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DEAR ABBY: Is it appropriate to wear velvet after the Christmas holidays? Also, my new husband and I exchanged many gifts with my family and my new in-laws -- should we send thank-yous for each? -- WANT TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT

DEAR WANT TO: Velvet is fine in cold weather and certainly acceptable to wear after the holidays.

By all means, send a personal thank-you to each person who gave you a gift -- you want to start your marriage off on the right foot. His family, and yours, will be impressed that you both married courteous and thoughtful people.

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