The Updated Mitzvah Gift Giving Guide

This is the year. The year of the Bar Mitzvah madness. I re-read my Gift Giving Guidelines and realized it needed a major update!!!  So here is the new and updated guide! These numbers are not a hard and fast rule. They are also figures I didn’t pulled out of the sky. I asked A LOT of friends and neighbors. The gifts people are giving in Livingston NJ may not be the same as in Austin, Texas. It’s also a reason I may be homeless next year. This is just a GUIDE. It goes without saying you give what you can! The Mitzvah is a about the celebration and not about the gift but people asked, so I asked and this is what I was told:



  • a friend – $36 ($54-$100 if its a close friend and parents not invited)
  • a camp friend – $54-72 (Long Island peeps tend to give $72)
  • if your child can’t go – $18 (UNLESS it’s a good friend $36)
  • you and your spouse (no kids)$300, $318, $354 (depending on level of friendship) (or def $318 if your kids should have been invited and weren’t!)
  • you and your spouse with 1 kid – $318,$354, $372, $400 (depending on level of friendship)
  • you and your spouse with 2 kids – $400-$500 (unless its totally random and you have no idea why your kids were invited $354)
  • you and your spouse with 3 kids – $500
  • 4+ kids (good luck, maybe try not to get invited…just kidding) $500+
  • your BFF – $418-518 (with your family)
  • Single Parent – you and your child $$218-254, you and your two kids $$272-318, you and your three kids $354,$372,$400 (depending on friendship)
  • Grandparents – as much as you can 🙂
  • B’nai Mitzvah – DOUBLE ($36 each kid – two separate checks  if kid going, family of 3, $300 each (so yes a total of $600), family of 4, $400 each, family of 5, $500 each, ETC)
  • Couple invited but can’t go $218,$254

Hope this helps!

Agree/Disagree? Thoughts? (please comment below). I would love to know your thoughts.

I also learned a new thing this year. Apparently if just your kid is invited, you send the gift (as in check) back in the RSVP! This saves time, a card AND no issue of your kid losing the card.  But if bringing a card, I found a WAY better way to make gift giving easy! Personalize your own Mitzvah Money Card Holders! They come in sets of 25 cards and available in Lulu’s Store – starting at $60 for 25 cards.



Also, I jumped on it when I saw it – the The tween must-have bag to wear to the Mitzvah’s this year is the Jelly Bag. Perfect size for the girls cellphones! They LOVE them!

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-5-43-29-pm screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-5-40-41-pm screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-5-40-32-pm

$39 JELLY BAG IN BLACK, PINK and ROYAL BLUE with gunmetal hardware. 

Or another fave for the girls is the heart clutch! Super cute!


$45 Love Clutch in Lulu’s Store



p.s would love to hear your thoughts on gift gifting!


Share Your Thoughts

  1. Carol

    This is very interesting. I went through the Bar/Bat Mitzvah phase about 15-18 years ago. I would have loved this guide. It would be really great if you would do the same guide for weddings, although I know this is not your readership. I am finding it very difficult to figure out how much to give or how much to spend on a registry item.
    Possible Categories:
    Destination wedding (hotel stay with airfare)
    Was shower hostess but still need to buy a gift
    Already gave engagement gift and shower gift
    Whole family invited
    For my grown kids:
    single person attending friend’s wedding
    single person with a “plus-one” invite

    Weddings are a lot more complicated and a lot more expensive, so it’s hard to know what host/hostess/bride/groom’s expectations are.

    September 11, 2016 • 8:22 pm •
  2. pamb

    Here in the Midwest, I’d say that the gift giving is… lower key.

    But I will say that just about every kid who sent their check ahead of time did so as a separate card (really, their mom did, of course). I was told that it’s ‘not as nice’ to send the check in the RSVP because it looks like you were trying to avoid buying a stamp and card.

    Kids who already had their Bar Mitzvah usually used their Thank You stationery to write a personal note instead of a card.

    September 11, 2016 • 9:57 pm •
  3. Israel bonds can be used as the perfect gift, starting at just $36!

    September 11, 2016 • 10:25 pm •
  4. Anonymous

    Thoughts on if you are invited as a family but can’t go.

    September 12, 2016 • 12:23 pm •
  5. Anonymous

    What about when you decline the invite!!!!!!!

    September 12, 2016 • 4:56 pm •
  6. Interested

    I have been invited to services with lunch immediately following and not the night party (which is reserved for kids and family). What is the appropriate amount for a day only invite? Thank you so much for this post!

    September 12, 2016 • 5:03 pm •
  7. Anonymous

    This list bothers me so, so much, on so many levels. There is no cut and dried monetary formula for celebrating a happy event with a family. Every family has different economic constraints, beliefs and feelings about what an appropriate fight should be (and it might not even be money!!!!).

    September 14, 2016 • 4:07 pm •
  8. Amy

    Re-read the beginning. There is no cut and dry list. This is not titled this is what you have to give or should give. I clearly said I asked around and this is what people kept saying they were giving so I compiled a list of what people were giving in my town. Use it if it’s helpful and don’t if it’s not.

    September 14, 2016 • 5:03 pm •