Gift for adult at pay-for-yourself birthday party

I was invited to a friend's birthday party and the invite made it clear that it is a get together and that everyone is paying for themselves (dinner, drinks, etc.)  I'm not sure, but will assume, that the cost will be divided among the guests so the birthday guy won't have to pay.  No complaints on that, and I'm ok with that arrangement.  How do you handle gifts in that situation though?  Do you still bring a normal gift (I usually do about $100 check or gift card for birthday parties for adults) or just bring something small?  It seems too much to both pay for myself and bring the usual gift, but i also don't want to insult a friend by bringing a small gift.  I would usually ask the host of the event, but this time the birthday guy is the one organizing it. 

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Seems to me like you (along with others) are throwing him a party and that is the gift.  I don't think another gift is required, but if you want to give him something, you could.  You might want to check with the other guests. If they aren't giving him any gifts besides the party that all of you are paying for, then it might be better if you didn't. 

I do not give my adult friends birthday presents. It's just overwhelming and ridiculous. I will bring a birthday card if I remember to buy one and I'll bring a nice bottle of wine or something to a house party. Unless your friend spends a lot for your birthday every year, I'd stop giving such large gifts. The best gift that I received at my 40th birthday party was a tiara that I gladly accepted and wore all night. I always say "no gifts" on my invitations but let people know that they can bring something to contribute to the party. And I think that it's incredibly tacky to throw a party and expect others to pay for it. I was raised that you pay for the parties that you host. I've never understood this tradition of inviting a bunch of people to a restaurant and expecting them to pick up the tab. If the friends want to take me out to dinner I'll certainly let them. But I was raised that if you do the inviting, you do the paying.

I don't think I've ever heard of bringing a gift to an adult's birthday party, except for family birthday parties. I would totally assume in this situation that a gift is not expected and would just bring a card. A gift shouldn't be expected anyway, even if the birthday person were paying for everything. Gifts are supposed to be at the discretion of the giver. 

I would bring a card and possibly a small gift. With adults, I think "your presence is the present," especially if it's dinner and drinks with all costs shared. 

I’ll be curious to see the responses to this. Truthfully, I don’t really give adults beyond my immediate family birthday gifts. If there is a party at someone’s house I would bring a nice bottle of wine (but I would bring wine anyway to someone’s house, birthday or no). If I happen to think of something small and special to a person I might gift that, but I would consider that an opportunistic one-off. If the party is at a bar/restaurant I would just kind of assume I would pay for their stuff if the situation calls for it, and make sure their drink is never empty kind of thing. 

On the flip side, I do not expect birthday gifts from my friends, even when I get people together for my day. I’d actually rather people didn’t get me anything, so I didn’t feel like I needed to get them something later on their day. I just want to see my friends.

Maybe I’m a Scrooge though?

A hundred dollars? I have s birthday party I’d like to invite you to. 

But seriously- who gives gifts for adult birthdays? In my early twenties, I was given a small bouquet or a bookmark or fun (cheap) earrings with a card, but mostly it’s the company that is given and valued. Now I’m my thirties, and it’s weird to even have a birthday party outside of immediate family at all. Turning forty might be different, but then you wouldn’t have guests pay. 

Do people give their grown-up friends birthday presents? I've never heard of this and I've been to a ton of birthday celebrations for friends over the years because I am old. I can't think of a time I've ever seen presents being given at a get-together for a friend's birthday. You're there for the celebration. A bottle of wine or some flowers or a card might be OK, but even then, it's a little precious unless it's a close friend. Even for milestone birthdays (40 - 50 - 60) I've been to when there is a formal invite, they will say "no gifts" or "gag gifts only" on the invite.  Cash/check/gift card seems weird to me - like you are trying to help them out with their finances? Maybe this is something common in some groups and I can't speak to the entire Bay Area but I've never heard of it, and it would seem very odd in my friend group. So I would say go to the event and enjoy yourself but don't take a gift. Take a card if you need to take something. Definitely do not give cash.