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DEAR READERS: Today's Sound Off is about Christmas letters:

"I hate to be a Scrooge, but I don't really care for Christmas letters. Most of the information is either mundane or exaggerated. Does anyone really care that Susie got her braces off her teeth or that Tommy made a touch-down for his high school team?

"The last Christmas letter I got recounted how the author's father had been in the hospital six times during the year, the family dog died and their daughter dropped out of college. Please, no more Christmas letters."

-- Larry in Oklahoma

I agree that sad news might be inappropriate during the holidays, but entertaining, newsy letters from family and friends are always welcome. Keep it up, folks.

DEAR HELOISE: I have been to two lovely weddings and we were seated by number, but sad to say, we were apart from our family and friends. I wish the parents of the bride and groom would work together so they knew where to put us.

-- A Reader, Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: We have a silly but fun Christmas tradition: On Christmas Eve, after everyone has gone to bed, I put on big boots and create a trail (with sprinkled baking soda) from the chimney to the tree -- it's Santa's snowy footprints.

In the morning, the little ones really get a kick out of seeing "evidence" that Santa has stopped by. And bonus -- the carpet is refreshed when I vacuum up the baking soda.

-- Helen in Illinois

DEAR HELOISE: I like to pour meat drippings or gravy over my dog's dry food. He really loves it and licks his bowl clean.

-- Pam T., Lubbock, Texas

DEAR HELOISE: I got frustrated with many of my blouses and sweaters sliding off the hangers. A friend of mine suggested a remedy: Put two wide rubber bands on the hanger, one on each side. So easy and inexpensive.

-- Carrie R., Kansas

DEAR HELOISE: I wondered what to get an elderly neighbor of mine for Christmas. A gift card to a grocery store was a favorite for many older adults. It helps them stretch their budget and buy a few items they normally wouldn't buy for themselves.

-- June S., Santa Fe, N.M.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

ActiveStyle on 12/02/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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