Etiquette Questions, Answered: Holidays and Gifts
What’s Appropriate for a Bar or Bat Mizvah Gift?
Q. My mom and I have been battling over the following issue for years. On her side of the family, there are 16 first cousins,
and at age 32, I am the youngest of them. Most of us are married with children, and therefore my husband and I have been invited
to many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs recently. My mom says you should give the same price range of gift at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah as
you would give at a wedding. I disagree. For most weddings gifts, my husband and I give between $250 and $300. I can’t imagine
giving that much, especially to a young man or woman on the verge of turning 13. Please let me know what is the correct amount
to spend for this particular family event.
Woodbury, New York
A. The good and bad news is that there is no one right number. Your mother is allowed to give whatever outrageously large or small amount she sees fit—and so are you. I happen to agree with you that giving the same amount for both events feels exorbitant. But I’m starting to wish you had both been invited to my wedding, given your proclivity for such large gifts! So I hereby invite you to break free from following your mother’s lead. This sounds like a perfect subject for you two to agree to disagree, and then stop talking about it, go dance the hora, and let your gifts and cards speak for themselves.
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