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(82 Posts)
specki4eyes Sat 10-Sep-16 14:19:40

Someone I'm acquainted with is giving a party for her 65th birthday at her home at the end of this month. A few months ago, she emailed a "Save the Day" invitation to seemingly everyone she knows. (it was CC'd not BC'd). The actual invitation was emailed out to the same horde about 4 weeks ago. I then declined because I already knew what I would be doing on that day (with my family for my own birthday.)
But a friend rang me last night in absolute shock to say that she had received an email from the Birthday Girl's son asking for cash donations to his mother's holiday trip of a lifetime to be placed in a basket which would be visibly displayed during the party! Alternatively he suggested that a direct payment could be sent to her bank and gave her bank details.
Now in reality, Birthday Girl is renowned for boasting about her lucrative divorce settlement; her designer home and garden; her new car; her luxury holidays. So much so that she has very few close friends, but 'knows' a lot of people.
AIBU to consider this a terrible cheek? And my poor hard up friend who had accepted the invitation is absolutely incensed and is now looking for a way out! What should she say? Any ideas?

fiorentina51 Sat 10-Sep-16 14:25:39

"Thanks, but no thank you. I have better ways to spend my money."

Luckygirl Sat 10-Sep-16 14:33:16

She should just find something else to do that day and rescind her acceptance.

I have, like most of us, several friends and acquaintances who are celebrating birthdays that take us well into the OAP bracket - all, without exception, have said they have everything they need and want no presents.

millymouge Sat 10-Sep-16 14:41:19

This seems to be the thing these days, asking for money for weddings, honeymoons, special trips etc., I am probably terribly old fashioned but I am of the opinion that asking for money in that manner is exceptionally rude. Presents, money or in kind, should be given because the giver wants to give them. If your friend wants to give something she should give what she can really afford, be it £10 or £50, seal it firmly in an envelope so no one but the recipient can see it, alternatively do the same with the bank account. No one but the recipient will know how much. Personally, being on the end of such a rude request my donation would probably be £10. Other than that suddenly remember that a long lost cousin will be coming to visit and forget the whole thing, she has every right to.

aggie Sat 10-Sep-16 14:44:42

I ask for charity donations , I have no wants at my age ! anyway I wouldn't be fit enough to go on one of those trips lol

aggie Sat 10-Sep-16 14:45:42

And I make sure they all know the charity donation is not compulsory !!

Indinana Sat 10-Sep-16 14:51:45

Or if she feels she can't get out of going, simply reply to the son's email saying "so sorry, this request has come too late as I have already bought your mother's birthday present".

But quite frankly, if it were me I'd be very tempted to spell out to the son, very very clearly, how extremely rude and presumptuous such a request is and that therefore I'm afraid I will not be attending after all.

Christinefrance Sat 10-Sep-16 15:12:55

Nice get out Indiana, I would feel quite p*** off about this too.
As aggie said charity donations are the way to go, this is what we did for our 70th birthday celebration.
Why are some people so greedy ?

kittylester Sat 10-Sep-16 15:13:43

I'd take a plant, bottle of bubbles or the equivalent and brazen it out.

My sister in law has invited all the family to her 75 birthday party in a couple of weeks and I've just discovered that she has put 'no presents please' on lots of the invites but not ours!! confused

Greyduster Sat 10-Sep-16 15:27:14

I think it's a colossal cheek! I wouldn't have the brass neck to do that. I am seventy this year and want nothing but people's company at an informal lunch. I shall be immensely grateful if anybody comes! I think indinana has it spot on.

SueDonim Sat 10-Sep-16 17:01:38

Give her a packet of these. I think £20 is quite generous. grin

tiggypiro Sat 10-Sep-16 19:01:24

I think I would be tempted to go but only put 50p in the basket with maybe a note attached saying I was saving up to pay for my own 'trip of a lifetime'. Flaming cheek !

rosesarered Sat 10-Sep-16 19:21:35

I Wouldn't say anything,just phone on the day.....too poorly to attend, fell down stairs ( drunk again) / tummy bug/ flu/terminal flatulence etc.

