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Visiting Sister's Hostess Gifts Are Clearly Secondhand

DEAR ABBY: One of my sisters is visiting our place and staying at our house for four nights. She always brings presents for us when she comes. However, the items are partly used or carry no tags or seals.

My other sisters feel the same as I do about it, but no one ever says anything. I am torn between staying silent or speaking out once and for all in plain English. What should I do? -- TAGLESS IN MAINE

DEAR TAGLESS: When someone is a houseguest -- even a relative -- good manners dictate that a small gift is in order. By small gift, I mean a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine, a box of nuts or candy. Your sister is either unaware of the social graces, financially strapped or rude. Accept the "gift" graciously but suggest that next time a bottle of wine or some flowers would be appreciated.

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