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by Abigail Van Buren

Clutter of Holiday Decorations Crushes Man's Christmas Spirit

DEAR ABBY: Every December my wife virtually buries our home in Christmas decorations. It's not just the tree and stockings in the living room; she's not happy until there are Christmas towels and Christmas soap in the bathroom and another tree and knicky-knacky stuff downstairs. Not even a doorknob is safe from decoration.

It drives me nuts; I feel so claustrophobic. I bump into these decorations everywhere I turn. I was raised differently, more simply. There was a tree in the living room and stockings hung from the mantel. That was it.

For the last 20 years of our marriage, I have suggested -- unsuccessfully -- that we compromise and alternate every other year. One year her way, the next mine. When I do, she tearfully accuses me of being Scrooge. I admit I'm not big on the commercialized Christmas season, but is my request unreasonable? -- NOT FOND OF CHRISTMAS IN NORTH OGDEN, UTAH

DEAR NOT FOND: No, it's not. You are suggesting meeting each other halfway. Your wife is unwilling to do that even though she knows what she's doing is making you uncomfortable. And that's regrettable because Christmas is supposed to be about what's in the heart, not what's all over the house.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Holidays & Celebrations