WHAT DO I GIVE TO MY SISTER-IN-LAW WHO ALWAYS GIVES ME CHEAP OR AWFUL PRESENTS?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My sister-in-law always gives everyone else these hugely expensive and elaborate presents and always gives me something insultingly cheap and/or ugly. For years, I always gave her nice presents but I am thinking that I am just going to either get her something cheap like she gets me or nothing at all. Your advice?

–Scrooged (United States)

DEAR SCROOGED:

If you can’t give her anything with love, maybe it’s best to just give her a card. You might also want to consider giving her a present from an organization such as Heifer International (see http://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/index.html). Through Heifer, you can buy, for example, a share of a sheep so that a family can use the wool to make products to sell or clothe themselves.

Another great organization is www.kiva.org, through which you can make a micro-loan of $25 (or more) in her name, or let her choose which person or cause to support with her micro-loan. Once the loan is repaid, it can be loaned to the next person to keep the cycle of positive good going strong.

Otherwise, if she has a pet cause or nonprofit, you can make a donation in her name, spreading the love that way. In this way, you can give with love even when it’s difficult to muster up love for someone that is not always kind or generous with you.

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