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Dear Abby: Wife unhappy to get stuck with in-laws at Christmas

SHARE Dear Abby: Wife unhappy to get stuck with in-laws at Christmas

Dear Abby: I have a problem with my in-laws. My brother- in-law will never invite his parents for Christmas, so my husband always insists we have a combined family Christmas with my parents so his parents are not left alone.

The problem is my in-laws have bad-mouthed my parents in the past, and they treat my parents as if they are "less than." They also don't treat me all that great.

I get into fights every year with my husband about this. This year I tried to compromise, saying I'd have the in-laws over for Christmas Eve, but my husband will not bend. He wants both families here. It is my Christmas, too. I know it's only one day, but why should I have to compromise and be unhappy for the rest of my life? Please help. — Dreading Christmas in Howell, Mich.

Dear Dreading Christmas: You have to compromise because, when you married your wonderful husband, you blended your family with his — obnoxious and pretentious as they may be. You compromise because marriage IS compromise. Keep the spirits bright by keeping the atmosphere as light as possible — and your in-laws separate from your parents. And remember that the illusion of the "perfect family" is just that — an illusion.

Dear Abby: I come from a mid-Atlantic state. I recently met a woman named "Diana" from New England. When Diana introduced herself, she pronounced her name "Di-ann-er."

When I address her, should I pronounce her name as she does? Or should I pronounce it "Di-ann-a" in my normal manner? I don't want to seem like I'm mocking her by mimicking a New England accent, but I also don't want to mispronounce her name.

My friends and family are split on what is more courteous. What do you think? — Beth in Pennsylvania

Dear Beth: The polite thing to do is also the safest. Pronounce Diana's name as you normally would, and you won't get into trouble.

Dear Readers: This Saturday the Hallmark Channel will air a made-for-television movie, "The Christmas Card," that features a romance strikingly similar to the ones that have resulted from Operation Dear Abby, which supports our men and women in the military stationed worldwide. So, tune in, sit back and enjoy it with me!

And now that the holiday season is in full swing, remember to take a moment and send a holiday greeting to our men and women in the military by logging onto www.operationdearabby.net.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate