Frustrated daughter-in-law

by Julie
(Atlanta)

When my husband and I married, we agreed to spend thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with my family. We actually exchanged gifts with his family at thanksgiving so we had the best of both worlds. After my husband's sister passed away a few years ago, our tradition changed. We continued to spend thanksgiving with my mother-in-law and invited her to our home as well for Christmas. We just got back from our thanksgiving visit and discussed when she would come for Christmas this year. She made an excuse to me that she did not want to leave her dog and so I told her to bring her dog with her. When my husband asked her separately about coming, she said that she had not been invited yet. We received a package today with pint sized yet extravagant gifts. It's 2 weeks until Christmas and she usually brings her gifts with her so I am confused about why she sent them early. Her relationship with my husband is strained and I feel like she wants us to beg her to come. I don't like being manipulated and feel like begging her to visit will only enable her behavior, which I perceive as childish. Any suggestions?

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Christmas Invitation
by: Ms P Etiquette

Julie,

This issue, although you are very much caught in the middle, sounds like an issue between your husband and his mother. When she said she was not invited, I am guessing that HE did not invite her. As you point out, their relationship is strained. If the two of you want her to come for Christmas, then he will need to reach out and have that conversation. There is nothing you can really do about the awkward situation.

It is still not too late to make this happen. Talk to your husband about mending fences. The holidays are a wonderful time for family.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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