DEAR ABBY: My husband's stepmother and father send religious-themed gifts for every holiday. We have an abundance of unused books, DVDs, stickers, coloring books, dolls, bookmarks, etc., purchased from local Christian stores for a hefty price.
We don't see them often during the year because we live in different states, but we would like our kids to have a good relationship with them. The kids don't seem to be fazed by it, but they also don't get excited about opening and using these gifts.
We pay for our children to participate in religious education as well as attend several church functions during the school year. We believe grandparents should be interested in learning about what each child is drawn to, and not so much about preaching their own religious beliefs to us. It makes us uncomfortable and resentful at times.
How does one politely tell in-laws to stop sending religious-themed gifts? -- OVERLOADED IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR OVERLOADED: One doesn't. A better way to handle it would be to communicate with them in between these holidays and tell them what activities the grandkids are involved in, and any new interests they may have. A stronger hint than that would be offensive, and I don't recommend it.
As to what to do with the unused items -- donate them.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics