Dear Abby: Gift of Christmas cookies is more curse than blessing

DEAR ABBY: Every year for the last 15 years or so, my husband’s sister has sent us a huge box of homemade cookies for Christmas. My husband is from a large family, and she does this for each family. I know it involves a great deal of time and effort on her part, and she sends them via priority mail, which means an additional expense.

The problem is, we don’t eat cookies. Weight is a concern for both of us, and I avoid sugar or sugar products as I don’t believe they are healthy. Before we retired, we took the cookies to work to get rid of them or they were thrown out.

Many years ago, I asked my mother-in-law what to do so as to not cause hard feelings. She advised, “Don’t say anything; she needs something to keep her busy.” I then asked a brother-in-law how he handled the unwanted cookies. He said, “Throw them away or give them away, but DON’T TELL HER.”

My SIL suffers from mild depression, and everyone tiptoes lightly around the issue to avoid upsetting her. I feel bad that she has spent time and money on these unwanted cookies all these years.

No one on that side of the family has ever said anything, and perhaps, many of them enjoy the cookies. Evidently even a carefully worded “thank you, but we can’t consume them” note would cause family problems. I tried not sending an acknowledgment; the cookies kept coming. What’s your suggestion? — SWEET PROBLEM IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR SWEET PROBLEM: I suggest you keep things the way they are. Your sister-in-law needs something to occupy her mind and give her a sense of purpose during a time of year when people can become depressed. Get creative. Those cookies might be appreciated by a church group, a residence for seniors or even holiday gifts for your neighbors if you repackage them.

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DEAR ABBY: My 22-year-old daughter asked if her 23-year-old best friend could stay with us for six months. Her friend’s parents had to return to Europe to finish wrapping up some things and then would return for their citizenship appointments, so we agreed to the arrangement. Rent-free, because we are nice.

My daughter got a school offer in Houston and moved there in May. Now it’s just her best friend and us at the house. Well, COVID-19 happened, and the parents are banned from entering the U.S. They have asked us if she can stay until the ban is lifted, which who knows when this will happen. We agreed, but now it’s November.

I miss my personal space, and I need her to move out. I feel she has overstayed. But I don’t know how to approach her or her family and say this arrangement will end soon. How should I handle this? — CROWDED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR CROWDED: You have been more than generous to your daughter’s best friend, and I hope your generosity has been appreciated

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Dear Abby: Holidays this year inspire thinking outside the gift box

DEAR ABBY: With the holidays fast approaching, I’m starting to think about shopping. Honestly, I’m tired of shopping for adults who don’t need anything. Finding gifts for them becomes more daunting each year. I think gift cards and direct money are tacky Christmas presents.

Do you think it would be odd to ask my adult children and other family members to select a charity they would like me to donate to instead of buying them gifts that just take up more room? This year has been hard on many people financially, but most of my family members are lucky enough to still be working through everything that has happened. I think charities could use a boost. — NEW IDEA IN FLORIDA

DEAR NEW IDEA: I am sure they could. Your idea is terrific, and it reminded me of a letter I printed many years ago, which I have edited because of space limitations. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Like many families, we have wrestled with the “What do we get for people who have everything?” dilemma. Last year, our family finally hit upon a solution. We discussed it with our grandparents. They agreed it would be more charitable for us to give something to people who lack everyday necessities, so we adopted a battered children’s shelter. Those little ones are truly refugees. They need everything from toothbrushes and hairbrushes to baby formula and diapers — not to mention toys and games.

To our delight, our neighbors got involved in our project, too. For weeks, on Thursdays, neighbors would leave donations in a sack by their mailbox, and we would pick them up. Our goal was for every child in that shelter to wake up on Christmas morning to find packages of necessities and a few playthings.

The project created so much excitement among our neighbors that we collected enough for two shelters. There were pillows, socks, underwear, bath products, cold medicines, books, towels, baby clothes, etc. Each child also got a large gift basket, including a nonbreakable tree ornament to help him or her remember this holiday.

