Dear Barb – Christmas Conundrums

Dear Barb:

Less than one month till Christmas and I am so stressed out! This will be my first Christmas with my husband as we just got married in June. I was looking forward to us having an intimate Christmas morning together and then going to families? for dinner. Well it doesn’t look like that is going to happen! Both of our parents are divorced and remarried and we have received invites from both sets of parents. We also each have a sibling who is married with children, who we would like to see at Christmas. I really don’t want this to cause problems between my husband and myself, but we are already arguing. How can we get through this and still keep everyone happy? Thanks, Melissa.

Hi Melissa:

You probably won’t be able to keep everyone happy, but you should be able to reach a compromise. Have you thought about alternating Christmas and Boxing Day? You could go to one parent on Christmas Day and the other parent on Boxing Day, that way you will get to see everyone. If you can’t decide which parent to go to this year, put both names in a hat and choose one. Explain to your family that this is what you have decided to do. It’s fair and reasonable and should keep everyone happy for now. Eventually, when you have your own family you may choose to stay home to celebrate Christmas, however That’s an issue for another day. Thanks for writing and enjoy your holidays.

Dear Barb:

My wife and I have decided to go vegan and this will be our first meatless Christmas. My sister is very upset and says we are going to ruin my mom’s Christmas dinner if we don’t eat turkey. She says we should suspend our vegan diet for the day. We have worked very hard at learning to eat this way and neither of us wants to ruin it all for one day. Besides we are not sure how our bodies will react to meat after so long without any. I have suggested we bring our own food, my sister says that is rude and mom will have a fit! Do you have any suggestions on how we can all enjoy our Christmas dinner together? Thanks, Brad.

Hey Brad:

Have you discussed this with your mother? It seems your sister is making assumptions and decisions about how your mother would feel. Discuss with your mother that you would like to bring some vegan dishes for Christmas dinner. Moreover there are a lot of traditional Christmas side dishes that you and your wife would be able to eat, such as potatoes, squash and other vegetable dishes, as long as margarine is used in place of butter. Dinner could be joint effort with a wide variety of dishes. Your mother will most likely welcome your contributions. Enjoy!

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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