Lodi News-Sentinel

Gifts go unapprecia­ted — again


Dear Annie:

Each year, I send my sister’s three adult children gifts. The youngest does not thank me unless prompted. My two questions are: Isn’t this rude? And should I cease sending her a gift?

I usually text all three sisters to let them know something is on the way. For the last few years, I have not gotten a response from the youngest unless I poke and prod, asking if it was received. Year after year, I tell myself I won’t get her anything the following year because she simply comes off as unapprecia­tive. I really don’t think I should be asking repeatedly if my gifts for her arrived.

In 2022, she got married. She had a small civil ceremony, so extended family wasn’t included; however, we were informed there would be a larger ceremony once she’s done with school. I didn’t send a wedding gift but instead sent a personaliz­ed gift for their first Christmas as a married couple.

I ordered something simple but had it personaliz­ed with their names and wedding date. The gift was shipped. I informed my niece it would be on the way but heard nothing back. The gift was delivered — no word. I texted and asked that they just let me know it got there, thinking they’d open it on Christmas. No word for a full 24 hours.

During this time, my sister let me know a gift was arriving for my 12-year-old daughter and to let her know when it arrives. This was my opportunit­y to state that I had texted her daughter but had not received a response. Fifteen minutes later, my niece texts “thank you” and nothing else. To which my reply was, “I don’t want to spoil the contents but I hope it’s pretty.” And her reply was, “We opened it last night, and it’s beautiful.”

Annie, I am deeply hurt. It wasn’t expensive,

it wasn’t laid in gold or something out of the ordinary, but it was personaliz­ed, and it was sent to her. Should I officially stop sending her gifts now? — Tired of Asking Dear Tired of Asking:

No, you should not stop sending her gifts. It is understand­able that you are hurt, but you are setting a lot of expectatio­ns of exactly how you would like the gift to be received. Ask yourself why you gave her the gift. Was it to make her and her new husband very happy, or was it to get a huge thank you and be acknowledg­ed for all your hard work?

Imagine how much simpler it would be if you just accepted your niece for who she is and accepted the text as enough of a thank you and an acknowledg­ment. Your niece is not your child. You can remind your daughter to send a handwritte­n thank-you note, which I personally think is always a good idea. But your niece’s way of saying thank you in a text is her way of doing it, and you would be a lot happier if you just accepted her way.

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