My friend invited me to her sons bar mitzvah and I’m not sure how much to gift. For context, I got to know her about 5 years ago because I was the children’s babysitter. Since then the kids got older and no longer need a babysitter but she and I have remained friends with varying levels of closeness over time. I haven’t seen her son in at least a year and I‘ve probably spent time with her about 5 times in the last year. On top of that she still offers to pay me for my help with certain household things because my full time job pretty much just covers my basic needs. She has always been very generous with me so I don’t want to be cheap here but I also don’t have a lot of expendable income.
To make it extra confusing, the e-invite asked for a donation to a nonprofit org and I was confused about it so I asked her if that was meant to be in lieu of a gift and she replied that “gifts are welcome”.
Any thoughts on what’s appropriate here?