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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Solves Problem of Sharing Holidays With In-Laws

DEAR ABBY: With the holidays approaching, I want to share with you the solution to a holiday problem. When our kids grew up and started their own families, I had read many letters from young couples caught in the middle of a battle over where to spend Christmas. So I decided to start a new family tradition. We celebrated Christmas at Thanksgiving. We put up the tree and had all the family presents wrapped and ready to exchange underneath.

It was a win-win! We got to share Christmas with family, watch our grandkids open their presents and enjoyed the holiday turkey with all the trimmings. The grandkids got two Christmases, and our kids enjoyed a guilt-free Christmas with their in-laws.

As for us -- we spent Christmas with other people who, for whatever reason, couldn't spend it with family. It worked for years, and my children now continue the tradition. -- HAPPY HOLIDAYS WITHOUT CONFLICT

DEAR H.H.: You came up with an excellent solution. Thinking outside the box is a trait that can be extremely helpful in ensuring the success of the holiday celebrations.

For many reasons, not everyone celebrates the holidays on their designated calendar days, and that includes Thanksgiving. If more families took a page out of your book, it could eliminate much of the holiday stress regular readers of my column suffer. Thank you for taking the time to write.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Holidays & Celebrations