2/3/2021 7:57:00 AM Family members don't say thank you for Christmas money
DEAR HARRIETTE: I gave all of my nieces and nephews money for Christmas, mainly because we weren't going to be able to see one another. I figured it was an efficient way to give them gifts. Plus, they are old enough to want to choose how to spend their money themselves. Of the six teenagers I sent money to, only two said thank you. I kid you not! I don't mean a thank-you note. I mean anything. I didn't hear boo from the others. I know they got the money because I sent it directly into their accounts. Two of them had to set up the delivery system so that they could even receive the money, which they did with help from their sister -- and still they didn't say thank you. I am surprised at just how rude they were. Do you think I should say something, or maybe just not give them a gift next year? I worry that if I wait until next Christmas, though, they probably won't even remember -- if they even realize it now. -- No Thank You
DEAR NO THANK YOU: This is your family, so you have the right to double back and talk to them about this. Contact each one directly. Check in to see how they are doing as this new year has begun. Ask if they received the money that you sent them for Christmas. When they respond affirmatively, ask them why they did not acknowledge receipt. Then tell them that it was rude to say nothing after receiving your gift and that you are offended by their bad manners. Teach them that in the cycle of giving and receiving, acknowledgment is the very least that they should do when receiving a gift. Expressing gratitude should be an action they cultivate. Make sure they know that.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My mom is elderly and having a lot of difficulty these days. I have confided in a few friends about her condition. Several of these friends check in periodically to see how things are going. One friend calls me once or twice a week. It's way too much. I appreciate the concern, but I have no interest in giving him a blow-by-blow of my mother's condition. I know he is trying to show that he cares for me and my mom, but this is over the top. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I need him to chill. Should I say something or just be less available when he calls? I'm having a hard time coping with the stress of dealing with my mother's illnesses. I don't have the bandwidth to manage this friend who means well but is overwhelming. -- Too Much Support
DEAR TOO MUCH SUPPORT: I'm sorry about your mother's failing health and your challenges with managing concerned loved ones. It's all tough for you. Remember that this friend means well, even though his overtures are overwhelming. Next time he calls, thank him for checking in, and let him know that you can't talk right now. Suggest that you talk in a week or so. Offer that you will check in with him if there are any changes. If he persists in calling too often, let the call go to voicemail when you are not up for talking. It is not rude of you to manage your time and energy.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.