DEAR MISS MANNERS: My friends' kids always ask for gifts or say, "You didn't give me a gift" for their birthdays or Christmas. This is done while their moms are present, and they don't say anything.
How do I ask my friends to tell their kids that it's rude to ask people for gifts?
GENTLE READER: Never mind the mothers, who are obviously not going to teach them manners.
Miss Manners suggests responding directly and pleasantly to the children with, "Why -- were you planning to give me one?"
Their astonishment should give you the opportunity to explain politely that giving presents is voluntary and generally expected to be reciprocal.