The cost was small when spread over so many families, but the rewards couldn’t have been greater. We felt our project embodied the true spirit of Christmas. It sensitized our children to the needs of others all year long.

Because it was one of the best holidays we have ever had, we’re repeating the drive again this year. When people join together, everyone CAN make a difference. — SANTA’S HELPERS IN PHOENIX

DEAR SANTA’S HELPERS: Your signature describes you fittingly. With that in mind, I hope readers will be sensitive to the needs of charities in their local communities this year. Because monies that would ordinarily have been donated to local charities may have been diverted in other directions, many charities are having difficulty raising enough to meet their budgets. Remember, folks, charity begins at home — and by that I mean the communities in which you dwell.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail

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Dear Abby: After I helped set up wedding, I was left out of the photos

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of five years calls me his “partner.” I care about his family, and they are happy we are together.

His daughter had a small wedding with just a few family members and the wedding party. I sat alone in our room for hours while they took pre-wedding photos. Not a problem. But when no voices were heard, I looked out, and everyone was gone! I texted my partner asking where everyone was. I had heard him walk by our room several times earlier, but he didn’t respond. Should I have chased after him, asking to be included?

Before and after the ceremony, the photographer took individual and group photos, as well as the tables, the caterer and venue staff in addition to the family and wedding party. Although I was standing with everyone, no one invited me to join a group photo or take one with my partner. My brother said I should have asked to be included, but I didn’t think it was my place. The bride and groom had already decided who they wanted photos of.

One of the groomsmen could tell my feelings were hurt. He came over and sat with me and asked if I was having fun. I did some grunt work for this ceremony, so it would have been nice to have had my presence acknowledged with an official photo, not a selfie. What do you think? — LEFT-OUT LADY IN VIRGINIA

DEAR LADY: The bride and her husband may have been distracted, but your “partner” should have made sure you were included in at least one of the photos. The treatment you received was not only rude and thoughtless, it was also callous. Have there been other occasions in which he has been similarly thoughtless? If you plan to continue this romance, accept that you will have to become more assertive, rather than wait at the mercy of others.

DEAR ABBY: About three years ago, I got into an argument with my sister-in-law because of the verbal abuse she aimed at her children, who were 3 and 10. She swore at them and still puts them down constantly. I finally had enough and told her I didn’t want to be around her if she was going to talk to them that way. She told me they were her kids so she could talk to them how she wanted. I haven’t spoken to her since.

Now, three years later, I have two boys of my own. She wants to be in their lives, and my in-laws are upset that my husband and I don’t want her around them. She has since apologized for her behavior, but neither of us trusts her, and we don’t want her influence on our children. Should we accept her apology and spend time with her to appease my husband’s family or do what we think is right for our kids? — AVOIDING HER IN NEW YORK

DEAR AVOIDING HER: Your sister-in-law has apologized. Give her

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Dear Abby: Girlfriend left on sideline at small family wedding

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of five years calls me his “partner.” I care about his family, and they are happy we are together.

His daughter had a small wedding with just a few family members and the wedding party. I sat alone in our room for hours while they took pre-wedding photos. Not a problem. But when no voices were heard, I looked out, and everyone was gone! I texted my partner asking where everyone was. I had heard him walk by our room several times earlier, but he didn’t respond. Should I have chased after him, asking to be included?

Before and after the ceremony, the photographer took individual and group photos, as well as the tables, the caterer and venue staff in addition to the family and wedding party. Although I was standing with everyone, no one invited me to join a group photo or take one with my partner. My brother said I should have asked to be included, but I didn’t think it was my place. The bride and groom had already decided who they wanted photos of.

