DEAR ABBY: Last year, my sister called with a wonderful suggestion that we all pool our Christmas money given us by our parents and get them a wonderful gift. I was overjoyed.
When I replied, "I'll send the $40 ASAP," she was shocked. I was deeply hurt to find out the distribution of gifts to me and my siblings was as follows: $40, $40, $150, $150 and $200!
My parents are in their mid-70s and still quite vibrant. All of their children are married with small families and mid- to upper-class incomes. I'm 43, their third-oldest, and have been married 11 years. The $40 was unusual, as past gifts have usually been in the $25-$35 range. I had always assumed that my parents, over the years, had been sending all of us the same gift.
Needless to say, since that call from my sister a year ago, I no longer feel the same about my parents. Their favoritism has hurt me deeply. As this Christmas season approaches, please let your readers know that siblings do share information with each other. -- SLAPPED IN THE FACE IN OREGON
DEAR SLAPPED: I'm passing your message along. However, before you cut your parents off at the heartstrings, you should tell them exactly what you have told me. There may have been extenuating circumstances, and they deserve a chance to explain why they chose to be more generous with some of their children than others.