Graduation – Begging for Gifts?

Have a question? Find your answer in PROM AND PARTY ETIQUETTE.

Every year at this time we get questions about graduation from high school seniors or their parents. Probably the most common one concerns gifts, invitations, and announcements. In our book PROM AND PARTY ETIQUETTE, Peggy and I included the following in a special box:

Begging for Gifts?

“Even if the school does not place a limit on the number of invitations you can send out, you should not send invitations to people who are already included in the ceremony.  Usually gifts are given by people who receive an invitation, so it might seem like you are begging for a gift by sending invitations to teachers, parents of other graduates, or family members who live far away and are not likely to attend.

On the other hand, there is no obligation to send a gift associated with receiving an announcement. People who receive an announcement may send a congratulatory note or card (or perhaps a small gift if they choose). So, announcements are a nice way to let people know about your accomplishment without it looking as if you’re begging for a gift!” page 77

From PROM AND PARTY ETIQUETTE by Cindy Post Senning and Peggy Post.

5 comments to Graduation – Begging for Gifts?

  • Connie Sullivan

    Is there any way to word an announcement so that the recipient knows that you are just “announcing” and not soliciting for a gift?

    • Cindy Post Senning

      The fact that it is just that – an announcement – means there is no gift expected. The wording makes it clear that it’s an announcement as there is no invitation to any sort of celebration. Wording can be as formal as a printed “We are pleased to announce Maria’s graduation from Wexley College on May 23, 2012.” Some institutions actually provide printed formal-style announcements and the graduate’s name is written in by hand. Or, your announcement may be a more informal note. “It is with such pride that we are writing to let you know that Maria graduated from Wexley College on May 23. She worked so hard to earn her degree in political science and is hoping to find work where she can put her education to good use.” As there is no suggestion of an invitation in any way, there is no indication of solicitation of a gift.

  • carolyn

    what if graduate had no party and no announcement card was sent should immediate family send at least a card to acknowledge said graduation

    • Cindy Post Senning

      Acknowledging someone’s achievement is always a thoughtful thing to do. Sending a card is a lovely gesture and sure to be appreciated. On the other hand, the graduate who did not send announcements or have a party should not feel slighted if immediate family members do not send cards. Hopefully immediate family will take the opportunity to offer congratulations at least verbally the next time they get together.

  • Joanna

    Maybe it’s just me, but the whole idea of sending out announcements at all regarding a high school graduation seems unnecessary to me. It’s not like a college, which is often out of state and/or the student may not necessarily finish in a nice neat four years; barring some unforeseen circumstance, people will generally know that if Brittany or Justin is 17/18, there will be a graduation coming up. Also, most towns will publish the list of grads in the paper, which is an announcement in and of itself.

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