Hmm, interesting thought. Roomie actually asked me what an appropriate gift amount would be for a wedding. He's going to a pretty good friend's wedding and wants to give a nice gift. This got me thinking, what are the actual dollar guidelines for gift giving.
I told him, my mom says the cost of your meal. He said he'd heard that before as well in his Muslim community, and wanted to check it was the same. Thus for this particular wedding, it's in NY, so I was thinking maybe $100 for him and $100 for a date. NY is not cheap.
But then we moved to birthdays and christmas. How much to spend on your friends and family? Do you have guidelines? I told him I think $20-25/friend for either Christmas or birthdays. He agreed but wondered if that wasn't a bit much? But I felt that if you were close enough to exchange gifts then it should be higher than $5-10 right? Tough call.
Then we discussed family. My grandmother's 80th birthday is coming up and she's visiting. It's actually also right before Mother's day, so I sent her a check for $100 for her plane fare, and I figure we'll buy her dinner at least a few times. Was this excessive? DH didn't care (he never does for family, although we rarely give to his side only mine). And roomie said it sounded high, but then acknowledged that he spent at least $50+ on his family. So there appeared to be some variation.
I think for family I try to spend $50 usually, but this time it was for plane fare instead of an actual gift. I also prefer to ususally give gift cards to restaurants or massages, or movies rather than gifts. Usually because most people have everything and I can never come up with stuff to give them.
So we were debating, is it tacky though to send a check? Or to give cash for something specific in mind?
I wonder why we have so many gift giving and "etiquette" rules. Why isn't it more simple, that cash is not crass, and it's the thought that counts?
What do you think are some gift giving guidelines for weddings, birthdays, and Christmas?