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Monday question: The meaning of a gift

Posted by Robin Abrahams  December 13, 2010 05:35 AM

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Here we go, ladies and gentlemen:

I have a six year old granddaughter who was given a beaded name bracelet by one of her classmates who is a boy. She told us that the young boy said it was a xmas gift and a thank you for helping him with his assignments, but the classroom was not exchanging gifts. How do I get her parents to understand that she should return the bracelet with a "sorry apology" but she cannot accept gifts from boys, especially at such an early age? Can you explain how significant this situation is for her, and how it could effect her acceptance of male affections in her future?

I have an opinion, yes I do, but I'd like to hear your thoughts, as this is the traditional Monday question. I'll post my own ideas, and responses to yours, on Friday. And don't forget, this Wednesday is our last chat of 2010! Only twelve more kvetching days before Christmas!
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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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Curious if you should say "bless you" to a sneezing atheist? How to host a dinner party for carbophobes, vegans, and Atkins disciples—all at the same time? The finer points of regifting? Ask it here, or email missconduct@globe.com.

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