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Etiquette question: graduation gift?

Posted by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:24 PM
  • 10 Replies

Hi, ladies!

I have an etiquette question for you guys because I am honestly stumped.

My 'friend' is graduating from a local trade school/junior college with a certification that recently landed her a full-time job after many years of working part-time as an instructor (like me) and in retail. We have known each other for a while now (6+ years) and have several mutual friends, but we had a falling-out a couple of years ago and haven't been that friendly for a while. (OK, let's put it this way: I'm trying to figure out how to NOT invite her to my birthday shopping trip in a couple of months.) She has a B.A. and M.A. in English already, but couldn't find a full-time job using her degrees so she went back to get this certification. 

Her graduation is this weekend. I can't go because my family will be going to my MIL's for a visit before we got to a Super Bowl Party. This friend is expected to be at the same party so I figure I'll give her a graduation card then. My question is, am I supposed to give her a gift too? She's over 30 and single with no kids and is very close to her dad, who paid for her education. I need to know what the protocol is here. I'm stumped and not really sure how to answer this question. You guys are always so great at this so thanks for your help (in advance)!

Is a graduation card enough or do I need to give her a gift too????

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:24 PM
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Replies (1-10):
handy0318
by Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:48 PM

No, gift giving is not mandatory... mandatory is taxes, not gifts.  I've gone through several graduations and received gifts from some people, just cards from others and from still others, simple spoken congratulations.  All are acceptable.

It seems interesting to me that the falling out took place years ago, but you've neither broken off the friendship nor forgiven the tresspass... If she's truly no longer a 'friend' (quotation marks noted), then why even give a card? Giving her your congratulations in person when you see her at the party is polite, but if you really don't like her, then anything more seems hypocritical, not to mention sending mixed messages.

What I'm getting at is, you bring up the damaged relationship and are trying to figure out what you should do.  What you should do is either repair the relationship, or move on while being polite.  What's not polite though is to give cards and gifts just as if everything is OK between you, all the while secretly trying to figure out how to get out of being a true friend.

bigmama423
by Liz on Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:34 PM
1 mom liked this
I think a card's fine..
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
happinessforyou
by Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Just hug her and tell her "Congrats". :)

Kodysmommy928
by Jennifer on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I wouldn't do a gift, just a card.

sjump25
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:06 PM

I this situation... I would just do the card.

anotherandree
by Inga on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM

This is EXACTLY what I was thinking when I was reading the post.  I would not give a card (and especially not even CONSIDER a gift) for someone who is not a friend anymore and who has not been a friend for several years.  Are you "friends" or aren't you?  Is she aware that you aren't friends anymore?

Quoting handy0318:

No, gift giving is not mandatory... mandatory is taxes, not gifts.  I've gone through several graduations and received gifts from some people, just cards from others and from still others, simple spoken congratulations.  All are acceptable.

It seems interesting to me that the falling out took place years ago, but you've neither broken off the friendship nor forgiven the tresspass... If she's truly no longer a 'friend' (quotation marks noted), then why even give a card? Giving her your congratulations in person when you see her at the party is polite, but if you really don't like her, then anything more seems hypocritical, not to mention sending mixed messages.

What I'm getting at is, you bring up the damaged relationship and are trying to figure out what you should do.  What you should do is either repair the relationship, or move on while being polite.  What's not polite though is to give cards and gifts just as if everything is OK between you, all the while secretly trying to figure out how to get out of being a true friend.


hdb
by Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:38 AM

I would say a card since you are not that close anymore

cherylam
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I'd go with a card too.

Bigmetalchicken
by Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Card.

Kris_PBG
by Representative on Feb. 1, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I think a card is fine as well.

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