DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it poor etiquette to send family members college graduation announcements for your daughter, when they have sent their children’s graduation announcements and you did not send a gift (for lack of money)?
I am sending them out because we are proud of her, not for her to receive a gift.
GENTLE READER: Did you congratulate those graduates, or did you ignore their announcements? When someone announces a happy occasion, you are supposed to offer them your good wishes.
Announcements are not invoices, as Miss Manners keeps trying to make people understand. There is no need to send presents unless you particularly want to. And you should not presume that your relatives had any different motives than the ones you claim for yourself.
But if you make no response at all, as is sadly often the case nowadays -- thinking that if you needn’t send a present, you have no other obligations -- then you have bought into the idea that announcements are made only for material gain. In that case, it would be disingenuous for you to send them.