One of the groomsmen could tell my feelings were hurt. He came over and sat with me and asked if I was having fun. I did some grunt work for this ceremony, so it would have been nice to have had my presence acknowledged with an official photo, not a selfie. What do you think? — LEFT-OUT LADY IN VIRGINIA

DEAR LADY: The bride and her husband may have been distracted, but your “partner” should have made sure you were included in at least one of the photos. The treatment you received was not only rude and thoughtless, it was also callous. Have there been other occasions in which he has been similarly thoughtless? If you plan to continue this romance, accept that you will have to become more assertive, rather than wait at the mercy of others.

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DEAR ABBY: About three years ago, I got into an argument with my sister-in-law because of the verbal abuse she aimed at her children, who were 3 and 10. She swore at them and still puts them down constantly. I finally had enough and told her I didn’t want to be around her if she was going to talk to them that way. She told me they were her kids so she could talk to them how she wanted. I haven’t spoken to her since.

Now, three years later, I have two boys of my own. She wants to be in their lives, and my in-laws are upset that my husband and I don’t want her around them. She has since apologized for her behavior, but neither of us trusts her, and we don’t want her influence on our children. Should we accept her apology and spend time with her to appease my husband’s family or do what we think is right for our kids? — AVOIDING HER IN NEW YORK

DEAR AVOIDING HER

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Dear Abby: Father of bride leaves partner of 5 years out of all wedding photos

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of five years calls me his “partner.” I care about his family, and they are happy we are together.

His daughter had a small wedding with just a few family members and the wedding party. I sat alone in our room for hours while they took pre-wedding photos. Not a problem. But when no voices were heard, I looked out, and everyone was gone! I texted my partner asking where everyone was. I had heard him walk by our room several times earlier, but he didn’t respond. Should I have chased after him, asking to be included?

Before and after the ceremony, the photographer took individual and group photos, as well as the tables, the caterer and venue staff in addition to the family and wedding party. Although I was standing with everyone, no one invited me to join a group photo or take one with my partner. My brother said I should have asked to be included, but I didn’t think it was my place. The bride and groom had already decided who they wanted photos of.

One of the groomsmen could tell my feelings were hurt. He came over and sat with me and asked if I was having fun. I did some grunt work for this ceremony, so it would have been nice to have had my presence acknowledged with an official photo, not a selfie. What do you think? — LEFT-OUT LADY IN VIRGINIA

DEAR LADY: The bride and her husband may have been distracted, but your “partner” should have made sure you were included in at least one of the photos. The treatment you received was not only rude and thoughtless, it was also callous. Have there been other occasions in which he has been similarly thoughtless? If you plan to continue this romance, accept that you will have to become more assertive, rather than wait at the mercy of others.

DEAR ABBY: About three years ago, I got into an argument with my sister-in-law because of the verbal abuse she aimed at her children, who were 3 and 10. She swore at them and still puts them down constantly. I finally had enough and told her I didn’t want to be around her if she was going to talk to them that way. She told me they were her kids so she could talk to them how she wanted. I haven’t spoken to her since.

Now, three years later, I have two boys of my own. She wants to be in their lives, and my in-laws are upset that my husband and I don’t want her around them. She has since apologized for her behavior, but neither of us trusts her, and we don’t want her influence on our children. Should we accept her apology and spend time with her to appease my husband’s family or do what we think is right for our kids? — AVOIDING HER IN NEW YORK

DEAR AVOIDING HER: Your sister-in-law has apologized. Give her

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CNN’s Abby Phillip sums up how Black women possibly ended Trump’s political career

The political correspondent summarized the ‘historical poetry’ in the role Black women might have played in defeating President Donald Trump.

While the 2020 presidential election has not yet been called officially, President Donald Trump‘s chance of a second term is unlikely as Joe Biden continues to widen his lead in remaining states that have yet to declare a winner.

During a segment discussing Trump’s likely defeat, CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip succinctly summarized the “historical poetry” in the role Black women played in putting a nail in the coffin of Trump’s political career.

