Should I return, or make my DD return a baptism party favor? Hispanic members (esp.) please advise


We live in a largely Hispanic community, and our neighbors across the street have become great friends to our kids. They also have four children, the youngest of which appears to be about four. Mom does not speak English, but most of the kids do (save the four year old who has not started school.) One of their sons was in the same class with my eldest DD when she was in public school. My son plays over there about three times a week. We also invited the kids over for my son’s birthday, and so they have been here but don’t play here often. I don’t know why. :shrug: Language barriers make is hard for me to ask. Maybe because I am huge pregnant and their mom is being kind?

Anyway, a few weeks ago they invited my two eldest over to what we thought was a birthday party for the youngest. We bought him gifts, etc. They had a jump house and the kids played late into the night – well past bedtime. Oh well, they had fun. When I went to go get my kids I noticed that Christian, the youngest had on all-white. The balloons all had crosses on them. I realized that this was actually a baptism party and NOT a birthday party. Oh darn! I was confused at first since he is four, but I know they probably waited for whatever their reason, cultural or otherwise.

So last night they had another party. For another child, a cousin is what I gathered. We had no idea so we didn’t buy a gift – nobody said anything until the kids came over to get my kids. My DD says it was the one year old’s birthday. Well she comes home with candy from a pinata, money that they throw out to the kids…and a BEAUTIFUL ceramic party favor that says the child’s name, the date and “Mi Bautizo” i.e. My Baptism.

Again, we didn’t buy a gift, and we don’t know this child. I can’t believe my DD took the favor, but she said there was a large basket-full of these favors for people to take. I am sure this kind of favor cost the family a fortune, and I don’t think we should have it. Again, we don’t KNOW the child. I think it was kind enough of them to let my kids play. I make wall hangings/shadow boxes in a Catholic theme, and I thought I would put one together for this little girl and bring the gift over regardless, but should I return the favor?

I don’t want to be insulting, but if Eden insulted them by taking the favor in the first place, should I bring it back? I wish I didn’t have this language barrier and have to have everything translated. This is not a situation my bad spanglish can handle.

What would you guys do? Bring back the favor so that someone in this small child’s family can rightfully have it? What if someone didn’t get one because my child took one? Culturally I am not sure about the etiquette on this one, so ANY help will be greatly appreciated especially from my hispanic brothers and sisters.


nobody insulted anybody, keep the favors, it is their cultural tradition, and if they did not want everyone to take one they would not have been out in a basket (they probably have dozens left over, don’t sweat it). They would be more hurt if you tried to return it.

If they did not want your kids, they would not have invited them. Like many large families in this tradition they invited everyone and his brother to these events, the more the merrier. I would not rely on it as a free meal and entertainment for my kids each weekend, but be prepared with a stash of small suitable children’s gifts (under $5) in pretty gift bags to take as emergency gifts if you don’t want to go empty-handed. Of course reciprocate by inviting them to like occasions, especially the kinds of event where a bunch of kids will be outside playing in your yard.

but be forewarned they will feel obligated to bring a gift, and may bring not only their own children, but any other family members who happen to be around on the day of your own child’s party.


Ditto to what Annie said. My dh is from Mexico City. We also lived in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood for the first few years of our marriage.

BTW, if you want you can certainly send over a gift of your own, but no one will be offended if you don’t.


Thanks you two.

PuzzleAnnie since you graduated from Toxic Family U I think you’ll understand what I am about to say:

The women in my family are so judgemental and mean that if a child took a favor not intended for them (and you know every darn last one of them were counted at my family’s parties) they would have torn up the child, and their parents, and their descendants fifty-fold for how INCREDULOUS the behavior was. They would bring it up for YEARS: “remember that time that little spoiled brat Susie took one of Cindy’s nice party favors and she didn’t even bring a decent gift, yadda yadda yadda, schnarf schnarf schnarf.” Once I read your post and even got to laughing with a friend about how crazy MY family is (for Goodness sake my grandmother actually told me that recently she said to one of my cousin’s friends at my cousin’s party “Did you chip in for that?” when he pulled two crab legs out of a ice bucket at a barbeque! Man they are so, well TOXIC. “Goodnight grandma, not your party, not your friends, NOT YOUR BUSINESS!”) So while I have distanced myself I have some residual learning I gathered over the years I just need to get the heck over. You know if they are counting crab legs…well do I really need to say more???

And yes, I have hosted many hispanic children and their brothers, sisters, and cousins! I grew up in Los Angeles, I should know better about the kind and giving nature of my Hispanic brothers and sisters + “the more the merrier…” philosophy. I even keep gifts (but got cleaned out when I ended up with 3X the kids I had planned on at the last party!) but no gifts for one year olds. Like I said, I’ll gift her and thank the family for inviting my children again!

I guess because I got a little sucked into the psycho-family drama it put the kind of paranoid thinking at the front of my brain…the paranoia I’ll be like them…or give someone a little tidbit to attack on! Over it, I’m fine, and the favor is just fine right here, it sure is pretty!
Thanks again!


You could give a gift now, I’m Italian American and we usually have extra favors (especially wedding favors) for the unexpected gift from the mother in law of a cousin etc, who was not invited, but sent a gift to be nice


Oh yes, I am planning on it! Will do! Thanks :thumbsup:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit