Dear Annie: I have four adult children. I announced to all of them that I would not be holding Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners at my home and that they were welcome to spend the time with their in-laws.
My oldest was hurt because she has no in-laws to go to. My son texted his middle sister to ask what was going on. My middle daughter was upset, saying I was allowing my youngest daughter to be the “winner.” My youngest daughter spent both days at a local church feeding the needy.
Why was my family separated? Because my middle and youngest are not speaking to each other. When one of them is hurt or angry, they hurl vicious insults at each other. I feel bad about this, but I refuse to sit at a table with these uncaring adults and pretend that all is well.
I had a nice TV dinner and a slice of sweet potato pie with whipped cream for the holidays. The losers in this mess are my grandchildren and I. I take responsibility for raising these people, but I will not allow them to ruin my day. – June
Dear June: If your children make your holiday celebrations frustrating and stressful, you do not have to include them. But how sad for all of you to spend these holidays separated or alone. Please give your children one more chance. Explain to them that nastiness will not be tolerated in your home and the first person to use an insult of any kind will be asked to leave. By now, they know you mean business.