with the concept of what she called a “fiver party.” Apparently, these parties are gaining traction.

At a “fiver party,” instead of bringing a gift, guests are invited to contribute $5 towards a larger gift, trip, or project that the person would like to have.

Good Housekeeping said this can benefit everyone involved. “Parents of the attendees like them because they don’t have to spend a lot of time or money selecting a gift to buy, and parents of the birthday child like them because it cuts down on the amount of clutter — and possibly unused or unwanted toys — that enter the house … Some research shows that fiver parties … are actually beneficial for children,” they said.

While the party Gibbs is throwing will certainly be unconventional by societal standards, it works for her and her family. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.