DEAR MISS MANNERS: 'Tis the season, and my boyfriend and I have just moved in together. I have three children and he has two, which he has 50 percent of the time. Their home is with their own mother.
Now it's time for my family Christmas card. I need to know if it's bad manners to make a family Christmas card with the five children and/or with myself and my boyfriend.
Please help me because I don't know what I should do. We are not engaged; we have been together three years, and only for the past two months have we shared a home. I feel my own children, ages 11, 8, 6, wouldn't like this sharing of cards. His children are 8 and 6. What do you think?
GENTLE READER: Is that more important than what your children think?
And they are not the only people whom Miss Manners suspects that you might annoy. Possibly the other children, and perhaps their mother, by your representing this as their primary family.
And that is not to count many of the recipients of your card, who will be asking one another, "Who are all these people?" Yours being a new household, there are apt to be some on your Christmas card list who do not know about the arrangement.
If you want to take the occasion to tell them pictorially, please limit that to you and your new partner. The children may be included by your writing a brief note about how pleased you are to have them all.