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by Abigail Van Buren

Siblings' Rivalry Carries Over To Holiday Dinners

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have married children. When it comes to holiday meals, we have a problem. For instance, our youngest daughter was the first to ask us for Thanksgiving dinner. I gave no answer at the time. That same day, one of our sons asked. Another son asked a day later. I told them all I'd let them know.

Well, the day after that, our oldest daughter called and invited us. We have been to all the kids' homes for holiday dinners except our oldest daughter's. Because we had never been there for a holiday, we accepted her invitation. Now our youngest daughter, who asked us first, is upset. She choked up on the phone when I told her we were going to her sister's. How do we make all our children happy? What should we have done? -- HOLIDAY DILEMMA

DEAR DILEMMA: The way you handled it was not only insensitive, but also rude. Because your youngest daughter was the first to invite you, you should have either accepted her invitation or declined -- not strung her along and kept her hanging. I don't blame her for feeling hurt because it now appears you favor her older sister.

From now on, work out a plan in which you rotate holiday dinners among your children and there will be fewer hurt feelings.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Family & Parenting