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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Return gifts at birthday parties and thread ceremonies

    We've had discussions on return gifts at marriages and members spoke about the unique ones like plants and seed balls. Let's talk about birthday parties for kids and thread ceremonies.

    I recall those childhood birthday parties where it was a norm to give each child who attended the party a very simple return gift, such as a pencil and sharpener or a small box of inexpensive crayons. There were also thread ceremonies that we attended, where the boy's parents would gift the guest a small steel plate or glass or even a tiffin box (of course, one per family not per guest). Etched on it were the name of the boy and the date.

    What is the trend now? Have you attended children's birthday parties or thread ceremonies in recent years and received a return gift that was not in the form of mithai (sweetmeats)?
  • #705834
    From the last six months no functions, no return gifts and gifts. All are stopped due to Corona. I don't know this full year will go like this only.
    Last week there was a marriage of a friend's son. I have not attended. But there they have given a headgear, a mask and a bottle of sanitizer for the guests so that they will be safe during their stay there.
    Almost one and half year back we have celebrated the first birthday of my granddaughter. We have given a small plant to all the members who attended. Many appreciated the idea. Even they have sent the photographs of those plants after one year.
    One year back I attended a thread function. They have given a steel box as a return gift and inside the box, they have packed some sweets.

    always confident

  • #705835
    In one of the birthday parties which we attended the hosts gave plastic tea cups which would gain the image of a famous cricketer when the tea or milk served hot in the cup. That was unique and children loved it. When it comes to thread ceremony, the hosts are having limited options to give return gifts. Some prefer steel plates or the steel tumblers in which the thread day was mentioned as the mark of remembrance. But if the thread ceremony is held for the small boy, then parting with something useful to the fellow children would be ideal like steel lunch box, water bottles and even coloring box for the school going children.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #705843
    Earlier, these returns gifts were like a small token of gratitude but now it has become more like a status symbol. Now return gifts are not simple, in fact, parents are making great expenses for them and I guess, it is just a show-off. Being in trend, kids also expect some charming and unique return gifts when they go for any birthday party and request their parents to manage some costly return gifts for their own birthday parties. I have experienced the situation last time when my son was asking for some good options for a return gift for his birthday party. We could not find anything unique but reasonable in nearby shops and then tried the online return gifts options. They were really costly at least for small kids where the number of friends is quite high. Finally, we bought some beautiful wooden money banks as a return gift.

    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #705851
    You have posted a very interesting thread, you are absolutely right. I remember when I was 14 or 15 years old those days I waited for my friends on my birthday but at the same time I was excited about my gifts more then my friends and my friends were also excited about return gifts. I do not need to go anywhere now as I have 4 children at my own home and on their birthdays me and my younger sister we plan everything so we always bought return gifts for boys and girls both. But yes we missed it this year because 2 of my nephews born in May, that time corona already spreading and we all are following social distancing and all rules so we did not call anyone. I made a birthday cake and we celebrated both birthdays with only family, For sure next year, we will definitely give return gifts.
    Swati Sharma

    Keep your Face to the SunShine

  • #705864
    Return gift is, of course, necessary in children birthday parties. It is the top most attraction for children. They love to get a return gift from birthday boy or birthday girl. From last few years my son celebrate his birthday in daycare where he distribute return gift to his daycare mates. They all distribute return gift on their birthdays too. So it is absolutely necessary to have return gifts in birthday parties. Right now due to COVID-19 he is at home and missing his daycare friends. I don't know much about return gifts in thread ceremony .

  • #705883
    As suggested giving a plant with a hanging basket has become a trend but we cannot maintain it in city areas where space is the biggest problem.

    In a thread ceremony we received a jute bag similar to the lunch bag size with a very pretty quote "love food, hate waste". It was very helpful. Children carried the same bag as a lunch bag as it was different from the regular ones.

    Usually, we got all the plastic boxes and bags of similar kind with their family name and date of function printed on it. Sometimes carrying such bags were embrassing. The earlier gift just had a quote and was as if we had purchased from the market.

    Lead the leader

  • #705894
    In our side tradition, in thread ceremonies, the invitees bring the 'Biksha' for the brahmachari boy in a vessel. This is following symbolically the tradition that a new brahmachari was to live on the bhiksha or alms given by other people. So they bring the symbolic alms (rice and pulses) in a vessel. It is again tradition not to return such vessels empty. So a the sweets made for the occasion are is put in that vessel. This has lateron become as a habit of return gift.
    While most people still follow giving the sweets and thamboolam with or without coconut, some families additionally give some other gifts too.

