DEAR ABBY: Every year my husband and I throw a formal holiday party. We invite a small group of our closest friends, and everyone always has a wonderful time. Over the years we have grown apart from some of these couples.
This year as we were starting to plan, my husband asked if we could trim the guest list. There is one couple in particular we rarely see. They have fallen out of favor with some of the other guests, too.
We've done this party for many years with the same group. When we see this couple, they talk excitedly about it with anticipation. I feel uneasy about how to politely exclude them. The event is mentioned on social media, and I know they'll find out if we uninvite them.
I'm a peacekeeper. I don't like hurting others, especially this couple, who have a tendency to spout off when they feel someone has offended them. Any suggestions? -- PARTY PERSON IN THE WEST
DEAR PARTY PERSON: The next time this couple -- or any of the other couples you no longer want to invite -- raises the subject of your party, tell them that you and your husband need to trim the guest list and they should make other plans for the holidays. Do not apologize for it and don't make excuses. If any of the invited guests ask you why the others weren't included, explain that you need to limit the invites to those friends you see on a regular basis.