Random Questions / Advice

Since y’all are smart and in a similar economic class, you’re a good bunch to ask questions so I thought maybe we needed a thread for that.

I’ll start.

It’s official. I’m old. I’ve been invited to the high school graduation parties for the KIDS of two different friends who are my age or younger. I’ll call the graduates A and B.

I assume I’m supposed to bring a gift. What’s an appropriate gift?

A’s parents are upper middle class but stingy. Oldest of 3 kids. I know them all pretty well and anticipate being invited to the other kids’ graduation parties too as they come up, and would get gifts for all of similar value.

B’s parents are middle class with 5 kids. B is their second to graduate. B’s older brother has some social issues so no party when he graduated, just a private family affair. I didn’t get him a gift when he graduated. But I also barely know him. B is vibrant and mature and sometimes accompanies us when her mom & I do stuff together, like go shopping. I’m not sure her older brother would recognize me if he saw me walking down the street, although come to think of it when I acquired four tickets to a concert my friend and her husband and the oldest went to the concert. So maybe he would… not sure. B would walk over to me and initiate a 10 minute conversation, or at least a wave & friendly smile if she was in a hurry.

I’m kinda thinking that college kids want cash. What amount is appropriate? $50? 100?

I feel weird having not given B’s older brother anything and then being overly generous with B. But maybe that’s a hang up I just need to get over.

I don’t know B’s next two siblings (boys) very well, but then I know the youngest (girl) more. So I might or might not get invited to B’s younger brothers’ graduation parties, but most likely would for the younger sister.

people throw parties for graduating high school? seems silly.

i have no idea how much to give. never been to one. i’m not popular.

Cash is the right thing. No idea how much though.

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I didn’t get a party when I graduated from high school OR college OR grad school. One of my BFFs did, but she was valedictorian. A couple other kids in my HS got parties, but not too many.

But it seems like every high school graduate gets a party these days. A lot of my HS classmates now have kids graduating and based on what I’m seeing on Facebook it seems as though 90% or more are getting parties. I’m not invited to most of them because I’m not close to very many HS friends any more. But close enough to be Facebook friends and see what’s going on anyway.

Leaning towards $100 for A and $50 for B. But I’ve got a week to decide. I’m a little closer to A and no weird issues with keeping siblings equal.

Cash. Always cash.

$100 was appropriate in my circle for non-family upper middle class friends when I was graduating, and that was (oof) 17 years ago. I imagine it’s at least $150 or $200 by now. If you’re a very close family friend, more, if you’re a casual acquaintance, less.

But, screw social convention. Give what you feel comfortable giving. The kids are excited to get money either way.


When I graduated I got a fair bit of money - as many do. I kept track of who gave what and all that in a notebook.

One day my mom noticed that I was going to pay for gas with one of the bills I had been given (I don’t recall the details of how she noticed). She tried telling me, “That’s supposed to be for something special!”

I then had to explain to her the concept of fungibility.


We know twins graduating. Close family friends. My wife is godmother to one. We are getting them each a $100 gift card to the college bookstore at the university they are attending. We will also give them them an experience gift such as go karting, paint ball, etc. This is because of the relationship we have with the family. Will probably drop about $500 for both combined.

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Cash or Gift Cards (generic, like Amex, not specific like Blockbuster)

To me the only thing that matters is relationship to parent & child. If prior had no party, the fact you gave no gift is not important. and in all honesty, no one will remember what you gave one kid to the next.

I could $50 for a relationship with only the parent, not the kid and $100, when the kid is in your life as well.


All spot on. Maybe elevate the gift values a bit if you feel comfortable, want to and/or are especially close with the family/kids.

$100 for both. Don’t be cheap.

Here is the issue to me, these are not the only ones, the season can get expensive and you need to gauge total expense. as a Jewish parent whose kids have had friends getting Bar/Bat Mitzvah’d - it can be a very expensive year if you feel overly generous

I thought only asians do cash/red envelopes. Aren’t people super into gift cards. Maybe Apple giftcards. $100 should be enough since apple is expensive.

But…I never had a party graduating high school…and definitely didn’t get no gifts for it.

This is also what Hubby said.

Now we’ve been invited to a third graduation party. Hubby and I both have a relationship with the kid and the grandmother through church, but not the parents. I wasn’t sure if she’d have a party or invite us if she did. But she is and she did.

We will probably go ahead and give her $100 too. She got engaged over Spring Break, which is mind boggling to me (she wasn’t even finished high school!!!) and she has a strained relationship with her parents so I have to think she could really use the money. Her graduation party is at her fiancé’s parents house.

She’s going to the local university for college… praying she sticks with it.

Yeah, now we’ve got three parties/gifts.

But $300 is an expense we can afford.

Hmmm, I like this idea, especially for the one that I’m worried about staying in college. And there’s a branch campus that’s not far off my beaten path where I could probably pick up a gift card good at any of the locations. (Main location would be an inconvenience.)

Maybe I’ll do a $100 gift card to the bookstore for her and $100 cash for the other two.

This thread makes me feel like I should have thrown a graduation party with richer adults. I got $20 to $50 from people, 15 years ago. Grandparents gave $100. Middle class but that term doesn’t mean much since everyone thinks they are middle class so more detailed combined family income ~100k with friends family income around ~$70k to ~110k. I was thrilled with the amounts I got.

I’m surprised at how few people on here had graduation parties. Almost all the kids that graduate that I know of have one around here. $20-$50 cash is a good guideline for non-family but I live in a lower COL area so YMMV. Family members might get an actual gift like something for a dorm room if the graduate is going to college or something for the grad to help with a new place if they are moving out and getting a job. Cash is the typical gift though. It is nice and convenient and you just drop the card in the card box. Don’t have to look awkward carrying a box and feeling like you are being judged for the box being too big or too small.

Did the majority of you go to school where most of the kids went on to further education? I’m puzzled why most of you think that ending your formal education isn’t a big deal. I’m a little bit old but some of my friends were the first in their family to complete high school.

I had no party and the only gift I can remember was a Cross pen and pencil set from my uncle the actuary.

When going camping in the summer do you pack the bananas in the cooler or at the ambient temperature (low 90s once I get there… 70s in my air conditioned car)?

I’m thinking out of the cooler for the drive, then into the cooler once I get there.

Also, same question for marshmallows.

I don’t want either one falling in the ice and my cooler doesn’t have a bin that stays up away from the ice. But it also seems like 90 degree temps aren’t great for either and there’s plenty of room in my cooler.

(I know the chocolate goes in the cooler!)

I haven’t been camping in decades and it shows. I’m not sure I’ve ever been camping with bananas.