"If it is at her home, there will be an envelope or basket asking for 'donations'."
Kids' birthday parties can cost a small fortune . But as parents, we take things like that into account when we're planning, and if we can't afford to have a French Fry bar with a Belgian chocolate fountain, then little Jimmy will have to go without.
Or do you just expect the guests to foot the bill?
A woman has written to the Boston Globe's Miss Conduct advice column about a close friend, who charges her child's party guests a cover charge to attend.
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"Please bring $20"
I have a close friend who I adore," the anonymous woman began in her post. "She is lovely and kind and a truly wonderful person."
Then she went on top say that every year, she charges her daughter's birthday party attendees. She spells this out in the invitation to the tune of "please bring $20 to cover the cost of your child" or similar.
What's even more outrageous is that even if she chooses to have a simple home party, she STILL charges!
"There will be an envelope or basket asking for 'donations'," she said.
The well-meaning friend has said the party hosts are not poor and people are talking about the tacky request behind her back.
"Should I say something?"
"You're being a real jerk"
Responses from commenters online were a mixture of helpful and hilarious.
"A true friend would preface her comments with something like this: I'm your friend so for your own good listen to me. You're being a real jerk to ask your guests to pay for a party for your kid," replied one person.
Another outright said, "Decline the invitation of these fundraisers."
Does that mean she gets presents AND cash? Image: iStock.
One commenter said they've raised two children and attended countless parties over the years, but they've never heard of such a request: "We've never charged a cover or paid one. When it got too expensive we opted for backyard parties - cake and ice cream, cookout and games. It's a hell of lot cheaper."
Another pointed out this could be normal in some circles, but there are ways to address such issues without being harsh: "As a close friend, you have to speak up. Just tell her that it's not OK to do this. It's not good manners to ask guests to pay their way. You're sympathetic to her wanting to have the same type of elaborate party that your circle has for their kids, but it's more important that she not ask for money. She needs to host a party she can afford. Offer to help her out with the planning and how to pinch her budget so she can pay for the current party so she can revoke the invoice... I mean invite."
"You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back." - William D. Tammeus
Miss Conduct advised the woman approach her friend with caution, not referring to finances or gossip from other parents: "Speak up before her poor daughter has to, since sooner or later the girl will realise what her mother is up to and be humiliated."
How would you tackle this issue if your close friend made a habit of assigning a cover charge to attend a kids' party?