DEAR ABBY: This year it's our turn to have Thanksgiving dinner for my parents, my two brothers and their families at our home. My parents and brothers all live in the same city, about three hours from my family.
My father recently had major surgery. He's recovering at home and can't drive. My mother can drive. However, she drinks a little, although she has never caused an accident.
Abby, I'd still like to host Thanksgiving dinner at our home. We don't have a spare bedroom, but I don't think it would be a problem to make sleeping arrangements for my parents, my brothers and their families. All together, there would only be eight adults, a preschooler, a 6-year-old, 8-year-old twins and two teenagers in our house -– and it would be only for two nights. (Members of our families always stay with relatives when they travel, so a motel is out.)
My wife thinks it would make more sense (even though she enjoys cooking) if we stayed in a motel close to my parents' home this year and treated everyone to Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant close by. How can I convince her that my plan to have everyone at our home will work? -- PERPLEXED IN SANTA BARBARA
DEAR PERPLEXED: Your plan is well-intended, but it might not be what's best for your father right now. When anyone is recovering from surgery, it's not unusual to tire easily, and when the patients are older, they do not bounce back as quickly as younger people do. Once fatigue sets in, it is important that the patient go to bed and rest. With eight adults, a preschooler, a 6-year-old, 8-year-old twins and two teenagers all under the same roof, that would be impossible.
Another possibility is for you and your wife to stay in a motel, but offer to host the dinner at your parents' home.