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Thread: Graduation gift dilemma

  1. #1
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    Graduation gift dilemma

    Hi guys! I would like to ask for your opinion on the following:

    First, let me say that I have had such amazing support from my ex MIL and my ex SIL throughout my hardship since last year. We get along beautifully and talk to each other often.

    That said, my ex SIL's daughter will be graduating from college this month. I am going to send my niece a check for $200 which, to me, is a nice gift. Obviously, her grandmother will be sending her a gift as well. Here is my dilemma: I don't intend for my ex MIL to tell me how much she is sending but, at the same time, I do not want to outshine her (which I might not). So, should I tell my ex MIL that I will be sending my niece this amount, or just send it with the hope that I won't overshadow her gift? Thank you so much!

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about what other people might think about the amount you send.

    You may be in a better financial position than your ex MIL, and if so, I'm sure she knows it. Don't shortchange the graduate because you think it might offend someone else. It won't.

  3. #3
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Just send it. No need to think about prices.

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    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    I mean....it's not a competition so not sure why you are thinking it would be overshadowing or anything such. Granted, I don't know your family dynamics. If in doubt and it matters to you that you don't overstep, then simply send less. Granted, that can backfire too. They might judge you as being cheap. I guess my point is that if they want to have a negative reaction, they'll find a way. If not, then they'll be happy with whatever you send without creating drama around it, so you can be as generous as you wish.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I'd just send the gift personally, as it's just that: a gift from you to her. Gifts are just about celebrating someone with a little shine, not under-shining or out-shining others.

    You of course know the people and dynamic better. Is the ex-MIL sensitive to such matters, prone to weaving narratives of drama? Regardless, I'd say a $200 check, while very nice, is also about as "safe" as you can get to celebrate a college graduate: a hefty enough figure to mark "adulthood," but hardly an extravagant one.

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    That's very sensitive and kind of you. I'd lower it personally if you think that you'd offend anyone. If your budget is normally higher or you have had issues in the past where you've flaunted your wealth or are self-conscious about it, keep a low profile and don't look for trouble. In the end this is a small token gift. I'd treat it as such and keep your relationships intact and your gifts in an appropriate range.

    That you're thinking about this in the first place tells me you're prone to feeling self-conscious about your gifts. I think sometimes it's more about everyone as a whole rather than doing whatever you want.

  8. #7
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    If this is your kinda normal then I would just do it without any conversation with the MIL ....For me it is a lot for a niece and not something our family would do unless you are the parent ..I think $200 is about 150 quid for us and a very very generous gift . But we are all different , so like I say , if it is your norm ....just go for it . I know you are a little sensitive soul so try not to overthink this .

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    Originally Posted by SarahLancaster
    I wouldn't worry about what other people might think about the amount you send.

    You may be in a better financial position than your ex MIL, and if so, I'm sure she knows it. Don't shortchange the graduate because you think it might offend someone else. It won't.
    I just don't want to possibly offend her if she is planning to send less. I don't know her financial situation (she's a widow) but I'm pretty sure that I'm in a better financial position but I certainly am not sure. For all I know, she might send more than me which would be OK. I think I worry too much.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    Just send it. No need to think about prices.
    I guess you're right.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    I mean....it's not a competition so not sure why you are thinking it would be overshadowing or anything such. Granted, I don't know your family dynamics. If in doubt and it matters to you that you don't overstep, then simply send less. Granted, that can backfire too. They might judge you as being cheap. I guess my point is that if they want to have a negative reaction, they'll find a way. If not, then they'll be happy with whatever you send without creating drama around it, so you can be as generous as you wish.
    No, I don't see it as a competition at all. I just wouldn't want her to feel bad if I send more than she's planning to send. For all I know, she may send more. I just wanted to know what is the best approach. I'll just send it. After all, it's her granddaughter

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