Thanksgiving isn’t a lifetime commitment

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about being the one who always has to host Thanksgiving dinner. — Heloise

“Dear Heloise: In August, I sent out a letter to family members explaining that my husband and I would be on a cruise over the Thanksgiving holiday. Two days ago, both of my brothers called and asked what they should bring for Thanksgiving dinner! I told them we weren’t hosting Thanksgiving again this year and reminded them (and their wives) that I’d sent out a letter in August.

“I’ve hosted Thanksgiving every year for the past six years, and it’s time for someone else to do all the work of housecleaning, shopping, cooking, the cleanup afterward and the expense. We’ll be cruising in sunny, warm waters. Needless to say, this has caused some serious friction in the family.

“Why do so many families rely on one person to host all the holiday events? Wouldn’t it be better to all share in the work or take turns hosting holidays? It’s what I suggested in my August letter, but apparently no one agreed with me.” — Liz in Paterson, N.J.

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Dear Readers: Here are some uses for paper towel cores:

* Store extension cords inside.

* Store Christmas lights inside.

* Use to wrap ribbon around when you have loose pieces.

* Spray-paint the cardboard, then pinch and tape one end. Store change inside, and when full, shut the other end and give to a child as a gift.

— Heloise

BUYER BEWARE

Dear Heloise: There are some financial lenders who use “clever” language to attract homebuyers. For example:

“No points or fees” — lenders who make this claim usually charge a higher interest rate.

“Secret to paying off your mortgage faster” — this means refinancing a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan, which means higher payments.

“Call us now for the low rate of (X) percent” — if the annual percentage rate (APR) is higher than your quoted rate, you’ll be paying points and fees to get that rate.

So, buyers beware. — Alex C., Hialeah, Fla.

WANTS AND NEEDS

Dear Heloise: Please tell your readers to be very careful about credit cards and the interest rates the companies charge. Right after college graduation, I got myself into debt with a card charging a 16.75 percent rate, and I bought things I didn’t really need. I’m slowly paying it off, but what a painful lesson this has been. I should have checked the interest rate or, better yet, cut the card in pieces! — Lillian H., Merced, Calif.

Lillian, it’s so easy to charge things, but first ask yourself if this purchase is a need or a want. Is it really an emergency? Can you live without it? Would you rather have the item or the debt? How will this item improve your life? Practice restraint. — Heloise

WATER MARKS

Dear Heloise: How do you remove water marks from felt? — Janet R. in San Antonio

To remove water marks from felt and similar materials, use a soft ball of white tissue paper. Rubbing in a circular motion, go over the area with light pressure until the mark is gone. — Heloise

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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