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Reality Check: Holiday Tug-of-War

Q. This is our baby's first Christmas, and both sets of grandparents want us. What do we do?

A. Stay put, and have those who can make it come to your house. The last thing you need with a new baby is to have to pack up all the endless gear you depend upon, plus bags of gifts, and pile it and yourselves into a car/plane/train. And who wants to deal with the bitterness you'll bring on by choosing one over the other?

Instead, tell everyone that this year you'd love to host the family gathering at your place. Leave Christmas morning for just you, your husband, and the baby, and invite the others over for dinner. Let them know that you can't handle all the cooking and preparing by yourself and that it would be a lovely gift to you if everyone pitched in. Tell Grammy Heather you'd be delighted if she made her fabulous pineapple-topped ham and Aunt Samantha to bake up her famous cinnamon apple pie...

Obviously, this won't work for everybody—some traditions are too entrenched to budge. But if you sense flexibility, be firm: Folks who want to see the new baby will have to do it your way. Then, after dinner, when everyone's full and happy, start setting up hosting plans for the next few years. That way, everyone will know up front where their grandbaby will be. Talk about spreading holiday cheer!

 

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