Gratitude is very lacking

Dear Annie: There are three sisters in my family. Two of us are childless. Our other sister now has seven grandchildren. Every Christmas and birthday, my other childless sister and I send a check to each grandniece and grandnephew. We never expect any gifts in return, but it would be nice to receive a text message or an email acknowledging our gifts. My other childless sister and I also receive regular solicitations to contribute to special funds — for example, one to pay for band uniforms.

Upon any graduation from high school, my other childless sister and I are expected to attend the event and pay for our own airfare, a hotel room, a car rental and other expenses, which is fine. But then we are both expected to work in the kitchen to assist with an elaborate gathering for many people — which I know is very expensive.

My other childless sister feels as if it would be unfair to the younger grandnieces and grandnephews to stop sending checks because we have sent so many checks to the older ones and they are ungrateful. I think that it is time to stop sending checks. Your opinion, please. — Checked Out

Dear Checked Out: You don’t owe anybody anything. Send the younger children greeting cards if you’d like to let them know you’re thinking of them on special occasions, but don’t include checks. If they get angry, as though they were entitled to your money just because their elder siblings received some, then they needed a lesson in humility more than they needed cash.

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