Friday, August 28, 2009

oh, birthday presents...

'Tis the season of summer birthdays...and the same question for me always comes up: what do I buy a ____ year-old ____ (boy, girl)? And how much do I spend? The answer to this question varies wildly (obviously depending on age, gender), and the money question always leaves me stumped. For me, I think the standard birthday gift varies between $15-30, depending on who it is going to, the age, etcetera.

A friend recently relayed that her 2-year old had received a $50 gift certificate for her birthday from a non-family friend. She didn't seem at all phased. I think my internal jaw dropped, however - is that really what people are spending on presents these days? Even for a good friend's child, that seems excessive, no? What do you spend on presents? Any money-type of question is a personal one, I know, but I certainly hate to be the chintzy one! Do tell.


smileybella said...

We have an unwritten rule in our extended family that it's AU$25 on everyone, including kids. $50 for a big birthday (30th, 40th, etc) and $100 for a really big one (21st, 50th, 101st).

For family's kids and close friend's kids, I spend AU$25 each time, and for my goddaughter, I spend $30-$100, depending on the occasion.

For kids we 'don't know', I spend AU$10 - $20 and this is really dependent on how fabulous a gift I can find for the money. Cheap doesn't necessarily mean a crappy gift - there's loads of inexpensive, amazing gifts out there. In this case, it's definitely the thought that counts not the cost.

On that note, I'd rather my kid receive a simple card than something that's been recycled and is clearly inappropriate for my kid (like the pink floral backpack my son received once).

Chelsea said...

For siblings and siblings-in-law we spend no more than $15, nieces and nephews are under $10 (they're little and don't need more toys to clutter up their room/spoil them rotten!) and any other kid/friend is under $10. I like to make things for the birthday person whenever possible to make it more meaningful. Sometimes a good old gift card is the best, though. In that situation, we just send a small card so they can go out to ice cream and basically have us pay for it. Nothing more is needed, really.

Yolanda (the callipygian chronicle) said...

I spend $30 to $50 on my three nieces. The range is high because they are 1, 7, and 13. For children of friends, my absolute limit is $30, but is generally $15 to $20. Since my daughter is only two, we have only been to three birthday parties for friends. If we start to go to more, I'm betting that upper limit of $30 will come down real fast.

Molly said...

We usually spend 20 max, except for godchildren, then it is more like 50.


Kelley said...

$15 for us and if it's homemade, which I try to do a lot, it's usually in way under that.

Anonymous said...

I was taught by my mother that $30 was a generous gift price for a present - Christmas or Birthday, family or friend. For people we "don't know" it was around $20 max. Now that I'm buying presents for people I like to find meaningful gifts or a few smaller gifts. I usually make my own cards from scrapbooking paper I've had for years. When in doubt, a gift card to a favourite store is always welcome especially when you don't know the person very well.

:: imprintables:: said...

What a great topic!
I am in a similar dilemma with no.1in Kindergarten; we are invited to a number of parties from school, former playgroups, friends and family children's parties which is fast amounting to a small fortune of gift purchases. I now buy an item to the value of $20 AUD and make a personalised gift fortunately the handmade gift seems to be appreciated so much more.

Jacinda said...

For friends of my 2 yr old daughter I try to stick to $20 for a birthday.

Aimee Friedrich said...

boy, that's a lot. As the kids get older they get invited to tons of parties. we do $15 gifts for friends.

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