DEAR ABBY: My wife's first cousin died several years ago, but my wife continues to invite this cousin's husband and his two single adult children to our home every Thanksgiving and Passover. We don't hear from these people throughout the year -- not even a telephone call, yet they continue to accept our invitations. Moreover, they leave immediately after dinner. (Last Thanksgiving, after accepting our invitation, the young man didn't show up and didn't cancel.)
Although we enjoy their company during the brief time they are with us, I think we should rid ourselves of this "obligation" that is taken for granted and never reciprocated. I would prefer inviting other friends and family members who would appreciate spending the holidays with us.
My wife and I have had a difference of opinion about this for years. Should we continue to invite these people? If we decide not to, I think we should give them plenty of notice so they can make other plans. Incidentally, we always have to leave messages on their answering machine -- then wait until they get back to us at their convenience. We await your advice. -- N.J.G. IN WELLESLEY, MASS.
DEAR N.J.G.: Talk turkey; tell them now that you have decided to revise your guest list for Thanksgiving and Passover, so from now on they are free to make other plans for those special holidays because YOU have.