gift giving etiquette

by marie
(cincinnati ohio)

Do I have to buy christmas gifts for my son's girlfriend? They live together and have 5 boys.

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Gifts from the Heart
by: Ms P Etiquette

Marie,

I am unclear on the relationships involved. Are the 5 sons your grandchildren? What are their ages? How long have your son and his girlfriend been living together with the children? Are you on good terms with all of them? Do you even know the children?

Here is a rule of thumb, but certainly not a definitive answer without answers to the questions above.

If you see your son for the holiday without the rest of his "family", then you may give him a gift without including his girlfriend if you wish. However, if the children are young and you will be celebrating the holiday with all of them, practical etiquette calls for gifts for the children. Small gifts or gift cards, if you do not know them well, are fine. If your son loves his girlfriend and you love your son, a small gift for her may please him. If she is hosting the get together, bring a gift. Remember, the goal of practical etiquette is to consider the feelings of others before acting. All gift giving should be from the heart. Then sometimes we do it to protect the heart of another.

Good luck,
Ms Practical Etiquette

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