To indicate that guests should not bring gifts to a birthday party, simply write "No gifts, please" at the bottom of the invitation. Another way to state this is "Only the presence of your company is requested."
Although mentioning gifts on an invitation is often considered inappropriate, as of 2015, it is good etiquette to tell invited guests if the honoree does not want gifts. People who do not want to address gifts on the invitation may inform guests in person or by phone.
The invited guests to a no-gift party should honor the host's wishes and resist bringing a present. Bringing a gift in this situation may embarrass the host or make other guests feel bad that they did not bring a gift too. A card stating congratulations or best wishes is appropriate, as long as it does not contain a present, such as money or a gift card. Individuals who wish to give the honoree a gift should do so on another day.
If a party invitation states "no gifts" and a guest brings a gift anyway, the host should thank the guest for the gift and place it in another room. The host should open the gift after the party is over unless she can open it in front of the gift-giver without other guests seeing her.