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by Abigail Van Buren

Birthday Invitation Comes With Gift-Giving Instructions

DEAR ABBY: My 9-year-old granddaughter was invited to a birthday party for a friend. The invitation said "cash and gift cards only, please." My daughter bought a card for her daughter and said she would put $20 in it. I'm Scottish; when she told me, I fainted. Then she said she had two $10s and would discuss it with her hubby.

What is an acceptable amount in this case? I'm glad I'm old. I appreciate it if someone still thinks enough of me to send a card. -- SCOTSMAN IN NOVA SCOTIA

DEAR SCOTSMAN: Pass the smelling salts my way, because I, too, was taken aback when I read that a guest had been instructed on what kind of gift to bring to a birthday party. How rude!

Ask your daughter how she arrived at the amount of money she's considering sending as birthday loot. The suggestion on the invitation was only that -- a suggestion. She should determine an amount that suits her budget. That's the amount she should give.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Holidays & Celebrations