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DEAR ABBY: We always have a large birthday party for my 8-year-old daughter every year. We hold the party later in the evening when we know people can come if it falls on a weekday because of work.

My sister returned to college this year, and I knew she could not come because she had a class that evening. So I asked my husband if we should have the party on another day or on the weekend. He said, "No, we're having it on her birthday in the evening, and if they can't come, they can see her at a later date." He said, what if they can't come on the weekend either? So the party stayed the same.

Football started that night for my other sister and her son, and my husband's sister had to work late. I feel like a heel! I agree that I don't want my daughter's party to be a week or two after her birthday, and I don't want to combine mine with hers, since they are two days apart. What do you think about this? Couldn't they miss one event to come to a party? -- BRENDA IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

DEAR BRENDA: The type of parties you have described are more for adults than for children. It is more important that your little girl be able to enjoy her birthday with some of HER friends than it be a command performance for your sisters. Please consider this next year, because I don't think you are being fair to your daughter.

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