29 answers

Is a Graduation Gift Required?

Hi all! Getting into graduation season, I really thought I only knew one kid who was graduating (our neighbor kid down the street, who is such a gem). But then I started getting more graduation invites- one from a sometimes co-worker who's son I've never met, one from my step-mom's neice who I rarely see, etc. I'd like to send them a card, but money seems like a bit much too me for kids I barely know (or don't know at all!) Not to mention the fact that we can't really afford to send money. The kid down the street we're not even giving money to, I'm making all the mints for his graduation party, that's our gift. So is "just a card" appropriate? Or should I just not send anything at all?

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The economy suck right now and people are starting to tighten their belts and learn to "do without" these days. I think it would be acceptable if you didn't give money to all. I'd send a card to those distant to you. Family, I always spend a little more, and for distant family, I do $25. close family, I do $100 which is usually very generous. Nephews, Nieces, Cousins, I do $50.) For a neighbor, I'd probably do $20 or so...especially if you'll be attending and you like them. If you don't attend...A card will work with $10. That's sort of how I do it. But, to each his own.

1 mom found this helpful

I would send a card and a token gift. Even if it was just a $5 gift certificate to McDonald's or Dairy Queen. You could also given them a home made gift, like a smaller package of the mints you are making for the other graduate. I would at least send a card even if you don't give them anything else to at least acknowledge the invitation you received to their party. It would be rude to at least not do that much.

A card is enough for those who are not family or close friends. And it is presumptuous if they expect anything more. Just a congratulations.

More Answers

The economy suck right now and people are starting to tighten their belts and learn to "do without" these days. I think it would be acceptable if you didn't give money to all. I'd send a card to those distant to you. Family, I always spend a little more, and for distant family, I do $25. close family, I do $100 which is usually very generous. Nephews, Nieces, Cousins, I do $50.) For a neighbor, I'd probably do $20 or so...especially if you'll be attending and you like them. If you don't attend...A card will work with $10. That's sort of how I do it. But, to each his own.

1 mom found this helpful

I would send a card and a token gift. Even if it was just a $5 gift certificate to McDonald's or Dairy Queen. You could also given them a home made gift, like a smaller package of the mints you are making for the other graduate. I would at least send a card even if you don't give them anything else to at least acknowledge the invitation you received to their party. It would be rude to at least not do that much.

H.,
Personally, if it were me who had a child graduating, I wouldn't expect a gift. The reason I invite people to my children's parties is just as an act of friendship. I feel that gift giving should be your choice. If you do feel that you need to give something, how about an inexpensive, little something, like a neat bookmark, maybe even one that your boys helped make (drew or colored a picture on).

I didn't get a chance to read all responses so forgive me if this is a repeat...I think a card is sufficient, but can understand the uncertainty and mixed feelings. However, if you want to get a little something, you could always get a "graduation" picture frame for the graduate- you can find those for around $10-15. Good luck!

If you are going to the party, then yes. (Creative gifts where they don't know how much you spent are the best.)

If you are NOT attending the party, send nothing. Kids are usually in it for the money and a card with nothing in it will make the trash can in a matter of seconds.

Hello, Many good responses to this issue. Our family has been invited to two graduation parties for neighbor kids who we don't know at all. I felt like the parents were trolling for gifts for their graduate. I also felt very resentful for even being invited when we really didn't know the families. I both cases we had given a cash gift because we didn't want to feel guilty & look like the cheap neighbor. Well lesson learned, we didn't even receive thank you cards in return. I would agree with some of writers saying to give a $5 gift card to somewhere. You're not out much and it's something. Like another writer wrote, if you do attend the party you are eating the food. I wouldn't go overboard. I would give something very small. Good luck!

I don't think you should have to give a gift but I bet some people do. I would feel obligated to give a gift for fear of looking cheap. How about a $5 gift card to a coffee joint inside the graduation card?

I often make special occasion gifts, I am a scrapbooker/card maker (I sell CTMH - and teach the skills too). These gifts are often more memorable than a $10 bill. For a friend's daughter's 1st Communion I made a 12X12 scrapbook page and put it in a custom made frame - everyone loved it! I love that you are making mints for your neighbor, everyone gets to enjoy that gift!

Perhaps you could send some homemade cards along with the one you send them and then they can use them as they see fit (if they are going away to school - they will have pre-made cards to keep in touch with mom/dad and their friends)

Also, I remember how hard it was to choose who to send out invitations to, I did not want to forget anyone and have them run into someone else that did get invited and feel shunned. I know that I was not looking for gifts but for people to help me celebrate my special day, even though I knew some could not attend (age, $) but I also felt good for remembering these people. Perhaps, your pt/co-worker did not want to leave you out, especially if they invited other co-workers they may know more personally. And as far as family goes, how would you have felt if others in your family were invited to a step ? grad and you were the only one who was not, this may not have been sent out of greed but out of politeness - just a thought!

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