Presence not Presents

How do you politely tell your friends and family “No gifts, please”

It’s your birthday but you don’t want or need anything, or you don’t want to deal with that mountain of presents your child will receive after a birthday party – how do you politely tell your friends and family “No gifts,please”?


It’s best to be polite but direct, here’s a few examples you can use:


“Just bring yourself, nothing more, nothing less.”


“The gift of your time is all that we ask. No presents, please.”


“Just your presence, no presents please.”


“Our child is fortunate enough to have everything he/she needs. Your best wishes are all we ask you to bring for him/her.”


“Being environmentally responsible is important to us. Please help us maintain a low carbon footprint by declining to bring a gift.”

Sometimes guests will insist on bringing something, and you’re still trying to set boundaries with incoming gifts, try to request an alternative item guests can bring or give. Here’s five brilliant alternatives you can try:

         1.     One Gift Wonder campaign

Ask friends and family to chip in towards one big gift and a nominated percentage goes to an Australian charity of your choosing. It’s quick, easy and free to create a campaign. It’s less stress for your guests as they don’t have to ask you for gift ideas, and less waste because you won’t receive a pile of gifts you don’t want or need, and you can use the money collected towards something you really want. Best of all, everyone gets to feel good because a portion of the money is going towards a cause that is near and dear to you. Did we mention that the charity portion of the contribution is tax deductible for your guest if it’s over $2?!

           2.  Pad Party

A lot of people struggle with the idea of coming to a party empty-handed, so you could ask them to spend what they would on your gift on period and incontinence products and bring the items to your party. The items can be donated to the likes of one of our Charity Partners, Share the Dignity who distribute sanitary items to those in need and work to end period poverty here in Australia. When a woman is doing it tough, the last thing on her mind should be dealing with her period.

3.  Ask for food or pyjamas

Ask each guest to bring a non-perishable food item or new/pre-loved pyjamas and donate it to a charity like Mums Supporting Families in Need (MSFIN) who are a community-based, not-for-profit charity that works in partnership with welfare organisations to repurpose and distribute quality second hand material aid and pantry items to families in need, at risk and in crisis.


4.     Plant Swap

Ask each guest to bring a small plant instead of a gift, the plants are exchanged amongst guests and each guest takes home a plant.


5.     Book Exchange

Ask each guest to bring a book instead of a wrapped gift. It could be a new book or a preloved book, and the book is exchanged with another guest at the party – it could be a lucky dip draw or assigned by the guest of honour. Each guests takes home a book from the party.

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Presence not Presents

How do you politely tell your friends and family “No gifts, please”


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What We Do

Change The World

We connect people and charities through socially conscious gift giving. A new way to gift and give at the same time.

Feel good factor

Your loved one can receive something they will genuinely cherish and you can help them to support their nominated charity at the same time.

Less stress

No need to run around looking for gifts or risk doubling up on presents. Just contribute towards one gift.

The lesson of giving

Celebrations (birthdays in particular) are a great opportunity to talk to kids about the importance and value of giving to charity.

Reduce wastage

Less wrapping paper and fewer plastic toys. The environment will thank you.

Creating a campaign is free and easy

Setup a campaign in a matter of minutes and share the URL with friends and family for them to start contributing towards one gift.


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