Life Advice



Ask Amy: Refusing the list is refusing a gift

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I was raised to not ask for gifts on special occasions such as Christmas, but to instead appreciate whatever someone wishes to give me, including no gift at all.

This means that I don't make gift lists, even when someone asks.

I have been in a relationship with a man for almost a decade. We have one young child, with a second on the way.

His family is a “list” family.

Since the beginning of our relationship, I have expressed I will not partake in this list-making for birthdays and Christmas.

After the first few years, I learned that my partner had been making a list for me behind my back and giving it to them.


I was pretty upset and asked him to stop.

This year I was asked directly again by one of his family members on an entire family group text to provide a list for me and our daughter.

I specifically stated I was raised not to make lists and will be teaching our children the same — so no lists for me or them!

I mentioned that we have many hobbies and like trying new ones.


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