DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Cal," and I have decided to have Thanksgiving at our house this year. The last three years we have gone to my sister-in-law's house. When I told my father-in-law our decision, he yelled at me and walked out of my home. After that he called Cal and screamed at him, saying that we are being disrespectful to him.
The guys usually hunt over that holiday weekend. By celebrating Thanksgiving here, my father-in-law says we are depriving him of four days he could be hunting with my husband. I suggested that they do it here, but he insisted there is no good game around here. After another round of yelling, my father-in-law hung up on Cal.
I don't understand what the problem is. We thought it would be nice to finally have Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I don't know what to say to my father-in-law now. I feel very hurt. It's causing a lot of stress, as if the holidays are not already stressful enough. What should I do about this? -- STRESSED OVER THE HOLIDAYS
DEAR STRESSED: Your father-in-law behaved like a rude child. It wouldn't hurt him to let the wild animal population build itself up again for a year. Please don't take what he said personally.
Be sure your father-in-law knows exactly when Thanksgiving dinner will be served. Set a place for him, but don't count on him showing up. If he doesn't, you will know where his priorities lie. However, if he does come and sulk, ignore the petulance and go on with the party.