Surprise! I bear no gifts
Gifts are a necessity at parties. When you are invited for a birthday party, the host may ask you not to bring gifts. But you should NEVER go without gifts. They may not be expecting it but deep down, they are.
When I was in grade 6, I was invited for a birthday party. The birthday girl was one of the "cool" girls at school and I felt excited to be invited. I picked out my favourite dress and assorted my best ornaments and was ready to go. I decided I would buy her a gift on the way. Since I was a kid, I was broke, and so I asked my mom for some cash.
"Why do you want to buy her a gift? She is inviting you because you are her friend. Not for your gifts. "
I tried to reason with her and told her it would be rude to go without any gifts. My mom was adamant and refused to lend me cash. She said something about our religion and celebrating birthdays.
I had half an hour to make a plan. I took out my card stock, oil paint, stamps and ink and sat down to make a card. It turned out to be pretty decent. Inside, I wrote
Don't worry about the past, It's gone.Don't worry about the future, It's not here yet
Worry about the present, because I haven't got you any.
I was embarrassed to show up without any gifts. I did any way! She had the most amazing ice cream birthday cake and I enjoyed a lot at the party.
When her birthday came around the next year, I was sad but not surprised when I was not invited for her party. Though I got to know who my real friends were, this was quite an embarrassing event for me.
Now, I buy gifts for everyone since I have some good amount of stocked up cash.