Dear Annie: My husband is friends with a couple from college with whom we have exchanged Christmas cards and graduation announcements over the past 25-plus years. They have three sons, all of whom we sent a card and money to when they graduated from high school. However, when our daughter graduated in May, they sent nothing – not even a card. They are in great financial shape, so it is not a monetary issue. This has bothered me for months. I expect their Christmas card to arrive soon, and I really want to send it back either refused/”return to sender” or with a note saying how hurt we were by their failure to acknowledge our daughter’s graduation. My husband thinks it would be sufficient to just throw the card away and not send them one. I feel that they need to know that we are upset about it, especially as he thinks it is the wife who was responsible and the husband may not even know. I would appreciate your suggestions. – Slighted
Dear Slighted: Just because you sent their children graduation gifts doesn’t mean they were obligated to do the same for yours. A gift given with strings attached is really just a trap. Also, there are plenty of benign explanations for their not sending a gift. Maybe they’re not so well-off as you think (we never know what goes on behind closed doors), or maybe they just forgot. Regardless, I urge you to try to find the grace within yourself to let this go. Retaliation is for war, not friendship. Send them that Christmas card, and put this behind you. I have a feeling you’d feel better for it in the long run.
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