Dear Abby: I’m starting to get anxious as the holidays get closer. I have a family that ruins every holiday she has no control over. ) My children and grandchildren don’t like interacting with her, but they attend holiday events at her house to keep the peace.

When I host a holiday, everyone is included. But I am old and even with the help of my children it is difficult for me.My husband and I were thinking of going on vacation just to get away from this particular relative, Then you won’t be able to spend the holidays with the rest of your extended family. This woman has been ruining our vacations for almost 40 years. I can not stand it any longer! Please tell me what to do. — Horrible Holidays in Florida

DEAR DREADS: I have a suggestion if you accept it. We want to celebrate with our grown children, so let’s do it around Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Let’s make it a “nuclear family” gathering. There is no rule that you have to meet on a specific day. I will see the big family again.

Choosing to do this may relieve the stress you are currently experiencing. And think about one more thing. Take a vacation with the husband you’ve been thinking about. you both deserve it.

PS: If someone asks why this year isn’t as big as it used to be, be honest. If you say you’re old now and it’s become too much for you, then in a few years someone may pick up where you left off.** ** ** Dear Abby : How should I answer when someone asks, “How old are you?” , sometimes people are so persistent they can’t let it go. I usually reply, “I don’t care about your age.” I find the question intrusive and frankly disrespectful. Especially if the question is asked in front of other people. Sometimes guess my age following this. When did it become acceptable to ask someone who was obviously older than me how old I was? You should be able to understand my age if you ask me how old I am. – HER AGELESS LADY DEAR HER AGELESS OF WASHINGTON: Try this. Have the questioner explain why the information is needed. When the person has finished speaking, say, “Well, my age is none of your business. Don’t ask me again.” ** ** ** Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and founded by her mother’s girlfriend, Pauline Phillips.Dear Abby Contact or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.