Dear Abby: I have a problem that recurs every year, and I would like your opinion.

My husband (I'll call him Paul) and I have been married for eight years. We have a good marriage, but here's the problem:Paul has a son by a previous marriage. (His former wife has not remarried.)

After their divorce, it was their tradition for Paul to get together with his ex-wife and "little Jeff" on Christmas morning to have breakfast and watch Jeff open his gifts.

Well, "little Jeff" is now 21 years old, and that tradition is still going on. My own grown children also have commitments elsewhere, so we usually get together later in the day - which means that since my marriage, I have spent every Christmas morning alone.

At first, I could understand trying to make the idea of his father's remarriage easier for his young son, but he's an adult now, and the "adjustments" have been made. Jeff and I are cordial, as are the ex-wife and I, and we do see each other occasionally throughout the year.

My husband thinks I'm out of line to feel hurt about being excluded every year and he can't see anything rude about their behavior.

Abby, if you think I'm being too sensitive, I'll try to adjust my thinking, and just get used to being alone every Christmas morning.

- Nameless, Please

Dear Nameless: "Little Jeff" is a grown man, and I agree, the adjustment should have been made by now. It's time you were made welcome to join your husband, and his "ex" and Jeff - instead of being left alone every Christmas morning.

The squeaking wheel gets the grease - so "squeak up" louder.

Dear Abby: Here's another viewpoint on giving the first wife's jewelry to the second wife:

When my mother was dying, she said, "Dotty, please see that your father marries again - he can't live alone." (She really meant it.)

Within a year, Dad met Grace - a lovely woman - and after asking for my approval, he proposed marriage to her. He could not afford to buy her a ring; because my mother's illness had been so costly, he had to mortgage the house. He then asked me if I would allow him to take the diamond out of Mother's ring and have it reset for Grace. I agreed without a moment's hesitation.

Years later, when Grace learned where the diamond in her ring came from, she and Daddy surprised me by giving me Mother's ring back. When I opened the box, Grace said, "Now, both your mothers have worn it!"

- Mrs. Dorothy Swan,

Old Saybrook, Conn.

Dear Dorothy: You and Grace possess something more precious than diamonds - a flawless sense of values.

Your father and Grace were both loving and generous to have returned your mother's diamond to you. It is twice-blessed.

Dear Abby: Our 6-year-old grandson, Ryan, was looking at the newspaper with his mother. When he saw your picture, he turned to her and said, "Mom, that lady's picture has been in the paper for years. What in the world did she DO?"

- Janet Phillips,

Hamilton, Ohio

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)