Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gift-Giving Dilemma

I'm starting to freak out seriously wonder what to give as a gift to some wealthy couple getting married.  We're going to the states for a wedding of the more moneyed side of the family.  The young couple lacks in nothing money can buy, and considering that good health etc are from G-d, what can we give?  Well, we're spending big bucks to get to the wedding.

OK, I admit that I spend over one thou$and dollar$ every year to get to the states to see my parents, but my husband doesn't go.  This summer he'll fly to the wedding and may have to get a new suit.  No, he won't be buying a tuxedo, even though it's "black tie."  For the last American wedding, he bought a black tie for a couple of bucks in Conway.  By buying in Conway, he was actually "donating" to Shiloh.  That's because the owners are big supporters of Shiloh and Yeshivat Hesder Shiloh. So you should know that a tiny fraction of a percent of their profits find their ways to help Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Every time we've gone to the United States specially for a wedding, I tell my husband and kids that our big gift is our presence, considering the financial cost.  We do go because we love family, but we certainly won't try to compete with their wealthy friends and relatives in gift-giving/buying.  The trick is to find something they may actually use and treasure.  When you buy something practical for those who don't have much money, you can be pretty sure that they will use the gift and be very grateful.  I had been "negotiating" with one of my kids about what to buy, but I have a feeling that we'd be better off buying something on our own.  Everything I've suggested has been rejected.  It's not worth the aggravation.


Sarah A. said...

what about a donation to a charity in their name and give the couple a certificate with that honor? we had one or two "gifts" like that, which was nice (even though there was a lot of stuff we needed!)

Jennifer in MamaLand said...

How about something that is not necessarily expensive, but meaningful and local to where you come from? Like, if a local artisan makes pottery or challah covers or whatever, then not only is your gift supporting artists in artzeinu hakedosha, they will be reminded of you in a very personal way whenever they use it. Plus, it can't be returned or exchanged so they'll have to keep it. :-)))
(p.s. If they're observant, they can never have too many interesting mezuzzah covers!)

Hadassa said...

If you go with Sarah's choice, you have to be sure that they support the charity.
I add a few to Jennifer's idea: photograph/s of the area tastefully framed (your own, and there's a professional photographer in Ma'aleh Levona), a seder plate decorative enough to display as well as use, challa board or other woodwork (OK, I'm advertising my friends in Beit El), jewelry (you've got local in Shiloh and there's Ayash in Yitzhar). Books, especially newly published books they're not likely to have, are a good choice too, and you can inscribe them. Boutique wine from Binyamin or the Shomron; even though they can buy in it
America, they will appreciate the thought. I politely disagree with the mezzuza cover choice. We have several that we will never use, even though they are beautiful, because we don't like decorating the mezzuza. Unlike other items (pottery, challa board, seder plate) a mezzuza cover isn't generally displayed.

Batya said...

Sorry, but I left out an important/minor detail. They aren't religious and won't be using the Judaica and not part of the charity scene.

Hadassa said...

Would artsy Judaica appeal to them? They don't have to use a seder plate in order to enjoy looking at it. The pottery that Jennifer suggested has no religious connotations whatsoever. I brought pottery as a gift to the US and none of it broke. Are food items like wine and olive oil an option? Although I do know of a woman who when given a bottle of award winning wine turned her nose up and said, "Oh. It's kosher." Books can be historical or about the wildlife of Israel, if that suits them.

Mrs. S. said...

Artistic Judaica (e.g. a painting or any of the other excellent suggestions cited above) is a great idea, and I agree that it really doesn't matter if they'll never use it.

Hillel Levin said...

Give the new couple an application fee to Nefesh B'Nefesh. The gift of Eretz Yisroel can last a lifetime toogether.

Batya said...

Thanks for the suggestions
I saw a couple of gorgeous "house blessings," but they were so expensive. I have to consult again with the "family committee."