I just don't get it. Why are gifts so hard to give and receive? Why does a dollar amount matter so much? Yes, there are people who will wrap up anything and bring it to the party but, at the end of the day, they brought something and even if they didn't YOU (general you) invited them. You (general you) wanted them to celebrate with you. Will anybody remember the exact amount of dollars each cousin, aunt, uncle, coworker, etc spent on any given thing or will they remember the happiest day of their life surrounded by the people they care about most? I do realize I am an idealist and I will never understand many materialistic things that so many people spend so much time focusing on.
Somewhere along the way the traditions and the reasons for things have been picked apart and only the "good" parts have carried on. Why spend $10k and up for a white bridal gown when you have lived with the father of your children for 5 years and white isn't fooling anybody? I don't know anybody who married right out of high school and lived on their own at 18 so there is hardly anything for friends and family to give as a "start up" gift. Money is all that is left and that is hollow and gone in a second, not to mention awkward to give when you don't have much. Can't we just all be grateful for what we have and anything we get?