Friday, September 21, 2012

What is appropriate to spend on a birthday gift?

We have a number of upcoming birthday parties and - this being my first foray into the children's birthday party world - I have some questions on birthday gift related etiquette.

I have some initial thoughts, but I have no ideas if I'm on target or way off! Take a look at the questions below and please let your thoughts!

Question 1: What is an appropriate amount to spend on a child's birthday gift?
I would think between $20 - $25 for someone who isn't a relative or close close friend is a good amount, but I have no clue! Is this nice? cheap?  Do tell me please! 

Question 2:  Do you try to be an equal spender or do you stick with what you believe is appropriate, regardless of what someone spent on your child?
Hypothetical #1: Someone spends $15 on your child. You are invited to their child's birthday party soon after. Do you:
a) Spend $15 and call it a day
b) Spend $25 because you feel that's a good amount to spend
c) Split the difference and make it $20

Question 3: If you cannot attend a birthday party, do you get a gift? If so, how much do you spend? 
a) The same amount you would if you had gone to the party
b) Less, since you weren't there
c) No need to get a gift at all
d) More because you feel bad you weren't at the party

Would love love to get some input! We have a birthday tomorrow and a birthday next weekend and these answers would be super helpful!!!!


  1. 1.) For someone who is not a relative or a close close friend I would generally only spend 15 - 20$.

    2.) Stick with what you believe is right. If you normally spend 25$ on a gift than spend that. The other person might not have been able to afford a more expensive gift. I bought my son's friend a brand new skateboard for 20$ last year. On my sons birthday they had gotten him some toys from the dollar store, maybe 5$ worth but I knew it was all they could afford so it didn't stop me from getting him a bigger gift.

    3.) I'd say no need to get a gift unless you had previously RSVP'd, then I would send a card.

    Hope my answers were helpful. I'm your newest follower, just stopping by from the "I Love My Online Friends" blog hop. If ya get a chance, check out these blogs:

    1. Thanks Danielle! So great to get your feedback! I like the "stick with what you believe is right" belief. And very helpful info about the no gift unless RSVP'd.

      One new question - what do you do if it's a joint birthday party for siblings? I'm looking at getting a joint gift. Double the cost you'd spend on each?

      Thanks for helping a newbie out! I'll stop by your blogs for certain!


  2. Oh my! The birthday present dilemma! I dislike buying birthday presents for kids. It is costly, there is a giant selection of stuff, and chances are they will only play with it for 5 minutes before tossing it into a corner and forgetting about it. I have challenged my family (well, mostly myself) to make all our presents we give our friends. The reaction we get from our gifts is fantastic! I love hearing, "where did you get that?" and responding, "I made it".
    If I could not make it to the party, I would not get a gift unless it was a close friend.
    About the sibling party...that is a hard one. Some kids can share well and others cannot. I think you have to consider the type of relationship the siblings have. My sister and I would not have shared gifts well :)
    I love the site!

    1. That's a great idea - what are some of the types of things you've made? I'd love to hear! Thanks for stopping by, so glad you like the site. I'll be stopping by your site too!

      Hope you come back again! Julie

  3. I made my son's best friend a space quilt and matching pillow, skirts, blankets, pajama pants, scarves, and I am embarking on a tutu making adventure for two little girl birthdays we have coming up. I have scored LOTS of free fabric from craigslist, freecycle, etc which makes these presents very inexpensive to make. I also watch for sales. Yesterday, Jo-Anne's fabric had their tulle for 50% off which made the material for the tu-tu's easy on the pocketbook. Each tutu will cost roughly $7.50.

    1. Wow! You sound very talented! And those sound like great gifts.