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Cheques: How much to give?


Gin62

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We have in the next 3 weeks 2 Birthday Parties, The first is in a local restuarant and the other in a local village hall with outside caterers and later on in the year a golden wedding reception with outside caterers and band. When enquiring about suitable gifts, we were informed there will be a box in which to put cheques. Last  year we were invitied to another party with the same idea except we didn't know that there would a box(very nicely decorated) so had brought a present and then added a donation with the present. When  asking french friends for advice they say " just give what you want to or can afford"

what is an acceptable amount? when we go out to dinner to french homes (not close friends) we normally buy flowers or cholates between 20-30 euros. This is a social minefield and we would'nt wish to insult any of the friends who are inviting us to share their celebration. 

Gillian

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Everybody, be it B'Day, Xmas, Communion, Christaning, Weddings, etc, etc gets bog standard, don't even stop to think about, EUR50 from us. Big, wealthy (by French standards) family. I'd reckon in France Profonde you'd be looking at EUR 20.
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Agreed Chancer, and we also decline some invites, unless it's family, on the slightly different principle, that, we don't see why we should subsidise their party, when we don't really want to be there.  Can get a bit of getting used to for me, as a Brit.

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"if the roles were reversed......."

I must be honest, we have always said no presents or if people insisted; in uk it was always a donation to Salvation Army, and in france it is Medicin sans Frontiers. The 50.00 euros suggested seems reasonable.

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I am having a long overdue dinner party soon, the guests are my friends who have often entertained me, they know my financial situation and that I dont always take them a gift if it means buying flowers etc locally at outrageous prices compared to the Arab market on Sunday mid-day.

I have however done lots and lots of work at their houses for my pleasure, a change of scenery and some appreciative company, once we nearly fell out when they insisted on paying me (I am very proud of the fact that I havn't earnt a penny in 6 years) and despite my protests they left a card and over €100 euros in my boite à lettres. Luckily not long after she had a birhday party with a collection box, every one else put in cheques I returned the money I had earned.

Anyway for my soirée I have forbidden anyone from bringing gifts using the excuse that  I no longer drink, chocolates I would just wolf down and become sick and fat and that flowers for a bloke are OK under some circumstances, a thank you etc but not as a gift.

Despite the fact that in my mind entertaining wise I am massively in their debt I am sure that they will find it difficult to abide by my wishes.

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Chancer - I am sure you are right.  I had a party last year to celebrate my big "0", and on the invite I said, no presents.  Flowers, plants (still alive - just!), wine, champagne, blanquette (this is the Aude),  and even some real presents (scarf, smellies) were presented.  I think you are onto a looser there.....

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