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Old 04.05.2015, 20:18
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Kids Birthday Invitations

We've lived in Basel and later Zurich for just over 14 years, NickatBaselJnr has been raised in Switzerland, and having been in Kindergarten is now in 1st year primary. So I like to think we are reasonably integrated, but sometimes things surprise me.

So NickatBaselJnr's birthday party is in a few days, and a few weeks ago, party invitations were delivered to the handful of mainly Swiss school classmates he wanted to invite. Additionally invitations were given to some expat friends and a boy from a Venezuelan family who comes to his Aikido class. The invitations - in 100% German - asked parents to RSVP yay or nay.

We got responses from all families except the schoolmates - from whom we have no feedback either way. Email address and handy number were supplied on the invitations as ways of responding.

Now, most of the Swiss I know are fairly proper about responding promptly to invitations - which is why I find it quite strange that we get no reply at all either way.

As a footnote, NickatBaselJnr was one of only a few kids from his Kindergarten who went to this particular primary school - the majority of his Kindergarten mates went to the main school of which the Kindergarten is a satellite. We got to know the Kindergarten parents quite well and the kids socialised quite well with each other outside school. The primary school parents know each other quite well since many of their kids went to same kindergarten - not the one NickatBaselJnr went to. I just wonder if there is something of the "star bellied Sneetches" going on here.

Cheers,
Nick
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Last edited by nickatbasel; 04.05.2015 at 20:35.
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Old 04.05.2015, 21:48
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

How about you call the parents and ask if their kids will come, since you need to know for how many guests you have to prepare.
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Old 04.05.2015, 22:37
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

Yeah, and sound like I'm desperate

Seriously, we are going to do that - at least NickJnr will remind his classmates tomorrow at school.

The main tenet of my thread was really more the surprise that they don't bother to reply at all - which strikes me as being very un-Swiss.

Cheers,
Nick

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How about you call the parents and ask if their kids will come, since you need to know for how many guests you have to prepare.
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Old 04.05.2015, 22:39
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

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How about you call the parents and ask if their kids will come, since you need to know for how many guests you have to prepare.
This is quite normal ..... I've been on both sides - having to make the calls (well, wifey) and receiving them.

Just ring them up and ask if Bert or Alf is coming?

..... and often, they call to let you know at the last minute - normally the morning of the afternoon party.
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Old 04.05.2015, 22:47
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

Or the kids just come over without notice. This happened to us recently. No one officially replied
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Old 04.05.2015, 22:58
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

nickatbasel,
Sadly, the lack of RSVP issue I believe crosses many countries and continents. At the risk of starting to sound like a grumpy ole person folks just don't have manners these days like they use to.

We had similar issues one year for Lil Dude's b-day as well (USA). I tried to reach out to the parents that we had not gotten a reply from via phone and email etc with no luck.
*Public school where parents didn't have a TON of interaction with one another*
To err on the safe side I went ahead and made a few extra goody bags JUST in case no reply kids showed up. I figured they shouldn't feel sad/left out because their parents had no manners etc. By chance did invites go out right before the Easter break? Maybe they got lost in the shuffle??
Hope baseljr has a nice party!
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Old 05.05.2015, 08:04
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

I'm going to organize my 9th birthday party here in CH, and each and every time I had the same issue with some kids. Which weren't all Swiss, by the way.

I normally ask my son to ask his friends at school to try and get an answer. And then I plan for the best....
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Old 05.05.2015, 08:30
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

Pretty much the norm apart from when my son had a sleep over for ten kids, both girls and boys. The replies came in thick and fast as the allure of getting rid of theirs kids all night seemed to be too good of an opportunity to miss!

Don't you just love the Swiss.
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:07
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

Yep same for us-this has been our experience too. About 1/4 reply. Used to surprise me but no longer. (miniannie is now 10)

If you get no reply then you need to assume they are coming as they will turn up.

On the plus side no need to do fancy take away party bags. Just a few sweets and a balloon in a small plastic freezer bag.
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:16
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

In my experience if you don't get a reply it means that they're coming. It seems to me that parents ( and not only Swiss ones) only feel the need to reply if their child is not coming.
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:26
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

Thank you for this post. Planning Jr's first party with school kids here and astounded at the delay in receiving any communication or no communication at all. Thanks to all you wonderful experienced parents I now know to atleast have some extra food and party bags ready . Little man has already been asked to check with his friends in school but 5 Y old responses are so suspect.
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:41
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

Just trying to clarify as this does seem annoying. Did you send the card via post or did your son give them at school to his friends? I know that we always forgot to hand in letters etc to my parents we received at school. That's why many kindergarten teachers now have a loo roll that they will hang around the children’s neck if they have a "message" for the parents (or a drawing) ;-). My mother used to go through our school bags regularly in order to check whether there were any messages or dried snacks for that matter left . Hope you will have a nice day with many guests.

