Miss manners 12/26 | The speaker’s review

By Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin


DEAR MISS MANNERS: Three years ago I adopted a vegan lifestyle; My husband doesn’t, but we found a way to live peacefully together. His family knows changing my dietbut they insist on sending us food gifts that I cannot consume.

I made my husband thank them for these gifts, but I kept quiet about it. I’m an excellent thank-you note writer, even when I receive something I can’t use or don’t like. Should I thank the in-laws? for the food I can’t eat? If yes, what should I say?

GENTLE READER: Whether her motive is to taunt you or simply give your husband a reward you think he wouldn’t get otherwise, Miss Manners advises you not to take up the challenge. You don’t even have to acknowledge the gift – your man duly does soas apparently it is meant only for him.

But you may feel that you need to address the fact that they “included” you in the gift. In this case, you would write, “Connor asked me to thank you for sending him the side of beef. We both wish you a happy new year.”

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What does “Creative Formal” mean on a New Year’s Eve party invitation?

GENTLE READER: Probably what we used to think of as “trying too hard”.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve hosted Christmas morning brunch for friends and family for the past 15 years. It is my gift to friends and family for all their support and friendships. Most guests bring a small gift like a bottle of wine or a candle.

This year, a long-time attendee/guest left an envelope with, and not inconsiderably, cash. I am in a dilemma on how to respond as I feel cash is not appropriate guest gift. To be honest, it makes me uncomfortable.

One thought is to donate the money to a charity and let the guest know I did this on their behalf. I would add that the pleasure of their company is all I need for brunch. suggestions?

GENTLE READER: So often these days gifts are substituted for money that your guest might not realize how offensive it is To treat your hospitality as a commercial enterprise. Nevertheless, you should not accept this premise.

Donating the money, commendable as that may be, doesn’t matter; It only accepts the idea that the payment is legitimate and that you can use it as you see fit. Miss Manners advises you to return it with an explanation that you cannot accept the money as this person was your guest.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Suppose a person verbally expresses how much they like a gift, how much they will use it, etc., but never actually says the words “thank you.” Is this considered inappropriate?

GENTLE READER: When the intention is obviously to convey the essence of gratitude and not the formula? No, it’s not wrong. However, Miss Manners finds it inappropriate to invent technical reasons to argue with manifestations of goodwill.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners on her website www.missmanners.com.

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2022/dec/26/miss-manners-1226/ Miss manners 12/26 | The speaker’s review

Brian Ashcraft

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