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Rev Dr August Abbott
Rev Dr August Abbott, Adult Etiquette Pro
Category: Etiquette
Satisfied Customers: 7607
Experience:  40 yrs: Etiquette teacher,Formal event officiate, announcement author, minister
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A number of years back a friend gave me a sizable collection

Customer Question

A number of years back a friend gave me a sizable collection of the Christmas Village series that he or no one in his family wanted after his wife passed away. Recently, his son inquired about the set and was told it had been given to me. Now, my friend ( soon to be ex friend, I'm afraid) is DEMANDING I return it, I'm sure due to his sons pressure.
Please advise how to proceed.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Etiquette
Expert:  Rev Dr August Abbott replied 1 year ago.
What these people are doing is unconscionable and highly improper. Unfortunately this is not the first time I've heard of something like this with items given away after a family member's passing. Since it's been 'years', you can always say you've already passed the collection on to someone else, younger, for their enjoyment and are not at liberty to divulge their personal info as it would be highly inappropriate for anyone to contact them and ask for what is now theirs. Of course this is all a lie, but should close the door on your being hounded for these things. You might also gently, but firmly explain that this collection was given to you years ago; not "loaned" to you and not put in "storage" at your home and it has become an important part of your holiday that you don't want to let go. An, "I'm sorry that after so many years your son has decided this collection is his, but it is not. It is mine, I enjoy it and I can't part with it" If you're going to lose this 'friend' anyway (and I agree, it appears this relationship is brittle, if not broken - and just as well), at least you aren't giving up something important to you and frankly, something of considerable value on the market these days. Clearly this is why the son wants it. Many others might tell you to just let it go, but honestly, 'right is right' and indulging this son only robs you of what's yours and doesn't do much to maintain a friendship that is now obviously questionable. If this were something that had an emotional attachment to it then it would have been noticed as missing - and asked for within that first year of being noticed as missing. A gift given is a gift 'forever'. Even if he were to sue for the return, there's little to no chance of his winning. Stand your ground. Polite, but firm. Remember, "No" is a complete sentence
Expert:  Rev Dr August Abbott replied 1 year ago.
If you wouldn't mind, please give a rating on this so we can close it; however, if you have any further questions about this I'll be more than happy to help and support you

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