Your invitation just came in the mail. After checking your calendar, you sent in your RSVP. Now the next big question, should you bring a gift?
While I have thought about the question to bring a gift or not many times, I have learned that there are sometimes you should never show up without a gift. These are the times that it is important to write a card, prepare a gift basket or jar, or even purchase a present for someone else. I have compiled a list of 7 situations to which you should always bring a gift with you. So if you are planning on attending one of the following, make sure you bring a neatly wrapped present in hand.
1. Wedding – A wedding is a joyous event, and if you are lucky enough to gain an invitation, plan on bringing a gift. This remarkable day is the start of a new chapter of life for two people. They have planned this event, ensuring there is sufficient and exquisite food, music for dancing, and a stellar venue to enjoy. They have stressed over the perfect guest list and congrats; you made the cut! With the rising prices of weddings, this is an honor. Whether you plan to attend or RSVP regrets, you should plan on sending a gift. It can be easy. You don’t even have to bring the gift with you on the wedding day, just sign on their registry and send it to their house. However, don’t show up empty-handed! Sign a card and toss it in your purse to place on the gift table. These personal notes are something the bride and groom can cherish for years to come.
2. Birthday – Going out to dinner for a friend’s birthday? Invited to your cousin’s first birthday party? Or celebrating your mom’s birthday at your parent’s house? Take a moment to stop at the store or order a small gift to bring. Birthday’s are a time to celebrate a person’s accomplishments and relationships over the past year, no matter how little those accomplishments may be. Once again, they chose to celebrate with you! A birthday card is a MUST in these circumstances, but depending on your relationship with the person a small gift is a simple gesture that makes them feel so special. Whether they are one or one hundred one, everyone deserves a small token that says, “Hey, I was thinking of you!”
3. Housewarming – New houses can be an exciting adventure, but house hunting for the perfect space can be daunting. Couples can agonize over which place would be the best location, floor plan, school district, yard space, and more. Once purchased, families are proud of their new dwelling and are excited to share this with others. So they have invited you over for the purpose of checking out their perfect new house. YES! Bring them a gift. Every time they use or walk by this particular item, they will think of you and smile! Think simple and practical. You do NOT need to purchase them a new dining room table. But all new homeowners will need hammers, picture frames, gardening supplies, cleaning supplies, decorations, DIY supplies, and more. My personal favorite for a new home (or even a new job) is a house plant to bring some life into their new space. Your small gift can help them transform their house into their home.
4. New baby – We all know that when we attend a baby shower, it is socially expected to bring a gift (probably from their registry) to the party. These showers help new moms (and dads) to build a collection of baby supplies that they may not have because let’s face it children are expensive. Later, after a new baby is born, we often take a moment to visit the new family in the hospital or at their home to meet their latest addition. During this visit, it is an excellent time to bring a smaller, personal gift for the new child, especially if this is not the first child or if there was no shower. These private visits are a good time for monogrammed items, things that are often dirty (burp clothes, bibs, onesies, etc.), or even cuddly items (stuffed animals or blankets). Now that the new baby is born you can get more personalized to begin your relationship with this new person that has entered your life.
5. Graduation – From experience, we are aware of how hard we have worked to complete a level of school; this is no easy feat. High School, College, even Kindergarten Graduations can be joyous celebrations of students accomplishments due to hours of hard work. It can also be terrifying as we begin to prepare for the next chapter in our lives. Sending something to these people who are ready to step out into the next chapter of their lives can let them know that we are proud of them and want to see them successful in the next chapter of their lives also. A thoughtful card and a gift card or money are beneficial for graduates. They can then apply this to larger purchases needed at this time in their lives.
6. Thank you – Showing appreciation is an important part of a southern girl’s culture. Often our words can get lost in the shuffle of our busy lives. Many people in our lives go out of their way to ensure we are successful in our jobs, families, and other aspects of our lives, but they are often unnoticed for their efforts and thoughtfulness. Now and then, we can show our appreciation by bringing them a small present or even a card with a note. We can deliver these on one of those great days set aside to celebrate mothers/fathers, bosses, secretaries, teachers, etc., or a surprise thank you for mail carriers, crossing guards, etc. Everyone is honored to receive a simple thank you for their hard work, even if all we can offer is a note or email.
7. Hostess – Now there are many other instances where you are invited over to someone’s house for a party. Many people are welcome to holiday parties, dinner parties, or even summer barbecues. In the South, Ladies are taught not to show up empty-handed. I find it is best to bring something to share: a bottle of wine, a tray of baked goods, maybe a dip or salad. If you are uncomfortable bringing food, a themed tea towel, trivet, or different practical item is also appropriate. If someone is opening their home to feed and entertain you, a gift can let them know you appreciate their kindness. Especially if it can contribute to the evening, they planned.
So when you approach one of these seven instances in your friends and families lives, start planning the perfect gift to bring. I often use Pinterest or my favorite gift shops to find an item to bring. Follow our Pinterest boards for some great gift ideas for any of life’s moments. I also keep in my house extra cards for many of these occasions, just in case they slip my mind or sneak up on me. Our shop also has some great southern gifts for the perfect occasions, or we would love to start a custom order for you!!
Think about the major events coming up in the lives of your loved ones. Start planning your gifts now! Pick up some go to gifts and cards to keep on hand. Most importantly a gift doesn’t have to be expensive or large, just thoughtful and personal!