Dear Annie: Lots of people need nothing, but everyone wants something. If you ask someone directly, "What do you want for Christmas/your birthday/the holidays?" then they'll probably say, "Nothing." Or "Save your money." So don't ask. Just pay attention.
I learned from my older sister that if you watch and listen, you'll easily think of a ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a clinical social worker and have some training in, and experience with, domestic violence in my work.
I think you do a fine job educating and counseling people. I read a recent column that gave the National Domestic Violence Hotline number (800-799-7233). I have one crucial point to add: As important as it is for women (or ...Read more
Dear Annie: My son, who was in the U.S. Army for 13 years and became a major, took his own life. My husband and I were the recipients of every parent's worse nightmare: At 7 a.m., there was a knock on the door. Two military personnel were there to inform us that our son died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 35 years old, a...Read more
Dear Annie: There is an elderly man who attends daily Mass at my church. He insists on hugging many of the women after Mass as they leave the church. He is a nice man, and I don't think he's up to anything creepy. I think he's probably a throwback to the '70s when "hugging" was a big thing in churches in particular.
I, on the other hand, do ...Read more
Dear Annie: I lost my wife of 32 years, and two months after, I lost my son. I will never be the same. How can I get through this? -- Grieving
Dear Grieving: I am so sorry that you lost your wife. I am so sorry that you lost your son. Each loss is devastating on its own; that you should suffer them both in just two months seems unspeakably ...Read more
Dear Annie: I grew up horseback riding in Montana. It was something that my father and I did together, and I have such fond memories. We would trail ride under the big sky and talk for hours on end. I formed a love of nature and have found it to always be my happy pace.
In addition to loving the great outdoors as a result of this, I have a ...Read more
Dear Readers: Wishing you a holiday season filled with wonder, joy and, most importantly, lots and lots of love. Thank you to all of my readers: Here remains one of my favorite holiday poems ever created. Enjoy!
"A Visit from St. Nicholas"
By Clement Clarke Moore
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a ...Read more
Dear Annie: As we enter the holiday season, I am unsure the etiquette around gift-giving. I know the old saying that it's better to give than to receive; however, as I age, I find myself giving and giving, and not receiving much of anything. Even a simple thank-you or a small sign of appreciation for my gifts is missing. I would like to be ...Read more
Dear Annie: This is in response to the letter about grandkids not sending thank-you notes for gifts they receive. I was brought up to always say thank you, or to send a thank-you note. This not only shows appreciation but also it lets the sender know that the gift was received.
Forty-two years ago, I married a widower with three young boys. ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have two sons. One of them, "Brock," is divorced, but you would never know it from the way he and his ex, "Sandra," spend time together, especially around the holidays. When they were married, Brock adopted Sandra's daughter, and they had one son together. I love Sandra, and I'm glad that she and Brock have remained not only ...Read more
Dear Annie: I've been married for nearly 32 years to a financially abusive bully. For many years, whenever I took out money that I needed without first seeking his approval, he'd punish me. His method for doing this was to ask me to go to the bank to get money out; when I'd try to do so, the tellers would let me know that there was not enough ...Read more
Dear Annie: It's time to send out my annual Christmas cards to family and friends, a tradition I have enjoyed for nearly 25 years. I look forward to receiving cards every year and joyfully hang them in a visible location for the winter as a reminder of the friendship we share.
Unfortunately, I have seen a significant decline in people who ...Read more
Dear Annie: I just got back from a trip visiting my family across the country and something followed me from sea to shining sea -- people watching videos, listening to music and playing video games loudly and without headphones for the most part, too. What is with this?
I first noticed it when a young boy next to me at the airport was playing...Read more
Dear Annie: Recently, I attended a family wedding. For the gift, I knitted an afghan out of very expensive yarn, spending weeks of my time. About two weeks before the wedding, we received a card that stated, "Please bring gift cards or cash."
I found this rude, but since I had already invested in the gift, I decided that it was what I would ...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm part of a group of eight women, all friends, who gather periodically for good conversation and to be together. But one of the women dominates the conversation for a significant time, every time.
It usually starts off with something like, "My husband," or "My sisters," or "My best friend's son," and most of the time it has ...Read more
Dear Annie: As the parent of a 16-year-old daughter who does a fair amount of babysitting, I wanted to vent about how inconsiderate I find many "parents" in dealing with babysitters.
It's not cool to show up two hours after you have told your babysitter you would be home. I understand things can come up, but two hours is a long time! These ...Read more
Dear Annie: I recently retired, and my younger brother is still working in a high-pressure job. Whenever we get together, all he talks about is every detail of his daily grind. I never cared to hear all of these stressful job details. And this is especially true now that I'm retired. How do I get him to stop -- or at least greatly reduce the ...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife of more than 31 years recently passed away. She had three children from a previous marriage. We had none. She left behind a large sum of money from her savings and IRA for them. Her eldest son has a mental condition, and most of his needs are met by the state of New York and Social Security. Her youngest son has an ...Read more
Dear Annie: About two years ago I was pregnant with my firstborn. About five months into the pregnancy, my partner, the father, cheated on me. When I found out about it, I was devastated; I didn't know what to do with myself.
I felt he did it to me on purpose with the reasoning of "getting even" because I'd cheated on him years before. It was...Read more
Dear Annie: I was a lousy husband. Not because of physical or emotional abuse but because of ignorance. I grew up in a household where I never heard my father tell my mother he loved her. I never heard him give her a compliment or ask her opinion.
He was a hard worker and a good provider. She bought whatever she needed, never wanted for ...Read more