LullyDully Sat 10-Sep-16 20:08:26

We recently attended my cousin's 75th party, the invitation said " no presents" please. A good idea. Birthday parties are about a get together not presents unless you are very close.

cornergran Sat 10-Sep-16 20:20:53

I don't think I would want to go. If your friend wants to then indinana's suggestion is excellent, although personally I wouldn't want to give this person anything. If she now would prefer not to go a simple note saying she regrets she is now unable to attend, with no explanation, would do it. I wonder if this is the birthday person's idea or the idea of her son. Either way it's incredibly inappropriate.

Bobbysgirl19 Sun 11-Sep-16 00:06:17

I would do the same as kittylester! Turn up with a bottle and a card! Leave it next to the basket lol.

Eloethan Sun 11-Sep-16 00:36:31

A few years ago our neighbours did this for their wedding anniversary. I think it was worded to the effect that a gift was not expected but if people wished to do something there would be a collection box for money towards a short break. As we know this particular couple are not that well and really struggling - both having to work well past pensionable age - we didn't mind. The evening itself was very pleasant and we were more than happy to help towards their break.

I don't think I would be very happy to receive such a request if I was told that the money was for a "holiday of a lifetime", especially if, as you say, the lady in question is very comfortably off and has had several expensive holidays. In those circumstances, it seems grasping to me.

specki If I were your friend and no longer wished to attend, I would phone up the day before and say I was unwell.

If she still wants to go, she should just give what she wants to give. I would think £5 or £10, in the circumstances described, is more than enough.

absent Sun 11-Sep-16 06:14:13

My brother-in-law celebrated a "big 0" not long before we left the UK. He made it clear that he didn't want any presents for himself but that there would be a basket at his birthday party into which people could put whatever amount of money they chose – or not put anything in at all. The money was to be used to support a charity that is dear to his heart and associated with the Church to which he belongs. The basket was placed discreetly and people just put whatever sum they wanted into it without any name attached. I thought this was a splendid idea although, as an atheist, I had very mixed feelings about the specific charity. However, I decided that donating generously was a private gift to a brother-in-law of whom I very fond as I was putting his desires ahead of my own convictions.

Anya Sun 11-Sep-16 06:24:43

As you mentioned that your friend is looking for a way out I'd do as Cornergran suggested. A nice note saying sorry cannot attend after all (no other explanation) and wishing her a happy birthday.

BlueBelle Sun 11-Sep-16 06:30:49

NO NO NO Its rude its greedy and its out of order Do you really want a friend or even an acquaintance that can be so ghastly I wouldnt want to go near her or her party Up to your friend but if she cant say the real reason then i think a sprained ankle is the way to

littlefierce Sun 11-Sep-16 09:18:18

When I threw my mum's 90th party a few years back I knew there'd be cousins etc actually wanting to give her a gift. So I set up a Justgiving page for the Dementia society & we raised £500. It was still active when she died so people gave again to it. If the birthday girl doesn't actually know about the request for money it seems harsh to give back word, I'd just go with my flowers or whatever & swerve the basket. If she does know then I'd have no problems 'being ill' on the day.

goose1964 Sun 11-Sep-16 09:20:04

I suggest she emails everyone else & suggest the all agree on a nominal sum £1 or £2 and everyone put in the same. I d son complains they just have to day it was his idea

Often people who are reasonably well of think everyone is the same

ajanela Sun 11-Sep-16 09:22:14

If she wants to go to the party £5 in the basket, maybe in a blank envelope would do. If not e mail with giving another engagement or illness.

As all and sundry were invited it seems calculated. She is giving a party that she will boast about for ever, covering the cost and planning to make a profit. Now you know how she got her money.

specki4eyes Sun 11-Sep-16 09:28:03

BlueBelle as I said, she is merely an acquaintance -this is why I was on her invite list - she has very few friends. After this of course I will steer well clear. My friend with the dilemma swerves between not going or going and giving a wrapped gift. I've suggested to her that she gives Birthday Girl a box of writing paper and envelopes so that she can write her thank you notes whilst on the trip. But since the invitations came by lazy and cheap email - I doubt whether she would do that! Another suggestion would be to put a cheap passport cover in an envelope so that it looks like a donation!

I'm not surprised that you all think its an abominable cheek, but its heartening to know that I am not alone in my take on it.

mumofmadboys Sun 11-Sep-16 09:28:56

I was invited to a party of my son's school friend's mum. I think she was 40. Anyway the invite said no presents please but she would like contributions to new garden furniture! I thought it was an incredible cheek. This was about twelve years ago.