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Old 05.05.2015, 10:57
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

It also depends on which cards are used:

- have you just bought the multipack invitations from Migros (pikey);

- have you tried to be creative with online or self made stuff on the 'puter (ostentatious);

- or got Jnr. to pen'n'ink something more personalised and individual, and photocopied them (easily misplaced or binned by parents)?
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Old 05.05.2015, 11:10
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

To be fair, birthday parties for kids are a very recent addition brought in by anglo-saxons expats. I grew up here in the 50s and 60s- and only went to 1 birthday party- of a little English girl who was here with her parents temporarily. It was like a fairy tale, jelly and ice-cream, decorated cakes, pass the parcel and other games and even a present to take home. And as wonderful as it was, totally alien to local customs. Since then- it has become more common, but certainyl not the norm- and in rural areas in particular, parents and kids would be totally flummoxed by the concept! So perhaps those parents are too and don't quite know how to respond... or not.

Here where I live, kids might invite a couple of friends to the swimming-pool, or a picnic in the garden- but nothing fancy and organised like BD parties in the UK (where, especially in the London suburbs- BD parties have sadly become so fancy, and more and more elaborate, parents trying to 'out do' each other and find more and more even fancier options- booking whole cinemas, ski slopes, helicopter trips and limos).
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Old 05.05.2015, 11:15
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

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To be fair, birthday parties for kids are a very recent addition brought in by anglo-saxons expats. I grew up here in the 50s and 60s- and only went to 1 birthday party- of a little English girl who was here with her parents temporarily. It was like a fairy tale, jelly and ice-cream, decorated cakes, pass the parcel and other games and even a present to take home. And as wonderful as it was, totally alien to local customs. Since then- it has become more common, but certainyl not the norm- and in rural areas in particular, parents and kids would be totally flummoxed by the concept! So perhaps those parents are too and don't quite know how to respond... or not.

Here where I live, kids might invite a couple of friends to the swimming-pool, or a picnic in the garden- but nothing fancy and organised like BD parties in the UK (where, especially in the London suburbs- BD parties have sadly become so fancy, and more and more elaborate, parents trying to 'out do' each other and find more and more even fancier options- booking whole cinemas, ski slopes, helicopter trips and limos).
You probably just had no friends, when you were a child.
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Old 05.05.2015, 11:26
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

Our invitations were dropped in every child's / parents letter boxes. With bold Party Invite on the envelope.

Best wishes nickatbasel - hope jr has a lovely party.
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Old 05.05.2015, 12:33
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

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You probably just had no friends, when you were a child.
Harsh comment, but I must say I'm surprised by Odile's post! I'm a few () years younger, but birthday parties were very much the norm when I was a kid, albeit minus the party bags.

But I'm dumbstruck by the amount of money some parents spend on a birthday party. This year only, my son got invited to Aquapark for a party, and to the Lasergame in Villeneuve, and was even handed some cash to play with the paying games there!

As far as I'm concerned, a birthday party is a few kids at home, some games and a cake!
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Old 05.05.2015, 12:38
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

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You probably just had no friends, when you were a child.
ahahaha - if only you knew, lol. So many are still the best of friends today- who never moved away, or who travelled all over the world and came back in retirement too, like me- which is wonderful.

Mélu- I am sure you are very much younger than me - all I can say is how I experienced it in the 50s and 60s- and BD parties were truly not part of the culture. Will speak to young neighbours here and ask them what they think and get back to you. But formal RSVP is still not the norm for other parties either- unless it is very formal, Rotary, etc.
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Old 05.05.2015, 12:54
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

It is possible that busy parents may have misplaced the invitation card, thus don't have your details anymore. It's happened to me several times when I was working

As for birthday parties, glad to see that my neighbours are very down-to-earth and do the birthday z'vieri thing. A cake (or two), some fruits, some juice, maybe a balloon or two and a candle. No birthday favours, no organised games, no themes, invites are usually by text messages! After cake, the kids go out to play on their own in the garden while the parents sip a coffee. Bliss
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Old 05.05.2015, 14:54
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Re: Kids Birthday Invitations

I get the feeling a lot of people wait to see if a better offer will come up or something else to do that day then reply when the kid is sure they want to go to that party.
We always did party bags to go home with as did most of our acquaintances. When they are young it was at home & as they get older they want to go to the cinema, bowling or whatever with specific friends.
How much do people spend on a present? Around here 20 francs is the generally accepted amount. Present when the kids are younger & money in an envelope when they get older.
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