Hello everyone - my son is turning six next month and we are having a birthday party at home for him.
We had a party for his brother a couple months ago when he turned three and politely requested no gifts. We have enough toys and books as it is, we don't really have space for more and we're also quite particular about what we allow the boys to have. All they really want is to be surrounded by their friends on their special day. And cake! lol.
Anyway, all but one guest ignored this and brought gifts because they felt bad not doing so. Sadly, only one gift was kept (bunny handmade by friend and I bought a second one from her for my eldest). Everything else was either unsuitable (e.g. designed for older children, or branded with characters my son didn't know or have an interest in) or we had it already and is therefore in the loft for re-gifting.
In addition to our above reasons for saying no gifts, our autistic son has delayed play skills and becomes frustrated/anxious resulting in meltdowns easily if, for example, he can not play appropriately with a specific toy. The 'no gift' request is even more important for hm as we really need to monitor what toys he has as we know what he can handle and what he can't.
So my question: how can I word the invitation so people will actually respect our wishes on this matter without feeling guilty about not bringing something to the party and without me coming across as ungrateful? I am honestly delighted that he has some friends - this is a huge gift for him, and having them celebrate his birthday is beyond wonderful. Better than any present. Any ideas would be welcome!