DEAR HARRIETTE: I was just invited to a spectacular weeklong celebration with an associate. Apparently, he organizes an annual trip that he invites a range of people to attend. I have seen pictures on social media from past years when he threw this amazing event. It always looks so fun. But it's way out of my price range. I am flattered that I would be considered on his short list of people to invite, but I cannot do it. How do I go about telling him without revealing my tight purse strings? I don't want to be taken off his list for other things, but I can't swing this one. -- Out of Range, Chicago
DEAR OUT OF RANGE: It is an honor to be included on this person's short list of people with whom he would enjoy sharing his celebration. As an honored invitee, by all means send him a note telling him that you appreciate his invitation and that you will not be able to join him this year. Wish him a fabulous experience on the trip and tell him you will enjoy it vicariously through his social media postings.
Just as this man has thought of you for this special occasion, you should remember him. If you send out holiday cards, include him on that list. If and when you host gatherings, consider inviting him. It is clear that he values you, so keep him in your life by including him in those activities that you create.