6.23.2006

Financial Peer Pressure

The family and I went to a graduation party last night for my neice and Hubby and I argued over what to give.

I said, "Just a card. She's graduating from 8th grade for christ's sake!"

He said, "Well, what is everyone else giving?"

This is where I got pissed.

"Who cares what everyone else is giving. It's not like she's graduating from college. It's 8TH GRADE! I never got anything for graduating 8th grade ... or high school ... or college."

He said, "Neither did I, but I'm not showing up empty handed if everyone else is giving money.

So we called his brother and asked what they were doing.

Much to my dismay, they were giving her money.

For a while I thought this was an Italian thing. Forgive me for stereotyping, but they sure do throw around a lot of money. In my Irish family, a card was good enough. I've got a sneaking suspicion, however, that this is a pretty common thing.

When you go to a party, any kind of party, do you feel pressure to give a gift when you might not have otherwise? Am I a mean, wretched person for not wanting to give a 13 year-old 50 bucks for a goddam 8th grade graduation??

Don't forget to check out Lollipop for a cool new book and my least favorite part of parenting a toddler.

21 comments:

Nicole said...

My daughter just had a closing program for her first year of preschool. She'll still be in preschool next year. My in-laws showed up with gifts and money, making a big deal of the money they gave (in front of my mom). I was flabbergasted. She didn't even graduate anything!!

I think gift-giving is getting out of control. And, there are more graduations in life now then I ever remember (am I getting so old I have to say that already?)

Missi said...

I agree. It seems they are coming up
with gradutations for every grade. I
thought the purpose of school was to
progress. It is what you are suppose to
do, it is what is expected. Now with
making graduation parties after each
grade, they are bribing these kids to
pass school, when really shouldn't they
be passing anyway?

chelle said...

We usually give what we can and try not to worry if people are whispering about it. We are super far away from all our family, so many of them never even send a card.

geenalyn said...

i would never give a gift for an 8th grade graduation...i'd give her a nice card and let her know that she's doing a good job in school...but defintely not money. My daughter just graduated from kindergarten yesterday...i didn't give her anything, but i let her know how proud i am of her and let her know that i'm excited to see all the things she is going to learn next year in grade one...

Courtney said...

Lots of parents where I live have birthday parties and instruct their guests NOT to bring gifts. Kids around here have everything. But, what gets me is that everyone brings gifts anyway. So, if you don't bring a gift, you feel like a cheapskate even though you were following the parents' instructions.

As for the 8th grade thing, we generally don't give money, but something like a $20 gift certificate to Amazon. I agree with you -- I am not sure that anything beyond a card is necessary, but we get sucked into this gift-giving thing.

T. said...

I guess I am a mean wretched person too. Because there is no way I would want to give money for a freaking grade 8 graduation! Big freaking deal. Talk to me when you've got your master's degree....

Off to check out lollipop!

Mommy off the Record said...

Hmmmm. Well, maybe you can keep the money for her and put it in a savings account. Or would it be impossible to get her to hand it over?

The gift giving does get out of control after a while. It seems like everyone feels like they need to give something even though everyone would probably be happier if we toned it down a bit.

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

I wouldn't give money to an 8th grader. I don't remember if I got money or not. I did give $20 to each of the highschoolers that graduated this year. And I do feel pressure because My hubs the pastor. $20 may not seem like a lot, but it is when you have 7 parties to go to! I got almost a $1000 for highschool.

Mrs. Chicky said...

High School? Yes. College? Absolutely. 8th Grade? No freakin' way. Gift giving has gotten out of control and the madness has got to end. I think you had the right idea, a card would have been perfectly acceptable.

Off to check out Lollipop!

Janet said...

Gift giving sucks. I hate it. I spend hours every month trying to find presents that are reasonably priced AND cool AND are something the person would enjoy and I hate most of it.

The worst thing is: I give lots and lots of gifts, all the time, and rarely receive a thank you note. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?

Don't get me started on Christmas and the 42 people on my last. Last year we donated all the money to charity, which nice, right? But people were all offended. Oh brother.

Piece of Work said...

I totally agree with you and the other commenters: I hate the idea of giving gifts for 8th grade graduation. I hate the idea of 8th grade graduation in the first place. But then again, I'm a Scrooge. I don't like giving my kids more than one gift for CHristmas. Luckily for them, my husband is a softie and buys way too much crap.

Mama of 2 said...

IMO the only graduations that warrant a gift of money or something else is HIGH SCHOOL and/or COLLEGE.

Certainly not 8th grade graduation. I believe a card would have been plenty. And for the record I am Italian and not offended by your remarks. I think you are dead on.

Awesome Mom said...

I am not a follower when it comes to giving gifts. I pretty much do my own thing. I would have brought a card max because like you said she is just graduating from 8th grade. I never even got a party for that.

dennis said...

oh, hell. My girl just graduated kindergarten and came home with more swag from the teachers/bus drivers than actors on Oscar night!

Graduating 8th grade and getting money? When I graduated 8th grade my dad reminded that in 2 years I will want to drive a car and hinted strongly a job might not be out of line...

My vote is go with the card and tell the hubby to get some therapy!

LindaJ said...

i never got anything for 8th grade grad. I got luggage for my high school grad, I think it was a hint.
Card and 20 bucks?? 50 bucks is a lot for a 8th grader.

MamaG said...

Since when did graduating from the 8th grade become a big deal? Wow - I guess I should crawl out from under my rock more often.

Like you, had I been invited to an 8th grade graduation party, I would have brought a card - nothing more.

Silly. Just silly.

carrie said...

I'll put my 2 cents out there with everyone else's, gift giving has gotten way out of control. Do kids even realize what we are proud of them for anymore if it doesn't come attached with a bright, shiny red bow? The fact that her parents are having a party, which recognizes her achievement on its own, is enough. I am afraid for all of our over-indulged children because really, what is next?

Carrie

Christina said...

That's crazy. I didn't get anything for making it past 8th grade. Of course, we didn't have graduation ceremonies for 8th grade, either. I personally think it's silly to have all of these graduation ceremonies for preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, etc.

I think a card is perfectly acceptable as well. Gift giving is getting crazy.

BlondeMom said...

I had an 8th grade graduation (I went to a very small, rural elementary school 3rd through 8th grade). I don't remember getting any monetary gifts and hopefully the parents don't "expect" it. I would say a card would suffice! I'm in agreement with everyone that gifts are getting out of control. Before you know it we'll have registries at Tar-jay for high school and college graduation!

jennster said...

i can't believe the shit people give for "graduating" 8th grade. you aren't fucking graduating. YOU PASSED A GRADE. YOU SHOULD PASS A GRADE. i think it's total bullshit and fucking stupid. i don't think they should have commencement until you're graduating from high school. and even then, YOU SHOULD GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL.

MrsFortune said...

Okay, that's ridiculous. As an 8th grade teacher I can tell you that it's no fucking accomplishment to graduate the 8th grade. It's not like high school or college where you even have to PASS to graduate. I'd go on strike. No money. Nothing. A party, fine. But money? Nope.