Apologies if it's a silly question but I am from a different country and therefore culture and so would be keen to learn about British gifts etiquette if there is one.

In particular, a nice middle-class guy living on our street kindly invited his neighbours, including my wife and I, to celebrate his 60th birthday. What is a typical budget in such situations? And what sort of gift would be the best option?

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    Hello! I think there may very well be an etiquette for gift giving, but I don't think asking for gift recommendations is really about Interpersonal Skills. If you could [perhaps] edit to focus solely on the etiquette of gift giving? And could you include a little detail on the relationship you have with your neighbor? Are you close friends or not really talking all that often (I get the impression you don't know about his hobbies or interests)? How long have you been living in the same neighborhood, would there be other neighbors you could approach on this, for example to buy a gift together?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Jun 23, 2018 at 13:26

1 Answer 1


This is not a silly question. Most british people would not expect anything other than a bottle of wine maybe, and a card.

Something of around £20 if it fits the personality of the person, will also work but for a neighbour this would almost be impossible to gauge.

A safe answer is to talk to their wife, and find out the kind of things that might fit. Some people have a birthday list etc. and some simply do not want anything, because they have everything they need and do not want to hassle of people choosing and failing to find things.

A few weeks ago we went to a friends 60th who specifically did not want anything.

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    The 20 pound budget is completely based on the relationship he has with his neighbour.
    – user2848
    Jun 25, 2018 at 9:22
  • Also based on what kind of food and drink will be served at the birthday party :-)
    – gnasher729
    Jun 26, 2018 at 15:54

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