Read More: Anderson Cooper calls Trump ‘obese turtle’ in on-air takedown

CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip. (Photo: CNN)
CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip. (Photo: CNN)

Phillip, 31, called to mind how Black women made the difference for Biden and ultimately carried him to the finish line in the Democratic presidential primary, and ultimately showed up at the polls again during the general election to likely hand Biden the presidency.

“For Black women, this has been really a proving moment for their political strength in carrying Joe Biden to the Democratic nomination through the primary — Black women did that. I think seeing a Black woman on the ticket with Joe Biden, on the cusp of this moment I think is something that will go down in history,” said Phillip, highlighting Biden’s decision to choose Sen. Kamala Harris, a Black woman, as his running mate.

“This has never happened before. Not only would Black women put Joe Biden in the White House, but they would also put a Black woman in the White House as well.”

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Read More: Biden ahead in Georgia, Pennsylvania; Trump attacks process

Going further, Phillip recalled the history of Donald Trump’s racism — specifically implying that former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States — and the irony that his presidency will likely be upended by a Black politician.

“That is the sort of historical poetry that I think we will live with for a long time in addition to the fact that Donald Trump’s political career began with the racist birth lie,” she said, “it may very well end with a Black woman in the White House.”

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The post CNN’s Abby Phillip sums up how Black women possibly ended Trump’s political career appeared first on TheGrio.

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Dear Abby: Gift money sent to grandson gets used to pay down his chore debt

DEAR ABBY: I am writing because I’m sure other grandparents have faced the same issue as I have.

I enjoy sending my grandchildren cards with a small check for special occasions or as a reward for doing well in school, etc. My son and daughter-in-law have a reward system set up with my grandson where he receives an allowance for doing his chores, but has money deducted if he doesn’t.

I sent my grandson a small check with his birthday card, but my son informed me that he will be able to keep only $2 of it, because he’s in the hole for not doing his chores. I feel the check was a gift and should have been kept separate from the rewards program. Who is right — my son or me? — GENEROUS GRAN IN WASHINGTON

DEAR GRAN: I think you are. But since your son and daughter-in-law dictate what goes on under their roof, it doesn’t matter what you and I think. The rules are the rules, and your grandson needs to get off his behind and catch up on those chores!

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are snowbirds and head south for a few sunny months every winter. We rent in an active adults community and enjoy all the clubs and sports. Our problem is the number of relatives and friends who invite themselves down for a free vacation.

Unless I specifically call and invite you, I am not interested in spending my vacation — which is costing me a pretty penny — making beds, washing towels, cooking much more elaborate meals than my husband and I usually eat and ferrying you around to see the sights. Feel free to rent your own place or stay in a hotel wherever you wish, but please do not include us in your plans. Thank you, Abby, for letting me get that off my chest! — ANSWER IS NO

DEAR ANSWER: You are welcome. That’s what I am here for. But you are venting to the wrong person. This is something you should express to each of the friends and relatives who think they can continue to impose upon you. Who can blame them? They thought your silence was consent.

DEAR ABBY: I am raising my two granddaughters and trying to allow their mother, my daughter, to visit with them. My problem is, the entire time she is with us, she stays on her phone or Snapchat.

Last weekend, I drove to the place where she resides, and the whole time we were there she ignored the girls. I have a ton of family and friends who say I’m wrong for allowing her to even see the girls, period. I don’t want to be the bad guy when they grow up. Help, Abby. — FOR THEIR GOOD IN OHIO

DEAR FOR THEIR GOOD: Either your daughter doesn’t know how to relate to her children, which is why she stays on her cellphone when you bring them to her, or

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Dear Abby: Daughter’s fashion choices cause mom embarrassment

DEAR ABBY: Our 19-year-old daughter is wonderful in many ways. She’s smart, attends a university on academic scholarships and earns excellent grades. The problem is the way she dresses. Her shorts are so short they show some cheek, the bathing suits she wears in our backyard pool are almost thongs, she runs at the track in spandex and a sports bra and gets catcalls.

