Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Online Party Invitations Include Too Much Gift Information

DEAR ABBY: My daughter's third birthday is coming soon, and since the new thing is sending out website-generated invitations, I have noticed that it is becoming common to include the child's interests, clothes/shoe size, etc. in the invitation.

I'm uncomfortable about including this information because I feel a child should be grateful for anything he or she receives as a gift. Am I too old-fashioned or is this tacky? If it is acceptable these days, what's a good way to provide a child's wish list without sounding expectant of anything? -- YOUNG MOM IN SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA

DEAR YOUNG MOM: I appreciate that you want to teach your child good manners and good values. How else are children to learn if their parents don't take the time to explain what they are?

I understand some parents try to save time by including the information you have described along with their party invitations, but frankly, it IS tacky. The parents of prospective guests should reply to the invitation by ASKING what gifts the child would enjoy or can use.

If the invitation was issued online, the question can be asked via texting or email. However, a phone call is more personal and, frankly, more refined.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Holidays & Celebrations