Life Advice



Ask Amy: Christmas Eve brings on competing traditions

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Half-a-Family: My response is not what you want to hear.

Many, many families split their time and attendance over various holiday celebrations. For you to have all of your adult children with you on both Christmas Eve and the following day – is unrealistic.

You have your own blended family celebration on Christmas Day.

I suggest that you adjust the timing of your celebration so that all of your family members can regroup on Christmas morning, and not arrive at your home bedraggled.

This aunt’s Christmas Eve tradition is long-standing, and because your sons choose to attend it, I think you should accept that – for them – this is an important aspect of their Christmas celebration. And so, you should let them have it, and instead of hosting a competing event – you and your wife should scale back your own Christmas Eve and consider the way you celebrate it (with her sons) to be … what you do. Develop your own intimate traditions with the smaller group.

This whole issue is obviously a big sticking point with you, but – if you couldn’t work it out to your satisfaction in family therapy, then I’d say that the adult response would be to accept things as they are, and to stop pushing.


Dear Amy: I have two grandsons that are worrying me quite a bit.

One child is a 9-year-old and the other a 5-year-old.

Here’s my concern: The 9-year-old weighs 140 pounds, and the 5-year-old weighs 80.

They are both almost twice the average weight for children their ages.


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