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The Pros and Cons of Including Wish Lists in Birthday Invitations

No matter what age your child is, buying birthday presents for a friend’s birthday party never gets any easier. Searching the aisles of your local Target for the perfect gift can be exhausting, unless, of course, your invitation came with a wish list. Even though they can be super helpful, whether or not party hosts should be including wish lists in invitations is up in the air.

Check out these pros and cons of including wish lists in your invitations:

Wish List Pros

  • No more guessing. It’s common now for schools to request you invite either everyone from the class or no one, and the fact is you probably won’t know every Jim and Jessica in your little one’s class. Wish lists can help give you some hints as to what types of hobbies and interests they have. Think of it as a gentle push in the right direction.
  • You’re sure to get something they’ll like. If you’re going to spend money on another child, it might as well be on something that they’ll like, rather than another toy car added to an overflowing toy bin (sorry mom). Wish lists can help show you what to steer clear of so that you don’t buy them something they already have.
  • Minimizing toy overload. Think of how many toy cars or Frozen dolls you have laying around your house. Probably enough to last your little one a lifetime and then some. Wish lists can help make sure that the parents aren’t getting stuck with more toys that their kid will play with once or twice. Less clutter means happier parents!

Wish List Cons

  • Tackiness. Some parents aren’t fans of receiving a wish list in a birthday party invitation because it makes them feel obligated to get them something. It might even turn some of them away from coming to the party.​
  • Learning life lessons. One of the biggest things we want to teach our kids is to always be grateful for what they get, birthday presents included. Already having a fixed list of things to buy your little one could prevent them from being exposed to situations where they may need to put a smile on their face and say thank you, even if it wasn’t what they were hoping for or liked.

Wish List Etiquette

While wish lists are extremely helpful and accepted by many parents, you’re always going to have a few parents who say it leaves them with a bad taste. If you choose to include a wish list with your invitation, be sure to follow these etiquette tips to try to keep everyone as happy as possible.

  • Stay away from pricey items. Including items with a hefty price tag is an automatic turn-off. You don’t want to seem like you’re asking for the world. Keep items simple and relatively inexpensive.​
  • Give general ideas more than specifics. People tend to find it less tacky if you’re more general with present ideas than giving a specific make and model of the latest Little Tikes bicycle. Include things like books, their clothing size, or say something along the lines of, “he really likes dinosaurs” to give them the hint they want to get started.​
  • Don’t make the list long. Long lists of wants never go over well with anyone. Think about when you see a kid with a Christmas list a mile long. Long birthday wish lists can give guests the same type of feeling. Instead, include a few basic ideas, or make an online Amazon registry and leave a link at the bottom of the invitation.​
  • Watch your verbiage. Your words matter, so choose how you introduce the wish list wisely. Be sure to acknowledge the fact that some people might not want or need gift ideas, and don’t come across as greedy or presumptuous.

The best present your guests can give your little monkey is a day filled with bouncing and fun and Monkey Joe’s! Contact your local Monkey Joe’s to reserve your party today.