When the twins are invited to a birthday party, should they bring two gifts or one?

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - June 4, 2024

Your twins are invited to a friend’s birthday party. Of course they should bring a birthday gift. But the question is: should they bring two gifts (one from each twin) or one gift (a joint gift from both)?

Whether to bring one gift or two to a birthday party when you have twins can be nuanced and subjective. Based on the advice from other twin parents, here are several perspectives and unique ideas to consider:

Single Gift

Giving one gift allows for several benefits:

  • Cost and Practicality: Many parents suggest that one gift is practical, especially if it’s a more substantial or meaningful present. This approach can alleviate financial strain and ensure the gift is something the birthday child will genuinely enjoy. Since my twins have been old enough for an allowance or to make money on their own, they often prefer to pool their funds together to buy a larger gift than one could have purchased on her own.
  • Collaboration: Some parents recommend involving both twins in selecting the gift. This joint effort can help foster teamwork and shared decision-making between the twins. As the parent, you might need to be the tie breaker if needed because, as you know, your twins won’t always agree.
  • Presentation: A single gift, perhaps personalized from both twins, can be presented in a way that signifies it’s from both of them, such as including both names on the card or wrapping. Getting the credit for the gift has been important for our twin girls. So they both closely oversee gift wrapping and labeling operations.

Two Gifts

When each twin gives a gift to the birthday child, it gives:

  • Personal Touch: Bringing two separate gifts allows each twin to give something unique, reflecting their individual relationship with the birthday child. This can make the gifts feel more personal and thoughtful. If your twins are like mine, they will often have the same friend groups so that might mean they both know exactly the same things about the birthday child.
  • Equal Participation: It ensures both twins feel equally involved in the act of giving. Each twin gets the opportunity to independently choose a gift, which can be important for their sense of individuality. My twins will stake a claim on the gift they want to give a friend so the twin’s sister won’t “steal” the idea and use it.
  • Variety: With two gifts, there’s a chance to offer a variety of presents, catering to different interests of the birthday child. One twin might choose a toy, while the other might opt for a book, providing a good balance of distinct gifts. My girls will often get very different gifts for friends so that does keep it interesting.

Compromise Solutions

It is possible to have a combined yet distinct gift option for your twins to give their friend.

  • Dual Components: Consider a gift that comes in parts, such as a set of building blocks or a craft kit that can be divided between two packages. Each twin can present one part, highlighting their individual contribution while still maintaining a unified gift theme.
  • Complementary Gifts: Another approach is for the twins to give complementary items, such as a backpack and matching lunchbox, or a book and a related toy. This maintains the idea of two gifts but ensures they complement each other.
  • Shared Theme: Choose gifts within a shared theme but slightly different, such as two different characters from the same TV show or two different sets from the same toy line. This can be an exciting way for the birthday child to expand on their interests or grow their favorite collection.

Social and Emotional Considerations

When in doubt, reach out to the birthday child’s parents or other families that are attending to ask for guidance.

(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)

  • Communication: Some parents recommend checking with the host family about their preference. They might have a particular stance on the matter, which can guide your decision.
  • Cultural Norms: Understanding any cultural or family norms regarding gift-giving can also be helpful. Some cultures might have specific expectations about gift quantity or nature.

The older your twins are, the more likely they will have strong opinions on what to do.

  • Involvement and Ownership: It’s important to consider the twins’ feelings about the gift-giving process. Ensuring they both feel involved and valued in the act of giving can be crucial for their social development.
  • Avoiding Competition: Bringing two gifts can sometimes inadvertently lead to comparisons or competition between the twins. Balancing this by ensuring both gifts are of equal significance can help maintain harmony.

Practical Tips

Let’s keep it real. In addition to your twins’ needs and those of the birthday child, you can only do what is practical for your family right now.

  • Financial Balance: Set a budget for the total amount you’re willing to spend on the gift(s). Whether it’s one significant gift or two smaller ones, staying within this budget can help manage expectations and finances.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Focus on the quality and thoughtfulness of the gift rather than the quantity. A well-chosen, meaningful gift can often be more appreciated than multiple less thoughtful items.

Whether to bring one gift or two to a birthday party when you have twins depends on various factors including practicality, the twins’ feelings, and the preferences of the host family. Balancing these considerations with a thoughtful approach can ensure the gift-giving experience is positive for everyone involved.

With each new birthday party, you can adjust your strategy after seeing what works and doesn’t with your twins.

Enjoy the party!

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.