Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Get Thee to a Consignment Shop With Late Mom's Togs

DEAR ABBY: Will you please advise me what to do with a lot of really gorgeous women's apparel? I'm talking about top-of-the-line shoes, handbags -- everything you could imagine.

My mother left all of her things to me. I have already donated some to charity, but selling some would be nice, too. Any suggestions? -- VANESSA IN AUSTIN

DEAR VANESSA: Check around to see if there are any consignment stores in your area that deal in high-end merchandise. I am sure they would be very interested in helping you sell the items. With the economy down, many women are on the prowl looking for the kinds of bargains you have described. You might also consider offering them on eBay.

DEAR ABBY: My cousin "Stacie" and I have sons who are the same age. The boys love playing together and spending the night at each other's house. The problem is that Stacie and her husband fight all the time. They scream and curse at each other at the top of their lungs, and they do it in front of the kids. Her husband also screams at their son, calling him "stupid" and other things that are not fit for a family newspaper.

My husband and I do not want our son exposed to that kind of behavior, but I don't know how to tell Stacie that this is why I can't allow my son to stay at her house anymore. Any suggestions? -- STICKY WICKET IN TENNESSEE

DEAR STICKY WICKET: Yes. Host the sleepovers at your house. That way cousin Stacie and her husband can have more "private time" to continue their battles, and their poor son will have some relief from the emotional abuse he is suffering at the hands of both of them.

DEAR ABBY: A friend forwarded me an item she had read on the Internet. I have learned a lot during my 38 years of living, and think these important life lessons might be something you'd like to pass along to your many readers.

1. Respect others, even if they don't respect you. Later in life they may remember that respect.

2. Love with your whole heart. It may be broken, but you can't say that you never loved.

3. Treat animals with kindness, and it will be repaid to you a hundredfold.

4. Be honest with the people you love. Honesty really IS the best policy.

5. Admit your mistakes; it shows you are human.

6. Learn from your mistakes, but don't dwell on them. Negative thinking will only make you depressed -- and that's not good for you or those around you.

7. Tell your family often that you love them. You never know when it will be the last time you get to say it.

8. Never tell others that their dreams are stupid or dumb. Each of us is entitled to our dreams. Who are we to say they won't come true?

9. Realize that the only person you can change is yourself.

10. Be thankful for everything you have. Knowing you are blessed isn't arrogant or cocky if you're truly thankful for your blessings. -- JENNIFER IN COLORADO

DEAR JENNIFER: Thank you for sending this worthwhile item. I am sure my readers will agree that it has merit, take it to heart and refer to it when it's needed. I would only add that those people who respect themselves also tend to respect others; people who like themselves usually have more love to offer to others; and generosity of spirit, as well as material things, is what binds individuals and communities together.

To my Christian readers, I wish each and every one of you a very merry and meaningful Christmas.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)