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A selfless soul suggests:

Every year at Christmas, my husband and I trade pleasant, but ultimately useless, gifts with his family.  Things like scarves, gloves and throw blankets – things we each already have. Now, I genuinely like his parents (mine have passed away), but this last year they did something I think is really great.  They didn’t give us anything.  They gave a donation to an orphanage to buy school supplies and toys for the children there, and we simply shared a meal.  They told us of their intention, and it wasn’t like they gave it in our name or anything – that’s unnecessary, of course.  But I just thought it was a really great gesture.


I think it’s a really great gesture, too, and one deserving of a thank you note.

Tell your in-laws what you just told me.  Leave out the part where you think their former presents are useless…say something like, you were always so thrilled with their presents, but selfishly, and now you’re inspired by the sharing of their abundance with those truly in need. You might even offer, should you be so inclined, to add your own contribution, or to support a cause of you own.  Oh, I do hope this idea catches on.

Thank them for the meal, too.


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