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    Gift-giving question
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    Anon_11642 posted:
    Hi - have a question - I have this friend whom I don't see rarely anymore other than visiting on the phone maybe once or twice a month but we always exchanged gifts - we used to walk together and now we dont due to the fact I joined a health fitness club where I go and work out inside - weather where I live isn't always the best so I don't need to have weather affect me anymore whether I walk or not.

    She has a full-time job and I am retired now - she has an 81-year-old husband that his whole life is her - so on weekends they go shopping and apparently she doesn't need any friends - doesn't participate in anything in our community but anyway -

    What should I do about gift exchange - to me, it's silly - any time I had mentioned to get together she has an excuse - even for lunch - she said her husband doesn't like eating alone.

    I did buy a vase but have another friend I exchange with also whom I talk to and see a lot more. To me, it seems silly to keep this up with gift exchanging when I hardly see her although we have known each other for many years.

    Do I still give to this woman - or I was thinking I will wait and see if she calls me to get together which could be a better plan. I have this vase I can always wrap but if the other friend comes over with a gift for me I can rush and wrap it while she is here and give it to her instead.

    Anyway, just wanted some thoughts about this. Thank you.
    Reply
     
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    DmndLife1984 responded:
    You've got this planned rather well already, as far as what to do in what situation, so go with that.

    Still, I'd think it was silly myself. I knew a girl I'd make plans with, but she blew me off for a controlling man (several states over, no less), which is what this woman seems to be doing with you. I knew another girl who blew off plans with me for a drug habit, but that's getting beside the point, which is if people aren't going to make time for me, even those I've known for a long time, I'm going to get discouraged about giving gifts. Gifts really mean something between two people.

    I used to laugh, very admiringly, at when a woman I cared about admonished someone else for writing Christmas cards to everyone in the office because it was "the right thing to do." She'd seemed to feel that strongly on the subject, and if for no other reason, I agreed with her because of how much effort that would take that could be spent on something more useful.

    Again though, you already have a good plan that covers all the possibilities, and I'd likely go with that myself.
     
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    Anon_11642 replied to DmndLife1984's response:
    I did call this friend to get together today and she acted like she wanted but said she would call tomorrow.

    If we do meet, then I need to say something - I was thinking of saying "you know I don't need anything - should we skip the gift exchange?" I'm hoping she says yes

    But will have to know especially if we get together - I don't want a surprise of a gift and not have my vase wrapped.

    It's all so stupid anyway - thanks for listening.
     
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    DmndLife1984 replied to Anon_11642's response:
    If/when she calls, why not bring it up right there? Save yourself some time.
     
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    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    Your plan sounds good. Depending on how this works out, next year you might consider working the dilemma into a conversation earlier in the season (or some other time, if the opportunity arises) so that you can talk it out or just suggest ahead of time to stop the gift giving.


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