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OT Cash Gift Amount Etiquette

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Old 06-03-2006, 08:03 AM   #1
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Default OT Cash Gift Amount Etiquette

I could use some cash gift amount etiquette suggestions. I have three parties to go to in the next 6 weeks and I'm not sure how much to give. I haven't been to these types of parties in MANY years and I do NOT want to be the old person who does not know that the amount they gave for a gift was generous back in the 80's or 90's. We're retired but I still want to be generous.

What would you give for a High School Graduation? The Graduate is the Son of one of my closest friends. The party is given by my friend at her home.

A 25th Anniversary party for the same close friend. The party is being given by someone else at a local midscale restaurant.

The third party is a christening and I am the Godmother. The Mother is buying the christening gown so I just need to give a cash gift. The baby is also my Great Niece and I'm close with her Mom.

What do you all think? I've researched all over the internet and can't find any opinions? It is SUCH a sensitive subject. I hesitated to even ask since these amounts might even vary Regionally. I'm desperate and the first party is today.

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Old 06-03-2006, 08:49 AM   #2
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Vickie, I don't mean to be cliche, but I honestly think that any of those people would appreciate any amount, any gift. Really. But let me think what I would do...
We had a family friend who's son just graduated HS. I only sent him $25 because honestly it was all we could afford. When I graduated HS (almost 10 years ago) I received every amount from hundreds to twenties. I don't know if that helps.
The anniversary--would they expect a cash gift? I probably wouldn't have even thought about it! Shows how good I am. I'm not sure on that one at all.
For the christening, what if you bought her a bond or opened a savings account and added a little each year? Or purchased a cute piggy bank (maybe monogrammed?) and added some money. That's probably more work than you were looking for though!

OK that wasn't much help at all. Hopefully someone with more life experience will come along and help you out. Sorry!
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Old 06-03-2006, 09:11 AM   #3
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Melissa, any advice/input helps ALOT! I know that anything I'll give will be appreciated. I just don't want to get too dated. You and I are probably financially in the same situation; you're just starting out and we are winding down!

I just decided to give cash for the anniversary because after my Mom and Dad died, I packed up and gave away all the silver stuff they received for their 25th anniversary. They never used any of it and I think this couple would be the same. I'd like them to be able to buy something cool (and maybe not silver!)

I LOVE the idea of a savings bond and I have plenty of time for it since the christening isn't until July 9th. Hmmmmm......I think I'll go do some research.

Thanks! I plan on taking all opinions and figuring out what to do. At least maybe it will give me a nice range from all over the country and beyond.
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Old 06-03-2006, 09:56 AM   #4
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Wow, interesting....

Are you thinking cash for all three? I'd probably buy something for the anniversary and maybe the graduation, which I know is today, so probably too late. For the christening, I'd be a lot more generous, because this is a huge honour from your very favourit niece.

Notice that I'm not giving amounts, cause I don't know your limits, but the grad would be a little less or about the same as the the anniversary.
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Old 06-03-2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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Saundra, I'm thinking the same thing. The anniversary needs to be more than the graduation and the christening the much bigger of the three. The problem is the amount. I've actually come up with some amounts but I was just trying to decide if they are enough. I could probably give more but it would be a little tougher. If I stretch, it'll be for the christening.

It's just SO hard. I guess that's why there's no general advice giving guidelines on the internet!

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Old 06-03-2006, 10:18 AM   #6
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For our 25th some folks gave $25.00 ... some 25 $1.00 coins Restaurant gift certificates were popular too.
My daughter just got married and a lot of folks gave $40.00.
It's fairly 'happening' around here to give grocery store gift certificates for grads and newly weds ... anyone starting a new home.
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Old 06-03-2006, 10:59 AM   #7
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Lots of good advice.

For the graduation - since it is the son of your closest friend - I would suggest around $50 if you want to give cash. Otherwise perhaps a gift certificate might work too? (chapters/indigo or some other event/hobby you know he enjoys?).

For the anniversary - I don't think I would give cash? Would want to give a 'memento' or something they could remember? Given the fact there will probably be many pictures taken maybe a silver 25th wedding anniversary album or pickture frame? so they can commemorate the occasion? Otherwise maybe a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant? or maybe a night away at a local hotel/spa?

I agree for the godmother thing a savings bond is a fabulous idea? Maybe presented with little silver engraved piggy bank? My parents were always giving my kids savings bonds - at the time it seemed like they would never reach maturity (they gave $100 for 1 yr old, $200 for 2 yr old etc). I can only tell you how much these have helped and are now appreciated. I can hardly stop from crying every year when I cash them in (only a few left I think for dd). I don't know if you have registered education savings plans in the us? But we have those here and perhaps starting baby sarah's college fund would be much appreciated? (of course again you could add to it over the years for special occasions?)

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-03-2006, 11:04 AM   #8
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My youngest graduated from HS 2 years ago so that's fairly recently, IMO. Her boyfriend's parents gave her $50, as did most of our family friends (except the relatives gave her more).

I think I'd give an anniversary gift unless the recipients are the type who are retired, really need money more than "stuff". If they're the type who has everything, I'd give a restaurant gift card. Some people use money on bills, which wasn't the intent of the gift. And some people who have everything just see an "item" gift as more clutter.

As for the baby, I think I'd go with a larger amount too because of the honor of being chosen, but would probably make it a savings bond too.
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Old 06-03-2006, 12:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great ideas. I know this is all a really personal subject so I truly thank you all for sharing. At least I know I'm in the ball park with what I had in mind.

Did I also forget to mention that I was a bridesmaid at this wedding? Yep...I've been friends with this couple since my party days over 28 years ago. In fact, they knew me when I was engaged many moons ago to my fiance who died. We had the wedding all planned for September and he died the December before. I had to cancel the hall, dress, etc...... Cindy took me to her parents summer home in Wisconsin the weekend that my wedding was supposed to be. We cried together all weekend. These are good friends. I think I'll try to find a memento and cash.
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Old 06-03-2006, 12:45 PM   #10
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I like the restaurant gift cards alot. I'm also going to look for an Angel piggy for Sarah.
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Old 06-03-2006, 12:47 PM   #11
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Oh now that changes everything. I was sorta picturing an ancient aunt and uncle having an anniversary; not a close friend like that.

I hope you get it figured out without too much stressing!
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Old 06-03-2006, 01:00 PM   #12
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I went to 3 graduations this yr. from friends children. I gave each $50.00. I love the idea of the savings bond for the christening and received these for my own children when they were babies. The anniversary gift, I would give a gift certificate for a very nice restaurant.
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Old 06-03-2006, 01:01 PM   #13
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Im probable too late but going to stick my two cents in anyways..ha
Vickie these sounds like really close friends..what if you gave them money (any amount you could afford would be fine) and did something cool with it. I was thinking of buying them a tree or shrub from nursery store and attach money to it...thier very own money tree for the back yard...see money does grow on trees!
Baby christening...a love the idea of a bond. My girls got them from thier grandparents as well...it came in so handy when it was college time. Think of all the times in her future you could add to it..grade 8 grad, hs grad, college grad etc...
College student...well I had my dd grad from college last year......she was sooooo broke she loved the money gifts she got! Its expensive to start out on your own..she really appreciated all she got. It varied from 25 to 200 dollars...
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