Gift Advice - Gifts for the Neighbors Birthdays and Graduations

Updated on June 10, 2011
A.J. asks from Mount Prospect, IL
6 answers


I need some gift advice. I am so not great at knowing what is socially appropriate and don't want to appear cheap....We are not particualarly close to any of the neighbors, but are friendly and social when we see them in the neighborhood...

1. A neighbor is having a 40th birthday party. We don't know him very well, but are friendly with him. What is an appropriate gift? I thought of giving a gift card but didn't know how much to give?
2. Another neighbor is having a high school graduation party. What/how much money to give?
3. If a neighbor is having a child graduate from 8th grade, but we haven't been invited to a party, is it socially polite to give a gift?

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answers from Chicago on

For #1, $40 for his 40th. :)
For #2, I agree that I would do $25 and/or maybe a college t-shirt
For #3, I think it is A. polite to give a is the thought that counts. :)



answers from Chicago on

My go to gift for woman's birthdays and graduation gifts has been the One Trip Tote! I LOVE THEM! It's a LARGE carryall that's open, horizontal and collapses. The idea is you can fill it with everything you need for the day and you're out the door in "one trip". Great for any woman and graduate... for school, work, daily outings, shopping, picnics, pool/beach, vacation, laundry and even to organize your trunk! The black and white damask design is classic and striking! Good price point too. You can view them at Ships fast! Happy summer!



answers from Washington DC on

For the HS grad, either cash or an iTunes gift card for $15 or $20.
For an 8th grade girl something from Claire's, for boy something from Gamestop, or a GC from Gamestop.
For the neighbor you don't know well, does he drink? Go to World Market if you have one and get a pack of the World Beers.
Is he a funny guy, a joke book from Borders.
A Handy man, GC from Lowe's or Home depot



answers from Chicago on

1. At these kinds of parties where a wide circle of people are invited, gifts are usually all over the board. Personally, I'd give a bottle of wine or something along those lines.
2. Graduation gifts are A. all over the place as well, so if it's someone who isn't a close friend, I'd give something like $25.
3. I think it's A. socially polite to give a gift, but I wouldn't feel at all obligated. In this case I wouldn't give a gift. But if you want to, there is nothing wrong with that.



answers from Rockford on

I see my thoughts are well shared with most of your posters!
For the neighbor I was thinking a nice bottle of wine, or a good bottle of imported beer. Most Spirit shops have good selections of both
For the high school grad, if it is someone I am not close with, I usually do a $25-$30 gift card for a restaurant, if they are going to college and you know where, maybe for somewhere close to the campus.
For the 8th grader... if you weren't invited to the party, or if they aren't having one, but you still feel inclined to give something, you could do a congrats card and maybe a $5-$10 iTunes card?



answers from New York on

1. Nice bottle of wine, whiskey, artisan beers whatever he likes and would enjoy
2. Find out where the grad is attending college and do a gift card to a restaurant (chain) near the campus or a GC to Target ($25-$50 depending on your budget).
3. If you are not invited to celebrate the graduation (especially from middle school), you don't need to send a gift.

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