DEAR HARRIETTE: My step-sister has brought a different guy home for Christmas the past four years. I'm sure a new one will be coming again this year. My step-sister, Maggie, has gotten progressively more annoyed with the family for not paying as much attention as she would like toward her new boyfriends, but the holidays are a time to spend with family, not interviewing a man we'll never see again. We do not want to call out Maggie for her rhythm of bringing boys in and out; however, we need her to accept that this is not a regular family dinner -- this is Christmas! The first two boyfriends were definitely scrutinized, but we realized by the third that this was a tradition, so everyone lost interest. It is not my place to suggest that she bring no one and celebrate with family only, but complaining that the attention is not on her boy-of-the-season is ridiculous, and I'd like to call her out on it. What do I say? -- Holidays Are for Family, Racine, Wisconsin
DEAR HOLIDAYS ARE FOR FAMILY: Out of love and respect for Maggie, reach out to her before Christmas. Admit that you know she is upset because the family hasn't spent as much time with her dates as they did a few years ago. Tell her the truth: that you consider Christmas a very special time, reserved for family. If she is serious about somebody she wants to bring into the family -- for real -- you may be able to rally the troops to vet him. Otherwise, it's not going to happen. The rest of the family wants to connect with each other, including her.