DEAR ABBY: My parents have been divorced for 15 years. Dad is remarried; my mother lives alone. My brother and I alternate holidays every year, and this year he was supposed to host our mother. Instead, he just informed me he has decided to invite our father and his wife to dinner, leaving our mother no place to go.
I would love to invite her to my in-laws' house, but my husband doesn't want her to come. When I told him he could take the kids to his family's house, he got very upset and told me I should consider him and our children first, before my mother.
So, what should I do? Should I leave my mom home alone on Christmas, or stay with her so she's not alone? -- WORRIED ABOUT MOM IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR WORRIED: Has your brother told your mother he won't be celebrating Christmas with her? If he hasn't, he should let her know now. Because your husband refuses to share Christmas with your mother, I assume their relationship is strained. If that's the case, it may be time for her to start mending fences.
As to whether you should sacrifice Christmas with your husband and children to be with her, I'm not sure you should. Your mother would be wise to learn to be more independent than she appears to be, and a way of doing that would be to start making plans of her own. If there is a church celebration, or an opportunity to volunteer in your community, suggest she investigate it. Also, consider seeing her on Christmas Eve, or for brunch or for lunch if she can't join you for dinner.