Monday, April 13, 2009

Should I include some kind of disclaimer...?

Where do you start…and stop? I am helping my oldest son get a list together for graduation announcements. I am so proud of him, in so many ways. I could burst buttons. He is truly a man of God. When I am with him, he often points me to Jesus. And humbles me, too.

Here’s the thing: (and I’d love your comments, especially if you’ve been there)…
At what point does an announcement seem like a shameless pitch for cash or a gift? Some of the people on my list were close; very, very close to us, when Tyler was a baby. But we may have fallen out of touch for whatever reasons…distance, time, or just busy-ness. A young friend of mine who graduated, married and had a baby all in the past half dozen years told me that she sends out invitations and announcements to everyone she knows, in the hopes that they will come through with a little sumthin-sumthin. She sent out 200 high school graduation announcements and got around $3k in gifts. Some of the people she sent announcements to, she had never even met...they were friends or her grandparents. Tyler overheard her tell me this and instantly wanted to not send ANY announcements out. (There’s that Selfless Senior thing kicking in again). I really would like the folks we may not be in close touch with to share our joy in this milestone. Just for that. To share our joy. If they want to send a card or a little gift, great! But I don't want them to feel obligated. Many (most) of them have prayed us through hard times, like potty training, new siblings, appendicitis, and the like. And many (most) of them have rejoiced with us in the past about victories over potty training, sibling rivalry and the cast that finally came off after 12 weeks. And some are just relatives that we keep in touch with at holidays and graduations and the like, but don’t often correspond or talk otherwise. Tyler is concerned especially that these folks don’t think we’re begging. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have almost always come through for these people when they have sent me announcements. And we surely aren’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. But I don’t want them to feel obligated. And why is it that I always feel obligated?

So, what’s a mom to do? Where do you draw the line? Does anybody have a litmus test or even just a little mnemonic they apply when faced with situations like this?

And speaking of graduation….a friend on facebook commented that she didn’t think I was old enough to have a graduate. Let’s see…I’m 29, he’s 18... how does that work? No hablo mathpaňol....


My ADHD Me said...

What a co-incidence! I am 29 and have an (almost) 18 year old too!!

We were just talking about the same thing here. JM will also be graduating this year.

I definitely think that anyone you send a Christmas card to "deserves" an invitation.

All close friends and relatives...except for that second cousin twice removed that moved to Romania 28 years ago and you haven't heard from since.

Also, I won't be sending any to friends who also have children that will be graduating this year...( whew...that lets you off the hook!)

Chatty Kelly said...

Well, on the flip side, when I receive an announcement from someone who isn't a "close" someone, I send them their graduating this year it would be $20.09. They think this is cool, yet let's me off the hook for $20.

I think sending a note along, instead of just an announcement makes it person. If it's someone you wouldn't send a note too, don't send them the announcement.

Congrats & good luck.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

You can always wait until after the event, if you think that implies less of an obligation.I'm not sure that it does. but really, it's not going to kill people to bless him. Even $10 is gas money.