Question: Dear Luise: I feel pretty disgusted and I wonder what your take is on this subject. I got a wedding invitation that not only tells me where to go to shop for my gift but also advises me that cash would be accepted. I feel that such an approach is so manipulative that all the fun has gone out of shopping. Am I hopelessly out of date, wanting to follow my own instincts? Maggie C.
Answer: Dear Maggie; Well, the bridal registry thing has been out there for a long, long time. Cash gifts may not have been openly solicited “When You And I Were Young, Maggie”…(I just couldn’t resist saying that)…but they have always been around.
Some of this reflects ethnic customs, like the “Money Tree” seen at some receptions. And some of it is about the times. The rest of it we can chalk up to taste.
Years ago, the biggest hurdle for the bride and groom after the thank you notes were in the mail, was to return all of the stuff that wasn’t wanted or needed and convert it into cash. Now, we are often provided with a web address that shows exactly what the wishes of the couple are, along with prices and a handy-dandy way to order online. The happy couple can even go to the site regularly to see what been purchased and checked off.
If this is too much for you, (as it is for me), you have other options. You can send or take a lovely card wishing them well. Period. That’s it. If you feel gifts should come from the heart, make one. Use you imagination to think of something that you would like to get, if it were you. Go to a Thrift Store and look for something “dear”. Why not?
Another approach is to glance around your home. What is about to go to the Thrift Store? I don’t mean something worn out. This is not about being insulting. But do you have something you have prized and are sentimental about that is still lovely? Like a ceramic piece? Do you need the space freed up? If so, put a note with it when you wrap it that tells about its origin and your attachment to it.
You may have been provided with hoops to jump through but you don’t have to do that. Follow you own inclinations and be unique. Blessings, Luise