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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandkids Become the Losers in Parents' War With in Laws

DEAR ABBY: My son will graduate in June from a college in the Northeast. We live way down south. I am sending a few invitations to announce the occasion. No one is expected to make the trip for the event.

If people send only congratulatory cards, is a thank-you in order if no gifts are received? -- GRAD'S MOM

DEAR MOM: You should not send an invitation to anyone you know will not attend the graduation ceremony. To do so would seem like a bid for a gift. Instead, send a graduation announcement. According to "Emily Post's Etiquette": "Recipients of any kind of announcement are not expected to give gifts, though they may want to send a congratulatory note or card."

When someone does something nice for someone else, it deserves to be acknowledged. If your son receives a card congratulating him on his graduation, he should take a moment and drop the sender a note saying, "Thank you for remembering me at this special time in my life."