DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were together for eight years before we married a year ago. He has a kid from a previous marriage who just turned 11. The boy has been a part of my life since he was 3. But it wasn't until his father and I were married that my parents began sending him Christmas presents. They don't usually send him birthday gifts.
My husband and I had our own child seven months ago. Now they're sending a ton of Christmas presents for my biological son, but only a few token gifts for my stepson. My sister didn't bother buying anything for my stepson or my husband. When I pointed it out to her, she ignored me.
I don't think it's fair that they exclude my stepson. My sister has two girls and I bought gifts for everyone -- including her husband -- although money was tight. Now I wish I could take everything back. How can I get them to not shortchange my stepson? Or should I just tell them not to bother sending anyone gifts? -- OUTCAST IN MONTANA
DEAR OUTCAST: It appears your husband may have a less-than-ideal relationship with your mother and your sister. Before taking any action, discuss this with your husband. If he agrees, then you are within your rights to tell them the way they are treating your husband and stepson is hurtful. Say that if it can't be corrected, you prefer gifts no longer be exchanged because the discrimination is blatant and not what these holidays are supposed to be about.