DEAR HARRIETTE: With school coming to an end, my friends and I are planning on having a gift exchange. We divided up the names using a website, which also has a feature where you can make a wish list to help with gift ideas. The person I am assigned to give gifts has made quite an extensive wish list, mainly composed of various expensive items. We were given a price limit, but all of the items exceed that amount. I do not want to spend more money than I have to on her gift, but at the same time I want to get her something that she will like. What should I do? -- Beyond My Reach, Jackson, Mississippi
DEAR BEYOND MY REACH: Do not go over budget. Instead, use your friend's ideas as inspiration. Think about what she may like that is similar to her wish list but more affordable. If that doesn't work, just think about her in general. What does she gravitate toward? What are her quirky interests? You may be able to come up with something fun that will put a smile on her face, but that has nothing to do with her actual list.
What's most important is for you not to feel compelled to spend more money than was agreed upon in order to fulfill her unreasonable requests. Add a beautiful card with a handwritten sentiment about the future, and wish her well.