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The Birthday Gift Dilemma: How Much Do You Spend and More Questions Answered

Although we all know it is impossible that everyone has babies in October and April, why does it always seem that we are suddenly swamped with birthday parties then? There is festivity in the air now with the leaves changing colors, Halloween celebrations at school and more birthday cupcakes and sugar rushes than any of us would ever wish on a teacher.

With that slew of birthdays comes the tricky navigation of birthday gifts: how much to spend, what girls like at that age if you are a parent of boys, is his mom going to shun me if I get her son a toy gun, a drum or a video game?

Those are the easy questions. Go with your gut. Don’t overspend.

These days, the tough ones are:
• When the invitation says no gifts, what do you do?
• When the invitation says, “Johnnie would prefer a donation to his favorite charity,” what should you do?
• Are gift cards tacky?