Proper gift etiquette: Is there such a thing?
With the holidays and Black Friday right around the corner, purchasing gifts can be a huge expense. This month alone Mr. and I had a wedding, a birthday, and two baby showers to budget for. The questions is how to keep gift expenses down?
I always had a preconceived notion that if I go to a wedding I HAVE to spend $100, if I go to some kind of shower, the gift shouldn’t cost less then $40 or I would be perceived as rude and cheap. After a good discussion with family, I have decided to throw that logic out the window. Here are the reasons why:
- No one should be EXPECTING a gift. I feel that there is no better gift then being able to spend time with people you love. When was the last time you needed a gift IN ORDER to be admitted to a wedding or a birthday party? Didn’t think so.
- If they defriend you because you didn’t get them a gift, what does that tell you about them? It tells me that a gift is more important then our friendship and I never should have been their friend to begin with.
- There are TONS of ideas for frugal “special occasion” gifts. Pinterest has TONS of great frugal ideas. My sister-in-law recently told me about a DIY gift she made for a bridal shower: She painted about 30 different popsicle sticks and wrote on them different ideas for date nights. She stuck the popsicle sticks in a mason jar and wrapped it with a cute ribbon. What a thoughtful and practical idea! I previously wrote this post regarding fun and frugal birthday gifts.
- Is there anyone you know who is actually in need? For example, do you have any friends who are lacking the most basic things to survive: food, water, shelter or clothing? The answer is probably going to be no. If they are hurting in these areas, by all means help them out because they have greater issues then receiving a DVD for their birthday.
- How about sharing an experience instead of giving a gift? For example: making someone breakfast, lunch, cookies; going to volunteer somewhere together; giving food and supplies to the homeless; helping someone out with a project they need done? Those kinds of gifts change your heart.
I have made the decision to stop caring about spending a certain amount for gifts. If the focus of gift-giving is more about the relationship and friendship and less about the money, both sides win 😉
Questions for you: What are your expectations about giving and receiving wedding, Christmas, birthday, graduation and baby/bridal shower gifts? Do you have a price range for how much you spend per gift? Any frugal and creative ideas for gifts?