No Gifts, Please. Yeah, Right.Jill Kushner

Am I the only one who sees “No gifts, please” on the bottom of an invitation and thinks, “S**t, I better go get a good gift”? What kind of head games are these people playing?  “No gifts, please” puts extra emphasis on the gifts.  The host has given it some thought for whatever the reason and will really really notice when you walk in without or with one.  It’s a get out jail free card that you wonder if you want to take.  And then you have to call other people who are invited and ask if they’re going to really not bring a gift.

So now you have a job.  Now you have to focus group this thing.   Because I don’t think I’ve ever been to a “No gifts, please” party without seeing lots of people walking in with gifts.  “No gifts, please” could be the most clever way to get really good gifts.  “No gifts, please” is quite likely an actual party theme that no one will go on record and confirm.  “I need a Keurig B60 Special Edition Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System.  Time to throw a No Gifts, Please Party!”

It’s all so heady.  Then again, you’re reading the words of a girl who feels most comfortable when the host of any kind of party or gathering actually sees me place the gift on the gift table or the wine on the bar.  As if to say, “See?  I did it!  I brought you a gift!  Look at me all gift-bringing and stuff!”  I’m not sure if God’s keeping score of the gifts I give or not, so I just go ahead and assume he is.  I feel like he’d track gift giving way before he does something like jumping into the whole Fantasy Football thing.  Which seems a way bigger waste of his time.

Oh my God.  What if tracking the gifts we give and do not give is God’s version of Fantasy Football!?  It seems a way more concise thing to follow and pass judgement on than say the entire life of a person and the choices they make.  Holy s**t!  Our entry into Heaven is based on shopping.  Or not shopping.  I’ll tell you something -  God must love the internet, because tracking these kind of purchases pre-Amazon must’ve been a real bitch.

Look, I know what you’re thinking.  I’m making someone else’s party invitation about me.  Okay, I see what you’re saying.  Am I overthinking it?  Maybe.  Do I want to kick it in Heaven years and years from now?  Hell yes.

So I’m bringing a gift.  I’m always bringing a gift.

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  1. I’m one of “those people” who says please don’t bring a gift. I’ll elaborate as to why for interested parties, but I can only speak for myself; others may have different motivation. For us there are two main reasons we would rather people not bring gifts. #1 We are trying to purge and so as cute as whatever doodad is that so and so brings, it just adds yet another thing to my list of need to get rid of. #2 We mainly ask this for our daughter and it is because we don’t want to trip (and break) every cheap toy every friend/family member felt they “had to buy” for her. We’d much rather people put money into her college fund! Since we have people who MUST get her gifts we’ve resorted to making a list of education toys that we think she might enjoy. If anyone thinks that this means our child has nothing to play with or that we are somehow robbing her of something, let me tell you what she did today. A box of gifts came from our family in PA. After I took the presents out and put them under the tree our daughter put her favorite stuffed animal and a couple blocks and books in the box, and pulled it around the house most of the day! :-) I love that!

  2. well, i’m an open-minded person. wanna bring a gift? cool. dont feel like it? still cool. but i’m not gonna tell you not to :P

  3. I would invite you to my party and now I totally know you will bring a gift! I never say no to gifts. Maybe that makes me selfish, but I like to think of it as being open to people’s generosity. I would appreciate you, Jill!