Dear Crabby, What Do You Give For A Wedding Gift?

Dear Crabby,

My friend’s little sister is getting married, and I was invited to her wedding. What kind of gift should I get her?

Sincerely, Gulliver Gifting

Dear Mr. Gifting,

First of all, how close of a friend is this guy? And were you close at all with the little sister? I usually try to stop that nonsense right there in its tracks.  If I was only an arms-length type of friend, then there would be no way I would get sucked into going to a little sister’s wedding!  I see that as just another way for the new couple to get a gift.  They feed you that $4 meal they buy in bulk from some banquet hall, and then expect you to give them a gift of $50 or more!  What a way to start out in life!  You invite every friend-of-a-friend and almost-relative to a cheap dinner and force them to buy you gifts out of guilt. I decided years ago that if I was going to get stuck sitting through all these hot, stuffy weddings and have to eat that lousy food, then I was going to beat the system by giving really cheap gifts. One year, while traveling through Canada, we found this little glass-blowing company that had a whole room of really cheap glass products. They were marked as mistakes, but hey!  One man’s scrap is another man’s treasure! I loaded up the trunk with as much as I could buy.  Mrs. Crabby just stood there shaking her head at me, wondering what in the world I was up to. I spent almost $75 by the end of that trip. I had glass pitchers that were just slightly slanted, a set of five drinking glasses that almost matched, a few handfuls of some sort of twisty things that you hang in a window I think, and more knickknacks that I didn’t know what their purpose was.  I was good for the next dozen weddings for sure! At first the missus didn’t see the genius of my plan; she thought people would think this was just useless junk that we picked up somewhere.  But I would wrap each item carefully and include a note about how we saw this work of art while traveling in another country and thought of them.  The whole “work of art” line really helped to sell the bit!  It was great, and I don’t think anyone caught on either. Although after about another five or six weddings, we didn’t seem to get invited to many more.  So if you like the idea, give me a call. I still have half a trunk full of these things in my basement; I’ll sell them to you at a great price!  Other than that, you will be stuck buying friends’ little sisters’ gifts for the rest of your life. Take it from me – find a way out or find a way to beat the system!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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