“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Dec 21, 2013
DEAR AMY: My parents live in another state. They graciously mailed my 7-year-old daughter some Hanukkah presents. One of these presents was a shirt with a character on it that I happen to know my daughter hates.

To her credit, my daughter's response when she received it was, "Oh, that was nice of them."

Here's my problem: Although I'm proud of her response, I know the shirt will never be worn. Should I try to give the shirt away to someone who would wear it?

If I do, what message am I sending to my daughter? And what should I say to my folks? I love that they are involved in her life and are thoughtful enough to send presents, but it's frustrating that they don't ask me what she likes and doesn't like before they send them. Is there a tactful way to handle this?-- Trying to Be Tactful

DEAR TRYING: The tactful thing to do is to take a page from your young daughter's playbook and see this gift for what it is -- a gift, not a statement.

In your daughter's life, she will receive many gifts; some will be hits, and some will be misses. You don't need to pre-screen or edit gifts on her behalf.

You should enter this shirt into her clothing rotation, and if she doesn't wear it or outgrows it, give it to someone else.

After your daughter (and you) thank your parents, you can say to them, "If you ever want specific suggestions, I'd be happy to try to help. I know this might be challenging from a distance." Otherwise, be grateful this gift isn't a full-length fake fur bunny costume that your folks insist must be worn for the family holiday photo -- and move on.

DEAR AMY: I've been out to the stores with my nieces and nephews, and as children often do when they see something they like, they will say, "Can you get me that for my birthday?"

Never one to miss a teaching opportunity with them, my response is, "Never ask someone to buy you something. If someone asks you what you want for your birthday, feel free to tell them. But never solicit a gift."

And now for my dilemma. I am going to be starting construction on a new home in the next couple of months. Christmas is here, and if anyone is going to get me a gift, the only thing I really need would be gift cards to a home improvement store, so that I can purchase items for the house.

I want to tell family and friends this but feel it would be hypocritical after the sage advice I have given the kids. Can I point people toward what I really want this year?-- Auntie Hypocritical

DEAR AUNTIE: No. Asking for gift cards to your favorite store is like asking for cash. Some families have incorporated specific requests into their holiday giving, but -- dear Auntie -- you don't get to bend your teachable moment to suit your own purposes.

Of course, heavy hinting is allowed. Good luck.

DEAR AMY: I am sitting here stunned. I had been discussing with my good friend via telephone why I didn't want my husband (who has a serious neurological disease) to be exposed to something for long hours that I felt could be detrimental to his health.

She said something like, "To be blunt, isn't he on the way out anyway, so why would it matter?"

I was stunned. I replied that it's hard enough to take care of someone who can't move himself well, and it would be a nightmare to take care of someone in that state who also has cancer.

Should I just drop the friend?-- Stunned

DEAR STUNNED: You should bluntly tell your friend why you are so offended by her remark (the explanation you provided to her at the time was not such a blunt statement).

I suggest something along the lines of, "Your bluntness regarding my husband's condition and prospects was mean-spirited. I was quite shocked when you said that; now I'm just sad."

Then you should drop her. Frankly, based on this report, the friendship seems irredeemable.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#6 Dec 21, 2013
3- No rehash?

Your friend has a point. If this activity is something he would enjoy, he should get as much enjoyment as he can. Or should he live out the last of his days strapped to a bed?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#7 Dec 21, 2013
L1: I disagree with Amy that you should say anything unless they ask. It sounds like they did a fine job overall, just one "miss." And maybe your daughter will want to wear it because it is from them.

L2: if people ask you, be honest. I would want my money spent on you to be done in a way that helps you. I'd be happy to get you a gift card to home despot.

L3: wow. I have nothin'. My comfortability is all I have.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#8 Dec 21, 2013
1: Sounds like daughter was right just fine...don't overdo it.

2: Ha! Snap. At least you know you'd be a hypocrit.

3: While technically right, IF this is an exact quote, how insensitive! And I'm one of the coldest people I know saying this! Appalling...

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#9 Dec 21, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
And I'm one of the coldest people I know
And you're one of the HOTTEST people *I* know!
:p
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#10 Dec 21, 2013
LW1: Good job, your daughter handled this very graciously. There's no need to over think this. Put the shirt in the closet or in a drawer and give it away next year when she outgrows it. And say nothing to your folks.

LW2: Hinting is totally allowed, but in the end, you need to be as gracious as the 7 year old in L1.

LW3: Wow. That was a very rude, insensitive, thoughtless, tactless, and cold-hearted thing to say. I would have a hard time forgetting and forgiving that. I would definitely let her know how deeply her words cut and suggest she work very hard on improving her tact and compassion.
Interior Decorator

Buffalo, NY

#11 Dec 21, 2013
Dearest Amy,
My mangina is still gaping from this year's office Christmas party at the interior decorating firm I work at. What is the best advice on how to get it to close up quicker?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#12 Dec 22, 2013
1 How did you raise a daughter with more class than yourself. Oh, and real first world problem you got there lady.

2 Team Cunzel.

3 While I agree your friend is a dolt, you really should ask your husband if he wants to go to a NASCAR race.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#13 Dec 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
And you're one of the HOTTEST people *I* know!
:p
Dork...Merry Christmas.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#14 Dec 24, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
Dork...Merry Christmas.
And a cheery winter solstice festivus to you!

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