Fed-up father

Dear Queenie,

  My wife’s family are very religious and all the gifts they send on various occasions have a religious theme. Our children are getting a religious education,  but it is not something that dominates every minute of our lives and the kids just aren’t interested in all these religious gifts.

  Queenie, how can we politely tell those people to leave religion out of it when they are buying gifts?—Fed-up father

Dear Father,

  You cannot do that politely. No matter how you try to soft-pedal your request, your hyper-religious in-laws probably will take offence.

  Try to keep them informed about your children’s activities and interests and hope they take the hint. If they do not (and they probably will not), make sure the children thank them politely – and then donate the unwanted items to someone who will appreciate them.