Q: Our daughter is getting married soon. The cost for the wedding is close to $100,000. Are we, as parents, supposed to give a wedding gift in addition to paying for the wedding?
A: Congratulations on your daughter's upcoming wedding. While in some families and cultures, the parents do give a tangible gift to the bridal couple, other families and cultures feel the wedding itself is enough.
This means it is completely your choice. Since you asked, I do recommend a token gift, something your daughter and her new mate can hold, point to, or use and say, "This was a wedding gift from my parents."
You need not run off to the mall. If you have any family heirlooms, something you brought out every holiday or something from her childhood home that is symbolic of familial love, that would make a lovely and thoughtful wedding gift.
Q: I moved to a new neighborhood about 10 years ago. Since that time, I have been asked to buy cookies, attend galas, support candidates, sponsor walk-a-thons and make donations.
Some of these are annual events, and I give repeatedly. Well, last year I found an organization I wished to sponsor and have been contacting these neighbors. It has been truly eye-opening to see how many have declined. Politely, but declined.
Yesterday, one of these neighbors who has been asking for years, and who declined to donate to my chosen organization, came around to ask me again for her cause. When I declined, she said, "But you have been donating for years." I said I was pooling my funds for the charity I had selected. I was shocked she did not make the connection. Should I have been more explicit with her?
What should I say when those who declined to donate come around again for their causes?