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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Miss Conduct

Advice on gift giving

How to make ‘no gifts, please’ work. Plus, when to say “thank you” for a thank you gift.

>At my annual holiday parties, I ask guests to bring donations for a local food pantry, and they are always generous. I’m also planning a 60th birthday party for myself in 2013. I don’t need or want gifts, but people often feel obligated to bring something anyway. Can I say on the invitation that I don’t want gifts, but if they must, I would appreciate a donation to the food pantry? How should I word this?

W.P. / Jamaica Plain

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