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Parents Cancel Holiday Dinners When Kids Won't Bury Hatchet

DEAR ABBY: The holiday season is here, with the traditional family dinner get-togethers. Our problem is, our two children (ages 27 and 29) don't like each other and rarely have contact during the year. This creates such stressful holiday meals that my wife and I would prefer to simply not have them.

What words should we use to explain to both of them that we will no longer host holiday family dinners in the future? The conundrum arises if one of them says, "Well, I can come for Thanksgiving, so 'Jesse' can come for Christmas," which divides us in a way that is unacceptable. Although we have asked them to work out their issues, they have made no progress. Your advice? -- DAD STRESSED BY THE HOLIDAYS

DEAR DAD: Your "children" are adults and should be able to bury their differences two nights out of the year for your sake. If one makes that suggestion, your response should be: "No. It would only remind us that half our family is missing, which would sadden us on what's supposed to be a happy occasion. That's why your mother and I have decided to make other plans instead."

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