Miss Manners: What should I do with all this Valentine’s Day candy?

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Dear Miss Manners: As someone who doesn’t eat candy, I don’t know how to deal with holidays like Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Easter, where coworkers and neighbors often hand out small bags of candy.

If they hand it out to everyone, I often say something like, “Thank you so much for thinking of me!” But I don’t eat candy, so maybe you could give it to someone who will appreciate it more. My problem comes when someone leaves candy on my desk or gives me a personal card with candy attached.

I would like to give the candy to a friend, but do I need to let them know that I am renewing it? I don’t want to take credit for a cute bag and candy I didn’t pay for, but I also don’t want my friends to think I’m just trying to get rid of the candy, especially because that I know they’ll really enjoy it.

What would be the best way to handle this?

It is true that Secrecy is an important element of regifting. The original giver should not know that the gift was given, nor should the recipient know that it was given to you and rejected.

But if you were to redistribute all those goodies, wouldn’t you become a well-meaning candy person who perpetuates the problem?

Before you conclude that the trash can is your only polite choice, Miss Manners assures you that such small edible tokens – we’re not talking heart-shaped 5-pound boxes wrapped in red bows – don’t quite reach the level of serious gifts. You are free to accompany the regaling with a casual tone: “I can’t eat that, would you like it?”

Just be prepared to graciously accept a response like, “No, thank you; I can’t either.

Dear Miss Manners: In groups, my mother tends to suggest things that someone could tell others about: “Bill and Sarah have some exciting news!” or “Bob and Laura might soon make a change too!” This led to more than one awkward moment where someone clearly didn’t want to talk about a situation or they would have mentioned it on their own. How to manage this?

If you can’t hold your mother – and Miss Manners assumes you’ve tried, only to be told that shy people like to be invited – you can become her co-presenter. This would involve saying, “We’re going to take a break now” while giving your targets a sympathetic look and starting another topic.

Dear Miss Manners: If no one responds to your party invitation, are you required to let them know it has been canceled? Very often, when I try to set up a meeting, I receive few, if any, responses. Because of this, I am starting to lose interest in trying to offer hospitality to those around me.

If no one responds at your invitation, you are obviously not throwing a party. Those who accepted may be informed that the session has been postponed. But even though you don’t have to inform non-responders that the party has also disappeared, Miss Manners advises you not to be home that evening.

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday to Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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