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by Abigail Van Buren

Family's Apartment Is Too Small for Large-Scale Children's Toys

DEAR ABBY: I was wondering what the rule of etiquette is when it comes to unwanted children's gifts. It's one thing if my husband and I receive gifts we don't want and get rid of them, but I'm not sure what to do with gifts for our kids.

We live in a small apartment and sometimes get large-ticket items we don't have room for. We've asked our family to keep the items small, but some of them ignore our request. A few times we've sold the items and put the money into our child's bank account. But we aren't sure that is the best way.

Also, what do we do when family sends our children stuff we don't want them to have? Some may be inappropriate, broken or junk. My in-laws have little to no interaction with our kids, and this is the only way they've chosen to make their presence known. We are reluctant to discard the only attention our kids get from their grandparents. What is the right thing to do? -- NO MORE GIFTS IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR NO MORE GIFTS: Because you have made your wishes known to the grandparents and they are ignored, you and your children should thank them for their gifts -- and you should continue repurposing items that are too large for your dwelling or unusable. Do not feel guilty for doing so because someone else may be better able to put them to use.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Money | Family & Parenting