Annie Lane: Birthday gifts have an age limit

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Dear Annie: This letter is in reference to the aunt and uncle who provided generous gifts to their six nephews, only to be forgotten when it came time for those same nephews to thank them.

I would suggest that they do what I have done with my 20 grandchildren: I’ll give them birthday cards and gifts until age 18. At that time, I let them know that their 18th gift is their last birthday gift, but that I will always love them and give them a birthday card thereafter; then, for Christmas, they receive a card and gift until their 21st birthday, which is then their last gift.

Again, I let them know that I love them and will continue to send a card after their 21st Christmas.

This way, once they are adults, I am free from what could begin to feel like an obligation. The joy they feel as children when receiving a gift is my joy as well, but once they are adults, it is now their turn to be generous to others.

— Generous but

Practical Grandma

Dear Generous but Practical: I love your observation that it is a joy to give. That is so true. Oftentimes, it feels better to give than to receive, and your letter touched upon this important feeling. Thanks for letting us know how you handle the issue of giving gifts early and cards as the kids get older.

• • •

Dear Annie: To the parents whose daughter got married before the planned wedding and then sent out printed postcard announcements.

My daughter and her (now) husband also got married in August before their November wedding for insurance coverage.

I thought it was practical and well thought-through. Would I have liked to be there? Sure.

But the wedding reception was a blast! Little did my daughter know that her grandparents did the same thing in 1941 during World War II! I’m guessing that “Feeling Left Out’s” daughter didn’t call to let them know because she didn’t want to hear anything negative. Be happy the newlyweds are happy. Enjoy the reception and dance!

— Happy With

What I Got

Dear Happy: I love your letter. You looked at the bright side of the situation and focused on all of the blessings that resulted out of their marriage.

• • •

Dear Annie: The parents who felt slighted by how they were informed that their daughter had eloped were not upset that she had eloped; they simply felt a postcard from their own daughter was impersonal to say the least. The parents seemed perfectly understanding that she eloped and indicated it several times. I have to say that our daughter eloped with her husband for military reasons, and if they would have sent us a postcard (regardless if sent first, considering there is still no certainty we’d receive it before others in the postal service), we would have given them an earful. With today’s technology and speed of communication, there should never be an excuse given to parents or children, for that matter, in not making a simple, courteous call to inform them of a wonderful event in your life.

— Call Us First, Please

Dear Call Us First: Thank you for offering your perspective.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.