DEAR ABBY: I recently received a cash gift from my mother. We are not close and rarely communicate. Being her daughter, I assume she loves, and likes, me. I cannot claim to share those feelings.
I am not in need of money. I have a decent income, but she doesn't know how much I earn. She likely needs the cash more than I do. Is there a way I can give it back to her without hurting her feelings? If not, how do I accept this gift that I do not want? -- GUILTY NEW YORKER
DEAR GUILTY: Not knowing your mother, I can't guess why she gave you this money or what her financial situation is. Because you are afraid you will make an already fragile relationship even more delicate if you return the money, the prudent thing to do would be to graciously thank her for it -- perhaps in a written note. Because accepting her gift makes you feel guilty, consider putting the money aside just in case at some point she may need it in the future.