Metro-East Living

What to do about returned Christmas baby dress? A quandary

Q. I sent an early Christmas present to my granddaughter for my newly arrived great-granddaughter the last week in November. I called her after I sent it and asked her to please open the package as soon as she got it because it was a little Christmas dress for the new baby to be worn at Christmas time. I asked her to please send me some pictures with her wearing the dress. She said she would have her wear it for Christmas and also for a photo session she had coming up. I was so excited and she seemed to be as well.

Yesterday in the mail I received this package form my granddaughter and inside was the little dress I had sent her. Her note said she had misplaced the package and didn’t find it until after Christmas. She was therefore sending it back to me to return it. She said, “If you want to send me money instead, I’ll go out and buy her a little dress for Easter.”

Needless to say, I was disappointed, very disappointed. Not only that, I had thrown away the receipt for the dress shortly after Christmas. I’m not about to go back to the store and try to “haggle” for my money back without a receipt and without a pricetag on the dress. Without a sales receipt, I would only get the discounted price of the dress at this point anyway. I am also disappointed that my granddaughter would ask me to send money instead of another dress. Wasn’t that a bit bold of her? She didn’t even apologize.

A. You are definitely not obligated to send another gift at this time, or a gift card, or a check just because your granddaughter appears to be inconsiderate, irresponsible and of the opinion “money grows on trees in your backyard.” Yes, it was bold of her, to say the least, to ask for another gift and definitely rude and very ill-mannered of her not to apologize.

My recommendation is to send your granddaughter a note and politely tell her how extremely disappointed you were to receive the dress back after such a long period of time, and I would send your note as soon as possible. Depending on whether or not your granddaughter sends you the pictures you requested, will give you the time to “cool off” and decide if, and when, you might choose to send another gift.

Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to