How much is a tooth worth nowadays?
My oldest son is losing his first tooth. He’s very proud, and I’m a bit emotional. My baby’s growing up after all! So it seems as though the Tooth Fairy, and her French counterpart the Tooth Mouse, are going to be visiting our house soon.
Traditionally of course, the tooth fairy leaves something under the pillow in exchange for the tooth. I remember getting some special presents, like books, or sometimes just money: a quarter!. And of course I’ll be doing that for my son- in fact at lunchtime I went out and bought him a little Playmobile set with a puppeteer and two puppets.
But this makes me think about how to mark special occasions frugally, or at least conscientiously.
Some close friends of ours got married this past weekend. As they had been living together for several years, they didn’t register for gifts. Instead, they asked people to give them money for their honeymoon; we gave them a â‚¬50 note. I don’t resent giving them money, or that amount of money, I’d rather contribute to their honeymoon experience rather than give them something they don’t really need. But, for some reason, I don’t like them knowing how much I gave them- it feels awkward to me, like I’m subconsciously trying to compete, or at least keep up with the Joneses. If I had bought them a gift, I doubt I would have spent â‚¬50 on it, but somehow giving them a â‚¬20 note would have seemed cheap.
Someone told me not too long ago about a system, a website I think, where you can buy people experiences. For example, a couple will sign up for a honeymoon package, and choose all the things they want to do: scuba diving, dinners out, theater dates, whatever. Then people will choose what they want to pay for, and contribute the full amount, or even just part of it.
I like this idea better than just giving them cash. It feels more personal, less mercenary. I know this comes from my father- he refuses to buy people gift certificates for the very same reason!
How do you mark special occasions? Do you give cash? Gifts? Experiences?