Do you have a question regarding family life, budgeting, customer service issues, DVD or book reviews, or home organization? We will give you our candid advise from a family perspective. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your confidential question and we will answer it in the next column.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and best wishes for a Happy and Joyful New Year!!!
Love, June and Flora
I like to email pictures of my kids to my friends and family and I hate when someone doesn't respond. Would it kill them to say, "Cute kids" or should I stop sending pictures all together?
Clicked off in CT
JUNE: Dear clicked, one question I have for you is how often do you send pictures? If you are sending one or more a day then they may have a right to be sick of responding. But if you send them pretty infrequently then it may be just a case of rude email syndrome. The more people seem to rely on their computers and email for things the less they use manners and people skills. It would be polite to say something about your picture. Maybe send to only those who seem to enjoy them. And PS, please send clear, nice pictures. We have a friend who sends the most blurry oversized cell phone pictures. We can hardly make out what is in the picture.
FLORA: I always like a response; this way I know they received them. But someone once said that no news is good news when it comes to e-mail. And remember, peoples in-boxes are so full and some people do not regularly check e-mail that they may not have even seen them. Maybe you should ease up on sending the ones to the no responders except for the holidays.
JUNE: Flora, no news is good news if you are on trial or if the doctor is calling you "only if it's bad". In email, no news is rude. And I don't buy the "I didn't have time to respond excuse", I use email and it takes under five seconds to write a quick comment and hit send.
I invite a few families to my child's birthday party each year and when their children's birthdays roll along, we do not get invited to some of their parties. I feel sad about that. Give me some words to ease my sadness.
Reciprocate or not?
FLORA: Dear reciprocate, some families have parties for just family and a few close family friends. Try not to take it so personal. Do you get together at other times during the year? If you enjoy their company, invite them over for dinner or get together for a family hike during the year.
JUNE: I can understand Flora's point (for a change) but after a while it gets old. You want your child to go to parties too. Since the family doesn't consider you close enough to invite your child it may be best to stop inviting that child. There is no reason to have a whole separate get together, the party is the get together. This is the time to have people over to celebrate. Your kid wants cake too. It is nice and polite to reciprocate. If they don't invite any other friends and only do family I would not let it bother me but if other kids that are not family are there then cut them off your list after a few years. Make room for friends who reciprocate.
We have a friend who just had a baby. They already added his name on their answering machine. I think this is so stupid, who would be calling for an infant. Should I save her from her stupidity?
No calls for baby in New England
JUNE: Well, this is a good one because I have called people who not only add their child's name on the machine message but also have their kids say the message. All you hear is a five year old - "Hi this is blah, blah and blah blah and we aren't home leave a message". Give me a break. What the heck happens to people brains after a kid is added into their home. Parents-keep the kids off the machine, there is no need to add a child's name. That being said, keep your mouth shut. Your friend won't appreciate your "help" from her stupidity. Just keep rolling your eyes every time you get their machine.
FLORA: I share this bit of wisdom with my children: Different families have different rules. The same thing applies here. Having the child's name on the answering machine makes them happy. Let them enjoy life at their pace and try not to let it bother you. June, I am with you on this one; keep the kids off the greeting.
Flora: Change your kitchen sponges regularly. Wash your dish towels every few days.
June: I'll add a tip too Flora. Get a maid. No, just kidding.
Remember to pull out the refrigerator about once a month to clean the dust build up from behind.
Christmas Tip from June: When decorating for Christmas, bring in some greens from the trim up of your Christmas tree and cut them up into small decorative bowls or baskets around the house. It will make your whole house smell like Christmas.