Al­ways re­mem­ber that old phrase

Antelope Valley Press - - VALLEY LIFE - Dear An­nie An­nie Lane

Dear An­nie: Peo­ple who com­plain about giv­ing gifts and not get­ting one in re­turn should re­mem­ber an old say­ing: If you are giv­ing some­thing and ex­pect­ing some­thing in re­turn, then it is not giv­ing; it is business.

— Good Ol’ Say­ing

Dear Good Ol’ Say­ing: May our read­ers find the plea­sure in giv­ing to oth­ers without ex­pect­ing some­thing in re­turn. That good feel­ing in and of it­self is a gift.

Dear An­nie: A writer asked about giv­ing a gift to some­one who has ev­ery­thing. We think of gift-giv­ing as ex­pen­sive and im­pres­sive. It’s not. The best gift can be some small trin­ket that brings back a happy mem­ory that you shared with a per­son or per­sons.

We spent one Christ­mas on a small for­eign is­land. The only thing open on Christ­mas Eve was a small 7-Eleven store. We made the spend­ing limit $5. It’s hard to find any­thing for that amount, even in a 7-Eleven.

One gift was a small set of Christ­mas tree lights. Back at the mo­tel, my wife broke off a small branch and stuffed it in a cof­fee can. We lit it up. It looked just like the Christ­mas tree in the “Peanuts” comic strip. We had a great Christ­mas and many laughs over the years about our lit­tle tree.

My great­est gift was the last photo of my wife. Al­though she was ex­tremely sick, she sat up and smiled. It now sits on my desk and I look at it ev­ery day and smile. It’s a great way to start a day.

— Great­est Gift

Dear Great­est Gift: I am very sorry about the loss of your wife. What a touch­ing and beau­ti­ful way to honor and re­mem­ber her. It sounds like you had a true love with a true artist. Mak­ing a Christ­mas tree out of a cof­fee can — I love it. Thank you for shar­ing your let­ter.

Dear An­nie: Can you stand one more let­ter about guests help­ing with the cleanup af­ter a meal? I do ap­pre­ci­ate the offer of as­sis­tance, but I have my own ef­fi­cient method for clean­ing up af­ter a meal in my small kitchen.

Guests who in­sist help­ing by clear­ing the ta­ble and putting things wher­ever there’s a bare spot on the counter only com­pli­cate and pro­long the process.

So, dear guests, your sin­cere offers to help will al­ways be ap­pro­pri­ate and ap­pre­ci­ated, but please be gra­cious enough to re­spect your host’s re­sponse if they ask you to re­lax and let them handle it.

— Kitchen Cleanup

Dear Kitchen Cleanup: You sound like a great host. All that your guests have to do is to en­joy them­selves and re­lax.

I’m glad that you ac­knowl­edged and ap­pre­ci­ated their offer to help, but you were clear that you do not need their help and just want them to re­lax.

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