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Health & Spirit

Mom's hints might lead to holiday changes

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: The holiday season is already in full swing, and my husband and I are already arguing over what to do next year.

My mother-in-law has always hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas.

She is in her late 60s and has always said she loves to host -- until now. She called my husband and dropped some strong hints that we should take over as the family hosts.

We don't think any others in his large family would step up. Some come in from out of town or live in small apartments.

I would be willing to take over on the condition that we go to a restaurant. Everyone (quite a large group) would be welcome back at our place afterward for dessert/coffee/tea and conversation.

I grew up with the restaurant tradition and have a lot of nice memories of it. I also have three small children and a demanding job.

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My husband does not like the restaurant idea at all. He has offered to "do everything," but I know from experience that this won't happen.

He will ask me a ton of questions about how to do every little thing. (He is a novice in the kitchen.)

Even with his help, it is just too much work for me to clean, cook and host such a large crowd. Catering the meal would be too expensive. Neither of us wants to ask guests to pay for food we serve in our home. A potluck won't work because too many guests come from out of town. Do you think it is reasonable if each family or couple pays for themselves?

What do you think of my restaurant idea?

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