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by Abigail Van Buren

Carolers Out in the Cold Make Audience Ill at Ease

DEAR ABBY: Crazy question, but a serious one. Christmas is coming, so please answer quickly. When carolers come to the door, what's the polite response to them? Where we live it's usually bitter cold and snowy. Do you stand out there on your porch, just keep the door ajar, invite them inside, serve them hot chocolate, coffee?

I've been ill at ease for years, and although it's a tradition that seems to be falling by the wayside, I'd like to know what you have to say about it. Thank you so much. I enjoy reading your column. -- MARCIA IN EASTERN WASHINGTON

DEAR MARCIA: All you need to do is give the carolers a heartfelt thank you for their efforts. While one might be tempted to offer them a hot beverage -- coffee or tea -- a milky drink is not good for a performer's throat, and it also might cause them to have to make frequent pit stops on their route, which would be counterproductive.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Etiquette & Ethics