Giving Grads Gifts: How to handle a joint party

Q: I am having a joint party for my 18 year old son’s high school graduation with his best friend. We did a joint invitation with a photograph of both boys on it. My question is: some of the guests that I am inviting are not really friends of the other boy or his parents and I want them to know they are not expected to give the other boy a gift (the party is at the other boy’s house). What can I write on a small note inside the card to get this message across?

A: Those who don’t know the other boy won’t think they need to take a gift for him. The difficulty in your mentioning a gift is that it implies that you expect quests to bring gifts. Most will, but there is not wording that says “you don’t need to bring a gift for him (the other boy)” that doesn’t imply they do need to bring one for your son. Therefore, it is best to leave it unmentioned.

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