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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Feels Like Hanging Up When Boy Calls to Hang Out

DEAR ABBY: I know the holidays can be a stressful time of year -- and even more so when there has been a death in someone's family.

When a friend or family member loses a loved one, such as a child or close friend, what is the proper etiquette regarding gifts you may have sent or have sitting under the tree? What should the bereaved family do with the gifts? I must admit, I am curious -- especially being a member of the armed forces. -- MARIE IN CANADA

DEAR MARIE: If you are asking whether the gift(s) should be returned to the sender, I am sure the grieving family (or close friend) will have other things to think about that take precedence. Once a gift is sent, it should be up to the surviving relatives to decide whether to keep it or dispose of it -- whether by donating it, selling it or returning it to the sender.