Gifts

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In my family, giving a knife as a gift is considered super bad luck. When we get one, we immediately "pay" the giver a coin or, the superstition goes, we risk severing the relationship between giver and givee. Of course, we also have weird traditions about petting this wooden dog statue at my cousins’ house every time we pass it and referring to ginger ale as "pinger pale," so what do we know.

But as it turns out, people unrelated to me also believe in this knife thing. Wedding and etiquette websites, in particular, are full of advice about this, and I even found some wacky "it’s true; it happened to me!" stories about relationships ended because of a knife gift. No offense, people, but maybe it just wasn’t that great a gift. I mean, I love my santoku and my Swiss Army knife, but there are occasions when opening a fancy-wrapped box and finding a knife inside would be underwhelming or downright creepy.

Do you believe giving a knife as a gift is bad luck? What other gift or wedding superstitions do you follow?  Do you think there’s a chance this whole "pinger pale" thing will take off?