Monday, August 26, 2013

Twins' Birthday Gift Etiquette

Recently, on the Parents of Twins Facebook group that I belong to, there was a question about whether when twins are invited to a birthday party for one child, should they bring one or two gifts. First of all, I found the entire discussion fascinating, so much so that I am writing this blog entry. What made it so interesting was how different the opinion was, and how passionate people seemed to be about what they felt the right thing to do is. I am not going to suggest that there is a right answer to this question, because there is not one. I will tell you what I think, but first I want to share some of the opinions of my fellow twin parents. There were a few who seemed to feel that it didn’t really matter because it provided you with two options. You could either bring two smaller gifts or one larger one. What I will throw in to the mix, is that you (and your twin children) need to be okay with receiving either one or two gifts when it is their birthday. One parent even suggested that the twins could decide but the value of the gift would always be the same, and as long as they stayed within the budget, it didn’t matter. I am not sure how this would work with our six year olds, because they have almost no concept of money yet, and how much things are worth or cost. At least one parent suggested that it depended on whether each twin got his or her own invitation or whether they got one together. Fair enough! Many parents argued that one gift from both was sufficient, but that they would have each twin make or send a card, I think this is a very nice idea, because it acknowledges that each child was invited separately. Some seemed to suggest that one party means one gift, but I don’t think it is as simple as that when two children are attending. The other problem that I see with one gift is that you would want to choose something that both children can and will want to share. My twins are not only a boy and a girl, but for the most part they have completely different interests. For one birthday, our children received only one gift, a really nice one, but it was very clearly only for my daughter. Now in fairness to the parents, they might have felt that my daughter was the invitee (which truthfully she was) and decided the gift should be for her. I guess that is another way to think about it, especially if you feel that both twins were invited because of only one of them, but I am not sure that my son understood it. My feeling on this issue is fairly simple. Two children are invited and attending and therefore each should bring a gift for the friend. For their birthday party, we hope that each of our kids will receive a gift (even if it might be a little smaller than normal) so that each feel that their birthday party is special even though it is shared. There is one other thing to consider in this situation. Send only one child. We have done this on a few occasions, and not just because only one child could attend. If only one of our twins is friends with the invitee, then we might send only him or her, especially if the other child has already attended a few by him or herself. In such a case, we would probably just send one gift from the attending child. I am not sure if my writing has solved anything, but it makes for an interesting discussion.

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