Monday, November 9, 2009

Ask Mom... Holiday Pickle?

Dear Mom,

My parents and in-laws have invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. We want to spend time with both families. What should we do?

Hungry for Fairness

Dear Hungry,

This is a dilemma I've had to deal with personally, probably the same dilemma most of us married folk have had to deal with. How do you balance out the holidays with two sets of parents? In this case, we're talking about turkey, stuffing and that infamous sweet potato. Then comes Christmas.

Used to be I could hardly think about it. Every year it was the same. The house we didn't go to for dinner would be disappointed at the very least. Sure, they would say they understood, but I could see the sadness in their puppy eyes. I wasn't stupid, you know.

Then my husband came up with this ingenious idea. We would go to both houses! Stuff ourselves sill and really enjoy the day! Unfortunately, both families planned the meal around the same time so going to both proved difficult.

We decided on another strategy - Thanksgiving Day swapping. The first year was the most difficult, of course. We went to my parent's home as I remember, and spent most of the day with them. The evening was spent at my in-laws' eating pie. The following year, we went to my husband's parent's home for dinner and came over to my home-away-from home for dessert.

For the most part this strategy has proved successful. However, there have been some years that we have forgotten whose house for dinner is on the agenda. Fortunately, the correct set of parents has informed us that it's "their turn."

As our children have grown older, there have been times we haven't gone to either house, preferring to have dinner at our own home or at the home of one of our children. This has meant we have had to get back on track with our parents and in-laws; no easy task.

In the long-run though, our parents from both sides have appreciated the swapping arrangement. Sure, they don't get us for dinner every year, but they do at lest get us for desert.


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