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by Abigail Van Buren

In Laws' Anniversary Invitation Is High Price to Pay to Party

DEAR ABBY: My in-laws are having a large and expensive celebration for their 40th anniversary. They are demanding that all five children kick in $250 toward the party. We live in another state and our tickets to attend are very expensive. Abby, we feel the cost of our tickets is enough expense without helping to pay for THEIR party. They invited us!

My father is 80 years old, and he and Mom will have a 50th anniversary soon. That is something to celebrate. I don't mind paying for it myself, and I won't ask anyone to help.

Which anniversaries should be celebrated with a big celebration? And must we help pay for their party? (No one offered to help us with the expense of our plane tickets.) -- JACKIE IN COLORADO SPRINGS

DEAR JACKIE: Forty years of marriage is something to celebrate, and a party is appropriate. Usually the couple hosts the party, but if the children wish, they can give the party. If the children planned this celebration, then they should each pay a share. However, if your in-laws planned the party, they are the hosts and the children should not be forced to finance it. It would be gracious to chip in if you can afford to, but if you cannot, let your in-laws know it would cause financial hardship. Perhaps they will excuse you.

P.S. The fifth, 10th, 20th, 25th, 40th, 50th and 60th are typically celebrated in style, but many couples also celebrate anniversaries in between with small parties with family or close friends.