This was a post I started months ago, but never really put into it more than a few thoughts...so today I decided to clean it up a bit, and push it out.
In life, you give a lot of things, and get little in return...however, there are some things, that I think need to be returned, or at least thought out a little better.
Some of these include:
We give presents and/or money to people when they get engaged and/or married, to help them with their new lives.
What happens if God forbid it doesn't work out?
Should they have to then give back whatever it is they received? Or maybe next time they get engaged/married, you don't give them anything? But what if the other side took the gift you gave...now it's like you gave them nothing.
As such, I only give gifts as wedding presents. For starters, they shouldn't be needing that pot set, or whatever other gift you are giving, until after they are married. Unless of course you are giving cash...in which case they will need that before marriage, but all the more-so after they are married.
Always ask before you give these...the parents get sooooo many items, that they just can't use.
For example, how many onesies do you think they need for a newborn? It's great that you got them another one, but by the time they get around to it, (s)he will be up to the next size already.
Similarly for toys. When the child is at a young age, the parents choose which toys the kid gets, and its usually the same one over and over...as it is generally the one sitting closest to the child when (s)he starts crying.
As for electronic toys...as Jews you should think smarter. Shabbos and YT are some of the hardest times to keep a child entertained, and these toys are next to useless.
So find out what it is the parents need the most, and get that!
Sometimes even a free gift works, such as you watching the kid for a night, so that parents can get that much needed night out.
This one is a load of baloney.
I've helped many friends move. And maybe gained a slice of pizza or two in return.
But this isn't done for the reward. It's done for the friendship.
However, I did have one set of friends who I helped move completely into a fourth floor walk-up...and then they decided to move to Israel a few weeks later, making all my work completely useless.
So people, do us all a favor...move yourselves, and ask for help on that last day, for the big items.
No one wants to be wrapping your silverware in paper towels and packing your items.
That's your job.