Life Advice



Ask Amy: New friendship takes an asexual turn

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Both my husband and I get anxious as we see pumpkins appearing in shops.

You see, both of our children have late-November birthdays.

They are the only grandchildren/nieces on both sides of our families.

Neither of our families live local to us, so beginning in mid-November, we start to feel a tidal wave of gifts entering our lives.

Last year, both kids ended up with STUFFED bedrooms and a mountain of toys in the playroom by the end of the holiday season.

It was completely overwhelming.


We have decided that in our immediate family, we are going to have birthdays and a Christmas that is more focused on experiences and less focused on gift-giving this year.

My question is: Is there a polite way to encourage our extended family to do the same?

I am not blaming them for our clutter problem, but would love to somehow discourage the tidal wave, especially because it has been such a big project digging out and it feels really good to be more organized.

What do you suggest?


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