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by Abigail Van Buren

Teacher Weighs Reaching Out to Former Student Behind Bars

DEAR ABBY: I wanted to write you in response to letters you have published in your column about stressful, traditional, iron-clad holiday celebrations becoming too much for the hosts.

For most of 40 years, my parents hosted all holiday dinners, which were attended by as many as 14 people. My wife and I finally said, "No more!" We made reservations for Thanksgiving at a nice restaurant and hosted the family. It was beautiful -- family, food, cocktails and no preparation or cleanup. Mom and Dad said it was the best Thanksgiving they could remember. We thought so, too. Just sayin'. -- SHARING A MEMORY IN WISCONSIN

DEAR SHARING: I'm sure your parents enjoyed the process of entertaining the family for the many years they did it. But it is also nice when someone else does the work. I'm printing your letter so other readers can see there is more than one way to skin a cat -- or enjoy a turkey with stuffing.