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Mountains of Birthday Gifts Are Too Much for Concerned Mom

DEAR ABBY: My daughter will turn 6 soon, and she is a lovely, wonderful child. The only thing is, my parents and I have spoiled her a tad.

Holidays have always been celebrated with lots of gifts. I'm starting to worry that perhaps she's becoming too materialistic. What's the proper etiquette for requesting no gifts on her birthday invitations? And how do I respond if they ask why? -- SPOILED IN WASHINGTON

DEAR SPOILED: I don't think it's necessary to state on the invitation "no gifts." There are ways to teach children that there are other, less-fortunate children in this world.

One way would be to volunteer at an organization that serves the underprivileged so your daughter can see for herself how lucky she is. Another would be to do as some other parents do: Mention on the birthday invitation that any gifts will be donated to a cause you and your daughter agree upon. And if you are asked why, be honest and upfront about it.

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