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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Volunteers for Holiday Hours Instead of Celebrating With Wife's Family

DEAR ABBY: For the past two years, my husband, "Dennis," has worked Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. He's in a business where he doesn't have to be the only one to work these holidays. He volunteers to do it because of the tips and holiday pay. When I walked into the office today, I saw a note he had written to his boss asking to work both holidays again.

Years ago when my father was alive, he hosted Christmas Eve for our family. Then the tradition was handed down to me, and I proudly hosted them. Now that Dennis and I are together, our place is too small, so I asked my son to do it and he gladly agreed.

My problem is, I will have to go to my son's alone again for Christmas Eve, and my son and daughter-in-law feel insulted because Dennis won't come for the holidays. How do I deal with this? -- HUSBANDLESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS, AGAIN

DEAR HUSBANDLESS: It appears you and Dennis have been married only a short time. Was he like this when you were dating? If the answer is no, it's time to ask him if he intends to continue working holidays indefinitely. And when you do, let him know that his refusal to spend family time with your son and daughter-in-law hurts their feelings as well as yours.

If that doesn't convince him to compromise, you will have to explain to your son and his wife that Dennis prefers to work rather than attend holiday celebrations and to please not take it personally because it's not personal.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce