Yearly debate: where to go for the holidays

DEAR ABBY: I’m an only child; my husband is not. Our parents don’t live nearby, and every year we have great debates over where to go for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both sets of parents host both holidays at their homes.

My husband feels we should alternate, one year spend Christmas with his parents, the next with mine. I suggested that one year we host Christmas at our home. That way, both sets of parents could be with us, but his mother said no because her other children and grandchildren spend the holidays with them at her house.

Even though I know the fair thing to do would be to alternate, I do not want to leave my parents alone on the holidays because I’m their only child. They have no one else! But his mother expects us to be there for every holiday and gets upset if we aren’t.

I know this situation will only get worse once my husband and I have children. What should we do? — HOLIDAY TROUBLE IN NEW YORK

DEAR HOLIDAY TROUBLE: Because a marriage is supposed to involve the joining together of two families into one, you might suggest to your mother-in-law that she extend an invitation to your parents for the holidays. But if she’s unwilling or your parents are unable to travel, then I agree with your husband that you should alternate the holidays.

After you have children, this should be discussed again, because it is important that they get to know their cousins, and it will be easier to expose them when the family is all together whether it’s at your home or your in-laws’.

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