I'm currently in a bit of a pickle about gifts. A lot of my friends have been buying and I'm incredibly grateful. One in particular has bought LOADS of things for the baby and it's quite overwhelming. She also said that her bf's mum has bought a lot of the stuff she has given us. I've never met my friend's MIL, but she keeps buying us things. I'm really really really not complaining, it's just that I'm not very good with people and I always feel as if I can't express gratitude appropriately and can find it quite embarrassing. I rely heavily on social protocol when it comes to giving/receiving of gifts and I haven't a clue what to do. Do I buy my friend and her (sort of) MIL something in return? Will they be expecting something in return? or will I be offending them if I do give them a gift? The last thing I want is for anyone to be left with the impression that I am ungrateful for all their kindness, but I just have a feeling that no matter what I do I will end up offending someone
You don't have to give in return, just say thank you. For your friend's MIL I'd suggest sending (via your friend) a thank you card with a photo of the baby, for closer friends I think you can say thank you in person, you don't have to send a card although it is nice if you do.
Yup - a thank-you card sounds about right. Remember to jot down what everyone has sent so you can personalise the cards a bit, i.e.
Dear Aunt Maud, thank-you for the wonderful pink rabbit that you bought for baby. It looks great in the nursery and I'm sure it will become a treasured toy. Blah blah hope you are well, Love from *your names*.