Graduation Registries and What the Experts Think

Each year it seems like people find more and more ways to register for events and milestones. Way back in 2015 we covered why baby showers are intended to be for the parents and, thus, thrown on the occasion of the birth of parents’ first child.

Just because the option to register is there doesn’t mean you must accept.

Retail stores exist by making money. Registries allow the customer to select for himself or herself items they would like to receive. Once the items are marked and the registry distributed, purchases of those items is all too easy, resulting in profits for the retail store.

Aside from the common baby shower and wedding registries, I’ve now seen graduation, divorce and first home registries. It seems like the expectation has been set that people believe themselves of not only deserving of a gift for any and every occasion, but they also seem to believe they have the right to dictate what people give.

We are not entitled to have other people support our lifestyle.

Registries have not always been common. For two occasions, I believe it to be perfectly acceptable to have a registry: your wedding/wedding shower and your baby shower.

Never, though, should the registry be on the actual inviation. Additionally, even with a registry, people are welcome to give anything they wish, and all gifts are deserving of a thank you note.

When you have a registry, it’s important to not only have a wide range of costs for the items, which allows people to pick their price point, but it’s important to keep in mind the tone of the registry.

I’ve seen registries that have a preface of something like, “Thanks for viewing our online registry! We aren’t into ‘stuff,’ so check out what you can get us!” This is usually followed by “Buy a portion of the newlyweds’ couple massage” that offers a way to purchase said gift in $50 increments. There is no personalization to this, and the message is cold.

I know there will be plenty of opinions on this, but I believe it’s important to pay attention to not only what we’re saying but how we’re saying it.

Here’s a quick link to further explain why graduation registries are a no-no.

“When I hear people are creating registries for high school graduation, I hear ‘Gimme, gimme, gimme,’ as opposed to congratulations,” said Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of  Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition (Emily Post’s Etiquette). “They are absolutely not appropriate.”

Ms. Post, I agree. Thank you for reading!

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Deciding On the Best Gift

Whether it is for a birthday party or a shower, deciding on the best gift can be a difficult task.

For me, personally, I got into a gift rut. I started relying on the same ol’ standbys, not tailoring each gift to a person or occasion. While it is good for me to have a gift stash, it is not something I need to rely on as a one-size-fits-all supply. Simply put, don’t give someone a gift they would neither like nor enjoy just because you have it. I use my gift stockpile as a way to acquire good gifts at a discount. Every time I go to Ross or TJ Maxx and there are cocktail napkins, I get them. What makes a good gift? Ask yourself if it is (1) something you’d like to receive and/or (2) is it something the recipient would like to receive. That’s it. Don’t worry too much about “rules” about what is a proper dinner party gift, etc.

When it comes to registries, the choice is yours on whether or not to go by it. It was, for a time, considered in poor taste to have a registry. Essentially, the registrant is telling people what to get. However, on the flip side of the coin, it can also be seen as one less worry for the gift buyer. I’d recommend looking over the registry. If nothings strikes your interest, get something you think the recipient would love.

One more note about registries: I’ve seen this start to make its way into other areas. Baby registries and wedding registries for a first wedding are both very acceptable now. Let me be the first to warn you, fair or not, wedding registries for subsequent weddings (even if it’s the first wedding for either the groom or bride) are considered crass. Also, please don’t register for housewarming gifts….I don’t even know where to begin on this one. In a nutshell, if people want to get you a gift, they will, regardless of whether or not you register.

Coming up: Gift suggestions for various occasions.