General Etiquette > Family and Children

The proper way to refuse a gift (update #19, 56)

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Donate the gift  and send a thank you. Any unpleasantness of saying thank you should then be mitigated by the thought that the gift will make someone else happy who doesn't know about the bad karma.

Hi all - brief update - DH and I are calling "gift-watch" to an end as of today.  Meaning - we're both pretty confident nothing is coming, which is definitely for the best.

DH is understandably upset at the situation, but I think he's happy not to have a catalyst to a new issue this quickly and for FIL and SMIL not to have anything new they can complain about (since even the black hole option would've created a 'no thank you card' rumor for a little while).

Thank you all for the advice - I know sometimes it can seem anticlimactic when an etiquette scenario doesn't come to pass and the advice isn't directly used, but I just wanted to say that knowing what the options were and having time time to think and make a real decision about what to do was incredibly calming for my DH.  He really felt trapped - thinking it would come and we'd have to respond in some effusive way to a man he's come to view as emotionally abusive.  Hearing that there are etiquette-approved ways to step back and have a boundary set up was really helpful for him.

So -- despite no direct application of the advice -- thank you for it.  I just wanted to make sure everyone knows that it does help, even if it isn't put into practice.

I love to hear all updates :)  Best of luck.

Really, in this case, no news is good news.

It's heartening to hear that your MIL is helping out so much behind the scenes.

Unfortunately we called "gift watch" too early.  A couple days ago we got a card in the mail from FIL and SMIL with a check enclosed.

The card was unsigned and the check was accompanied by a typed note that says the following:

"Please find enclosed your wedding gift.  We always present our children with a cash gift upon their marriage.  Changes at my job this year caused our having to delay this gift until now.  We apologize for the lateness.  Congratulations.

Dad and [SMIL]"


I have given up avoiding e-hell on this one.  DH is livid and cannot be talked down from sending the gift back.  I'm just trying to do damage control and minimize the rudeness of his response... he has simply reached a point of feeling like his father has gotten away with too much in regards to our wedding to accept a gift and move on without saying something.

I got him to stop and think about it for a few days (we are on day four at this point), but he hasn't wavered.  He is, thankfully, listening to some advice in terms of phrasing instead of just writing a nasty-gram with the check folded up inside.

Thank you all for listening and for the advice... even knowing we're about to be cast into e-hell, I promise to update and let people know how it turns out...


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