Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Rules Change, But Gratitude Doesn’t

DEAR MISS MANNERS: On occasion, I have given gifts to friends who then promptly mention to whom they will give my gift, or they actually give my gift to another person in my presence, immediately. I have said nothing. What, if anything, should I have done?

GENTLE READER: Cross them off your list.

When someone announces an intention to regift your offering, Miss Manners suggests putting out your hand and saying, “I didn’t mean to burden you; I’ll just take it back.” If the item is brazenly handed to someone else in your presence, you might say, “Sorry, I hadn’t thought to get you a present, but I hope you enjoy it.”

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)