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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother of the Bride Is Fed Up With No-Shows and Tag-Alongs

DEAR ABBY: We would like to pass along a family tradition we started some years ago. A few days after each Christmas and birthday, we go through our daughter Kristin's toys. With her help, we decide which toys she doesn't play with -- or has outgrown -- and would like to give to less fortunate children.

In addition to the obvious benefit of children getting toys they might not otherwise receive, it teaches our own child the joy of sharing.

So instead of selling those old but good-as-new toys your children have outgrown -- or boxing them up to store in the back of your closet or attic -- give them to your local charity. After all, isn't the joy of giving worth far more than a couple of bucks made from a garage sale? -- THE MC ALEENEN FAMILY, CHARLESTON AFB, S.C.

DEAR MC ALEENEN FAMILY: Hooray for you. May each successive holiday season by happier than the previous one. You deserve it.