DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister regularly gives a donation to a charity in my kids’ names in lieu of a gift for birthdays and Christmas. Usually they thank her, but last time they didn’t, and she was upset.
Do you think a thank-you is required in this instance? She picks the charity. Not that this should matter, but these are college kids who don’t have much money.
GENTLE READER: The theory being that time is money and they are not currently in possession of either? Or more likely that if they received the money directly, they would be more inclined to thank your sister for it?
Presents should always be acknowledged. And while Miss Manners is in agreement that a charitable donation is not really a present when it is of the giver’s choosing, a thank-you in this case is not only polite, but could also help drive that point home: “It was so kind of you, as always, to put our names on your favorite charity. While I still do not know much about this particular one, I look forward to one day finding a cause that similarly speaks to me.”