General Etiquette > Holidays

Gifts between singles and couples - how do you do it?

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Samgirl2:
When you're the single one, how do you sort out your gift buying for people who are in couples? Should you buy them a gift each, or a joint one?  It seems to be that couples always gift as a pair, and its certainly cheaper to return that way, but when I know both people have different tastes it seems easier and more personal to buy them a gift each, but it's more expensive. 

Also, if you know one half of the couple much better than the other but they always sign both names on a gift to you, that is awkward. For example one of my best girlfriends always signs her gift from herself and her husband, but I don't socialise with him hardly at all and am pretty sure she signs his name as a courtesy/tradition because they are married. Am I expected to include him in a return gift?

My main problem this year is that it will be the first since my sister got married in the summer, to a man I haven't met very often due to the fact they live several hours away and both work crazy hours so it's difficult to get together. Before they were married we just exchanged cards via my sister. My sister and I usually spend quite a lot on each other but I can't afford to spent that amount on two people. however I don't want to give my sister less than usual, or him less than her. But is a joint present acceptable?  From what I can gather, they will be joint gifting to me.

If you're reading this and you're in a couple, then what's your view? Do you expect two gifts or one, how do you gift to singles?

Sharnita:
I tend to gift each person but I do recognize there can seem to be inequity in the system.  It becomes more apparent when kids enter the picture.  I think your financial situation is somethign reasonable and wise to consider in the way you approach this.

Sterling:
It depends on my relationship to the couple.  I have friends that I buy joint gifts for because I know they will enjoy it and honestly I may only know one half of the couple very well.  An example would be my grad school friend.  She and I see each other every couple of months but I rarely see her husband.  I tend to make up a gift basket for them.

Then I have my other friends who are living together.  I knew each of them well before they got together.  So I buy them each something they will like.

As for cost.  I set a budget by person. And that is that.  A couple gift will usually fall in the same budget as a person and a half.  Generally though I make gifts and keep my budget really low.  It is "unfair" that for the most part single end up shelling out more month that couples or families but I remind myself that isn't the point of gifting.

jmarvellous:
I generally give a gift of some substance to the member of the couple I am closer to (if there's a significant difference) and a token gift to the other. I don't see it as saying, "I like you less," rather "I know you less." So my friend might get something personal that costs $30, while her spouse gets something edible that costs $10.

For family, well, it hasn't come up yet, but I would consider a joint gift if I could figure one out. I get joint gifts, if I get anything, for my grandparents, for example.

Yvaine:

--- Quote from: jmarvellous on November 12, 2012, 10:02:32 AM ---I generally give a gift of some substance to the member of the couple I am closer to (if there's a significant difference) and a token gift to the other. I don't see it as saying, "I like you less," rather "I know you less." So my friend might get something personal that costs $30, while her spouse gets something edible that costs $10.

--- End quote ---

Yeah, I'm fond of the "SO food gift." I remember one year I did some serious searching for vegan candy, thinking my sister's then BF (now husband) was vegan like she was, finally finding something I thought would work, and then suddenly realizing while he was opening it that it had honey and that wasn't vegan, and falling all over myself to apologize...at which point he explained that he wasn't even vegan, that was just her, and he could eat the candy with no problems.  ;D

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