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by Abigail Van Buren

Family Balks When Thanksgiving Hostess Throws In The Towel

DEAR ABBY: I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for our family since I was in my mid-20s, with little or no assistance from my sisters or sisters-in-law. They typically show up empty-handed but leave with a generous amount of leftovers. Before my mother passed away 12 years ago, she would at least help.

Since my children and their families live out of state and are unable to come this year, I told one of my sisters-in-law I wouldn't be hosting Thanksgiving this year. Abby, she had a complete hissy fit! She insisted it was "tradition" that we have Thanksgiving at my house, and it's something everyone looks forward to. She even said it's not like I don't have the time since I retired this year.

Yes, I have tried delegating. One year, a sister brought a dessert (cookies in a tin) and the other a bag of rolls. Neither one has ever worked outside the home. I'm tired of cooking for two or three days to feed 15 to 20 people. Am I wrong in wanting a break from doing it all? -- I'M DONE IN FLORIDA

DEAR "DONE": No. You have a right to spend your Thanksgiving any way you wish. Because you didn't mention whether your siblings host Christmas, Easter or Fourth of July celebrations, I'm assuming the answer is no. If that's true, then from my perspective you're at least 12 years overdue for a break. Your sisters and sisters-in-law should have stepped up to the plate and shared the responsibilities you have shouldered alone after your mother passed away, if not before. Shame on them.

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