Post conceded that the aggrieved guests in the Canadian story, "might guess wrong," but their gift should have been welcome.
"Do I think a food basket is unusual?" she asked. "Yes, but it's not wrong."
Bridal couples can, in some cases, particularly when they know the guests well, ask for a receipt, according to Post. "And when you are asked for a receipt in good faith [as opposed to lying about being on a gluten diet] at least trust the good faith of the request. Give the receipt and be done with it."
"File it under 'good to know' and don't too enthusiastically hang out with these people again," she said. "I wouldn't make a stink. Just give it to them. Calling a guest out and complaining about it is not OK."
Post said that hosting a party, especially a wedding, is never a "quid pro quo."
"There is no remuneration involved," she said. "The idea that the gift should cost what the dinner costs is wrong. And it's really a mistake to think about it that way. How on Earth do you know what a dinner costs -- you don't."
Post said gifts are still as popular as cash and, in either case, "it's not about payback."
As for Janet, she said her mother should have kept in mind that, "I was only 19."
"I am horrified to this day when I recall the incident," said Janet. "The woman was a widow. I imagine now that it could have been all that she could afford. ... Now, I don't think that there should be any expectations for any gift.
"One lesson learned was that I should have just been grateful, thanked her for coming to the wedding and for the beautiful picture that I know I would find a great place for in our home," said Janet.
"I think the rejection of the gift said more about me than about the giver. Another lesson learned was that although mom is smart about a lot of things, I need to think for myself."
Today, attending weddings that cost upwards of $500 a plate, Janet said, "I sometimes find myself choosing a gift and worrying about whether it will be perceived as good enough, but I can only give what I can afford, too. I think I am generous, but there's a nagging worry that others may not think so."