Should I invite HER in laws?

by Mallory
(Rancho Cordova, CA)

For the last few years, we've spent Christmas Day at my cousin's house because her mother in law and step father in law come from out of state. That's the holiday they spend with them. My children are now getting to the age where they want to stay home and play with their own toys so this year I told my cousin that we would be staying home. She still would like to see us and the kids so she suggested maybe we could alternate hosting. That way every other year our kids get to stay home and play with their own toys.

I'm completely fine with hosting our family at Christmas; except I don't feel like I have to invite her in laws. They are very nice people, and we see them a couple times a year between Christmas and my cousin's kids birthday parties.

Do I have to invite her in laws if I'm hosting Christmas at my house? My cousin wouldn't be able to come because her in laws are there, and I would feel bad if they told them they couldn't see them at Christmas because they were coming to my house this year.

Should I suck it up and invite them, or is there a polite way to relay my feelings or this message without being rude or looking like a horrible person?

Mind you, my cousin sometimes gets annoyed with her mother in law and I have other family that would be there that doesn't really like the in laws. I feel like I'm torn between people. HELP!!!! Or how

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by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Mallory

This is a dilemma! But it is a simple one.

The tradition has been having all of you together at Christmas and your cousin is suggesting alternating homes. You must invite all who attend at your cousin's house. Doing anything else would be terribly rude. I am sure those who are not that fond of your cousin's in-laws can be civil for a day. Otherwise, you must decline her invitation to change houses each year. The decision is between alternating or not alternating. You will have to decide.

Good luck
Ms Practical Etiquette

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