NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Event season is almost here.
You may already have a stack of invitations to bridal showers, baby showers, weddings and graduations.
So what kind of gifts should you be giving and how much should you spend?
CBS2’s Elise Finch got some answers from an expert.
The closer we get to the start of summer, the more events people plan. It’s great to be invited, but it means you’ve got to give some gifts.
So how do you decide what to give?
For Jason Desantis of Levittown, it’s easy.
“Weddings and graduations, I give money,” he said.
For a recent co-ed baby shower he attended, he gave a gift.
“It was my best friend, so I got the most expensive thing on the registry,” Desantis said.
No matter if it’s a wedding, baby shower, bridal shower or bar mitzvah, most people Finch talked to have go-to gifts.
“I always give money, because that’s the best way to go,” said Long Beach resident Paulette Garbarino. “Everyone loves it, and they can choose.”
“I usually give kids money and I give adults something more meaningful,” said James Higgins of Marine Park.
“I go with the registry,” said Upper West Side resident Betsy Hart. “That’s there for a reason, people want things on their registry to start their life, to make a home.”
“I usually like to buy my own,” said Upper West Sider Yvette Batista. “I don’t like to go to a gift registry.”
“I like to give something that’s personalized and a gift that can be remembered,” said Georgiana Liddiard. “If it’s someone I’m closer to I go all out with a gift.”
If you’re not sure what to do, Thomas Farley – also known as Mr. Manners – is an etiquette expert. He says start by making a list.
“Make sure you get a sense of how many events you have to go to, so you can figure out what you’re able to spend on all of these,” Farley said. “Because for many of the events you’ll be attending in the spring and early summer, money is actually your ideal gift.”
When giving cash, make sure the bills are crisp and include a thoughtful handwritten note. If it’s a gift care, make sure the amount is clearly indicated.
Farley says there are times when both money and gift cards can be a bit of a let down.
“If it’s an event where you know people are going to be opening presents, I do think there’s a delight in actually tearing off the ribbon and opening up the wrapping paper,” Farley said. “Opening up a gift card in it is a bit of a womp, womp I think.”
Mr. Manners says no matter what you choose to give, it should never cost more than you can afford. That even applies to weddings, because he says you don’t have to cover the cost of you plate.
“Let’s toss that out the window,” Farley said. “It’s really all about what do you feel you can give, and based on the relationship you have with the couple, what would you like to give.”
Make a list and a budget and stick to it, Finch reported.