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In summary: Judaism cannot tell you precisely when gift-giving is appropriate or inappropriate, or how much to spend on bridal gifts – those answers depend on social and economic contexts.
But Judaism can help you develop a checklist that will empower you to make thoughtful decisions about gift-giving.
One Jewish understanding of the purpose of Creation is that G-d wanted to express His generosity, to give to an Other, and Jewish tradition frequently describes the Torah as a gift.
Jewish tradition also recognizes that gifts can engender unhealthy as well as healthy competition; create dependency; embarrass the recipient and other gift-givers; create unwanted obligations to reciprocate; and raise expectations falsely.
So much the more so should a person who lives a Jewish life avoid implying these things.
If you value someone you are dating to the extent that you wish to provide them with extravagant or elaborate gifts, it is probably time to consider whether you want to live your life with them and build a home together.
Gifts given during dating are often a beautiful expression of a relationship’s development, but they can also make the recipient feel compelled to demonstrate an affection that has not (at least not yet) actualized.
Jewish law concretizes this concern by raising the possibility that a gift in the context of romance may be intended and received – however monetarily - as a token of marriage, such that the couple may require a divorce.
Birthdays were not traditionally celebrated by Jews (although whether it is permissible is debated, and rabbis have come down on both sides of the matter) at all.
Cain is disappointed in G-d, and jealous of Abel, and the result of course is fratricide.
None of this generates clear mechanical rules for gift-giving.
Many of these straddle the blurry line between charitable donation and present, but on Purim, there is an explicit mandate to send gifts of food to even wealthy friends and neighbors.
Gift-giving can exemplify gemilut chassadim = acts of graciousness or lovingkindness and symbolize and concretize the profoundest depths of relationship, and as such fulfill the central religious obligation to imitate G-d’s ways.
I applaud your recognition that gift-giving involves serious ethical issues, and that Judaism may have important guidance to offer about those issues. Judaism applauds or even mandates gift-giving in a variety of contexts.