DEAR ABBY: I don't celebrate Christmas and haven't for many years. Once in a while someone will give me a Christmas gift. (I have also received the occasional Easter gift.)
What is the correct thing to do in that situation? Some people tell me I should not accept the gift, and I should explain to the giver that I don't celebrate these holidays. Others have told me I should accept the gift and send a thank-you note.
Please tell me what to do, as I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or offend anyone by accepting a gift when I have not gotten them one. -- ESMERALDA IN LAS VEGAS
DEAR ESMERALDA: Not everyone gives a gift expecting one in return. When someone presents you with a holiday gift, explain that you aren't comfortable accepting it because you haven't celebrated the holidays in years. Offer it back, but if it is refused, thank the giver graciously for it and also write a thank-you note. If the item is something you can use and enjoy, do so. If not, donate it to charity.
P.S. If you feel inclined, consider giving the giver a gift at another time.