DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter was 7.5 months pregnant when the ultrasound relayed that her baby had passed away. Her baby shower was around the corner, and we have many gifts here.
I am wondering, what is the protocol? My husband and I would like to keep the gifts as an encouragement to our daughter for the future. Some have already told me to keep the gift. Do I ask each person, or does my daughter just send thank-you notes?
GENTLE READER? The former. Your daughter doesn't (and shouldn't) have to express thanks for presents she has not received. Please spare her the pain of explaining the situation to each person.
Since you will need to cancel the shower anyway, tell each guest that you will make arrangements to return the presents. If they decline the offer (which they likely will do, but you cannot suggest it), then you may keep them tucked away for future use.
But Miss Manners begs you not to tell your daughter of your plan. It is unlikely that the prospect of receiving presents will be an effective -- or tactful -- way to encourage her to try again.