I understand the outfit would be OK for a formal race, but at the track? Why not throw on a T-shirt? The most recent example was a Sunday afternoon, ladies-only baby shower, to which she wore a pale pink (it looked nude) clingy dress that barely covered her butt. No one else was dressed like that. I was embarrassed. She wasn’t raised like this.

I understand there are times when a young woman wants to look alluring. I have tried to talk to her about classy/sexy versus trampy, but she gets defensive. Any advice? — EMBARRASSED MOM IN WEST VIRGINIA

DEAR MOM: Many young women dress the way your daughter does in an attempt to emulate current social media personalities. Others do it to get attention because they are not sure they have anything more to offer. Because lecturing your daughter has fallen on deaf ears, let her learn these lessons on her own. And in the meantime, concentrate on helping her to appreciate more of the important qualities she has to offer in addition to what I am assuming is a killer figure.

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for 15 years. We seem to have a lot of issues every year around fall. It has been this way for the last five years.

While my husband and I were separated, he was intimate for a month with a younger woman. He decided to stop seeing her and returned home to work on our marriage, but before he approached me about working things out, he apologized to her first. I don’t understand why he owed her an apology. It still bothers me that he felt the need to apologize to her first and not me. What should I do? — HURT IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR HURT: Your husband may not have been entirely honest with the younger woman about his marital status, or he may have felt guilty for leading her on. Who knows? In the interest of saving your marriage, I suggest you focus your attention on the fact that you have your husband back and let this go.

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DEAR ABBY: I’m a dad with four kids, three of them grown. When we celebrate my birthday or my wife’s, or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, I’m the one who always pays. For the most recent Father’s Day dinner, the check was $240. My wife and I are still paycheck-to-paycheck people, and at least one of my kids makes five times as much as we do between her and her boyfriend.

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Dear Abby: Successful daughter won’t listen to mom’s fashion advice

DEAR ABBY: Our 19-year-old daughter is wonderful in many ways. She’s smart, attends a university on academic scholarships and earns excellent grades. The problem is the way she dresses. Her shorts are so short they show some cheek, the bathing suits she wears in our backyard pool are almost thongs, she runs at the track in spandex and a sports bra and gets catcalls.

I understand the outfit would be OK for a formal race, but at the track? Why not throw on a T-shirt? The most recent example was a Sunday afternoon, ladies-only baby shower, to which she wore a pale pink (it looked nude) clingy dress that barely covered her butt. No one else was dressed like that. I was embarrassed. She wasn’t raised like this.

I understand there are times when a young woman wants to look alluring. I have tried to talk to her about classy/sexy versus trampy, but she gets defensive. Any advice? — EMBARRASSED MOM IN WEST VIRGINIA

DEAR MOM: Many young women dress the way your daughter does in an attempt to emulate current social media personalities. Others do it to get attention because they are not sure they have anything more to offer. Because lecturing your daughter has fallen on deaf ears, let her learn these lessons on her own. And in the meantime, concentrate on helping her to appreciate more of the important qualities she has to offer in addition to what I am assuming is a killer figure.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for 15 years. We seem to have a lot of issues every year around fall. It has been this way for the last five years.

While my husband and I were separated, he was intimate for a month with a younger woman. He decided to stop seeing her and returned home to work on our marriage, but before he approached me about working things out, he apologized to her first. I don’t understand why he owed her an apology. It still bothers me that he felt the need to apologize to her first and not me. What should I do? — HURT IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR HURT: Your husband may not have been entirely honest with the younger woman about his marital status, or he may have felt guilty for leading her on. Who knows? In the interest of saving your marriage, I suggest you focus your attention on the fact that you have your husband back and let this go.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a dad with four kids, three of them grown. When we celebrate my birthday or my wife’s, or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, I’m the one who always pays. For the most recent Father’s Day dinner, the check was $240. My wife and I are still paycheck-to-paycheck people, and at least one of my kids makes five times as much as we do between her and her boyfriend. Am I getting this wrong? — NOT MADE OF MONEY

DEAR

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