Monday, September 21, 2009

Weddings and Birthdays and Showers, Oh My!

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Given the touch economic circumstances, like many families, we are trying to make an effort to curb our spending. This hasn't been a very aggressive effort so far but particularly with the holidays coming up, we want to be more careful about how our one income is utilized. Granted we are hosting a wedding in two weeks and that has not been a careful study in budgeting but we were fortunate to receive help from both sides of the family.

One of the areas that we struggle with is gift-giving. We are lucky to have a large group of generous friends who have showered us with gifts for Baby. Although we asked that guests not bring gifts to her 1st birthday, all but a few came armed with presents. Of course I'm very grateful and appreciate the kindness of our friends, but how then can we attend a birthday and not bring a gift? This summer we've attended 3 weddings, 2 baby showers and multiple birthdays. The fun we've had at all these functions comes with a high price tag but one that we're more than willing to pay. Our response has been to spend less than we would normally so that we're able to give gifts, but I admit that sometimes has me worried that we'll appear tight-fisted.

For our own wedding, we were both concerned about registering for gifts. We've lived together for two years and have the things we need. Would I love some new pots and pans? Definitely. Do I need them right now? Not at all. If we hadn't been living together for so long, I would have felt differently, but we've already replaced a lot of the mismatched things that come from combining two homes. We felt like registering was unnecessary for us because of our living situation. That led to "registering" for a charity. We have asked guests to make donations to the hospital where Baby was born in lieu of traditional presents. That way guests who wanted to give a wedding gift could put the money towards the hospital instead of something that we already have.

How do you handle gift-giving without spending a fortune?

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