DEAR ABBY: I confess, I can be a procrastinator. Last year, my holiday cards sat on my desk, blank and unaddressed until almost Easter, when it was far too late to send them. This year, I figured brevity was better than not getting them sent, so I had photo cards made and wrote short notes on each before mailing them.
Several of my relatives have now told me they felt "snubbed and offended" by my short notes. One aunt is particularly upset and said (via my mother) that my cards "clearly showed I don't care about people, and I should have written proper letters or sent nothing."
Was I wrong to think "some" card was better than no card at all? Also, how should I appease the aunt who is not speaking to me over this?
- Holiday Card Writer, Akron, Ohio
DEAR CARD WRITER: I don't think you were wrong. As to appeasing your aunt, who appears to be one of those individuals who hang onto imagined slights and delivers her messages via other people, perhaps you should consider leaving her off your Christmas card list from now on for fear of offending her further. Some people are just not "pleasable," and your aunt may be one of them.
DEAR ABBY: I live in a small rural town with lots of nice neighbors. During the holidays, I receive a variety of delicious homemade gifts - jams, cookies, breads and other specialties.
I am careful about my diet and consume no white flour or sugar. This means I must thank the person for the gifts, then figure out what to do with them. I hate throwing them out, and I don't know how to stop the practice. What's the best way to handle this annual dilemma?
-Unsure in New England
DEAR UNSURE: If you work, consider bringing the goodies with you and sharing them with your co-workers. Or, donate them to a shelter or senior center where they might be enjoyed and appreciated.