Twin Etiquette - Twin Gift Giving

Should Twins Give Two Gifts?

One Gift or Two from Twins?. Laura Eisenberg/Getty Images

Question: When both of my twins are invited to a friend’s birthday party, should they each bring a gift? 

If you have preschool or school-age twins, they’re likely invited to birthday parties from time to time. Hopefully, both twins are invited to join the fun, as it can be disappointing when only one is invited. However, when both twins are guests at the party, the issue arises of how to handle gift-giving.

Should each twin bring a gift for the birthday child, or is a single gift acceptable?  

Twin Etiquette: Twin Gift Giving

Answer: It depends on the situation. Generally, the answer is yes ... each twin should bring a gift for the birthday child, just as they would if they were two guests who were not twins. They are both attending the birthday celebration, and enjoying the event. The birthday family has expended the cost of entertaining and feeding both twins, and it’s appropriate  that each guest bring a gift. 

However, there are situations where a single gift would be appropriate. Sometimes a gift is given on behalf of the whole family, in which case it would be from both twins.  Or, if the gift is of great value, greater than or equal to the value of two single gifts, it could be from both twins. 

The double gift-giving can certainly be an economic burden, but it’s one of the costs of having twins.

One way that I handled the giving of birthday gifts with my twin girls would be to give them the option to choose how they’d like to present the gift. I would set a budget, for example $20. As we shopped, I would allow them to choose two $10 gifts for the birthday child -- one from each twin -- or a single gift valued at $20.

Of course, sometimes this technique backfired; they couldn’t always agree on a gift! And, this strategy is limited to twins who are old enough to select a reasonable gift. In some cases, this approach led to competition and comparison ... which gift would the birthday girl or boy like better?!?

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