  • #705946
    At our place for the naming ceremony(Baptism), First holy communion, or Confirmation, many guest are called as it is not less than a wedding. The dress of the first holy communion for girls is the same as the wedding gown but for boys, it's all in white and having a ceremony in the church followed by a reception in house or hall. The common thing that I have seen is giving a memento of the child's photo with the date of the function and a prayer or thank you note for coming. If the family is well to do, they would give a rosary or scapular, a table piece, a paper or plastic or cloth flower with the child name and date of function inscribed on its base. These gifts are handed by the child when they climb on stage for a photograph and given to the family but for children, they give small sweets like Dairy-milk or Cadbury chocolate.
    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #705960
    Return gifts started from the children party only but somehow they became a norm in the adult parties also and some rich people made it a thing of pride in giving a costlier return gift. I attended a marriage anniversary a few years back where the gents were handed over a pocket purse and ladies a cosmetic set and some of the guests were feeling ashamed of the little money enveloped they had given at the function. It is also surprising that the expenditure on the marriage ceremony was comparable to the marriage itself as it was told that 3-4 times more people attended it as compared to the usual marriage functions and the icing on the cake was that the delicious and sumptuous food was from a 3-star hotel. It was a great show as all the family members were dressed in new attires. One of my friends commented that the money makes the mare go.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #705969
    Return gifts is a system of showing in one's gratitude for attending the function. I was reading the response to the thread here and was waiting for someone being first who could thing like me and came in touch with Padmini (#705843). She has rightly mentioned that now it has become a status symbol.
    I remember my childhood days when anyone who had birthday would bring in sweets for the class and the class-teacher would announce and the class in chorus would sing birthday wishes for the student and then sweets would be distributed to the whole class.
    Nowadays, the people who are being invited have to be given a return gift. I was wondering why it is required and from where this trend has come into our lives. We have people who don't have very handsome income and want to celebrate his daughter's birthday, would have to think twice as he has to first make arrangements for return gifts. If he has managed a return gift as per his ability, the people discuss it. This is a system which should be discontinued for the people who are lesser blessed should be able to call in for parties for the happiness of their children.

    Nadeem Naqvi

    World without God is Zero without One!

  • #706007
    Every year during the navaratri, my wife buy many items for return gift to those who come to our house for Golu. Ten years back my wife was planned to give a different return gift for the guests when we planned marriage of my last brother. We roamed in bazaar streets finally decided to offer a small brass idol of Ganesh / Krishna sitting in a jhoola. Almost all guests appreciated about the return gift and many of them even today keep in the show case and on the television of their house.
    Last year we celebrated birth day of our brother's daughter. As we have no habit of cutting cake etc., by putting off the candle, we put a egg less cake on a table and by the side kept a lamp with oil and wick. we asked the birthday girl to lit the lamp amidst the choral of friends of her. After that the cake made into pieces and offered to her friends. As a return gift we gave pencil box containing writing materials.

  • #706052
    During my childhood days, there was no birthday celebration. Even my correct date of birth was not known to me. During my youth days too, I never celebrated my birthday. I started celebrating only my children's birthdays. During their birthdays, they go to school in new clothes and distribute sweets to their classmates. No party at home. We have our own simple cake cutting ceremony limited to our family members only. No grand birthday celebration.

    Though we are entitled to wear a sacred thread, we don't celebrate it. We wear/renew a thread on the day of Aavani Avittam in the month of September.

    No life without Sun

  • #706076
    As one of the members has said, these days even birthday parties have become a lavish affair for some. They conduct such parties in hotels, restaurants and even resorts. Naturally, the return gifts at such parties are costly goods. We too got to attend a few of them and we're kind of surprised on receiving such valuable gifts. But thankfully, most birthday parties are still a low key affair, where only the kids are invited and the return gifts are still those pencils, pens and tiffin boxes.

    In this respect I have a funny incident (kind of) to relate, a leaf taken from my early childhood days. I was from a very ordinary household. Those days even receiving a pencil as a gift was a big thing for most of us. One fine day, it was the turn of a rich kid to celebrate his birthday at school. While most of us ordinary kids used to celebrate ours by sharing a toffee or two with the entire class, this rich boy was celebrating his by giving a return gift too. And the return gift included a pencil, scale and an eraser. Before my turn could come, the stock of gifts was finished and a few of us were left emptyhanded. Feeling embarrassed, the guy promised that he would get the gifts the very next day. So far so good. Unfortunately, the same evening I fell sick and the next day my parents didn't allow me to come to school. I was in tears. I so badly wanted to go to school, to receive my due share of return gifts. but my parents didn't relent and I missed on those gifts. It took me a long while to reconcile with my misfortune.

    Patience and perseverance pays

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