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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Takes Hurt Feelings Home From Family's Holiday Dinners

DEAR ABBY: I feel like I am not appreciated at my husband's family's holiday gatherings. Everyone brings a dish, while I get assigned the "leftover" -- which is usually a salad. I told my husband I wanted to bring the dessert one year, so I made a homemade pie. His sister proceeded to bring two store-bought pies in addition to her dish. No one ate any of my pie except for my husband and me. Even when I bring the salad, no one eats it, either.

I may not be the best cook, but I am a good one and my pie was perfect. Because this has happened more than once, I feel discouraged about contributing, and I have told that to my husband. Do you have any advice about how I can contribute without feeling left out? -- NO NAME, PLEASE, IN MISSOURI

DEAR NO NAME: Yes. Understand that when families gather for holiday dinners year after year, they often want particular foods prepared in the way to which they are accustomed. While you may want to contribute, you may not be able to do that unless you are hosting the party.

From now on, unless you are asked to do otherwise, bring with you only a smile, your appetite, and flowers or a bottle of wine. If you do, there will be fewer hurt feelings and you'll save yourself some work.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Family & Parenting