"There are no argumentative children; only adults who argue with children."

Holiday Shuffle

Question

This question is regarding the upcoming Christmas season and how to handle my mom and my in-laws. My husband and I have disagreements about how to handle both of our families during this time of year. I am the only child to a single mom, who basically has no one other than me, her ailing mother (my grandma, whom I'm very close to), and our 18-month-old daughter. My husband grew up in a very traditional house - mom, dad, sister and two dogs.

We've been married for 6 years. My MIL doles out dozens of gifts to me, my husband, BIL and SIL and the two grandkids. I have asked that a limit be set for gifts, even for children because I do not agree with over-indulgence, even at Christmas time, but my MIL usually disregards my requests and does it however she wants.

We've had to keep the same tradition of going to my in-law's house every Christmas morning since we've been married. My mom feels very left out and like she does not matter because she is unable to buy the way my MIL does. She gets angry because we spend the majority of Christmas day with the in-laws and my mom gets the "leftovers."

My husband is very close to his mother and feels that since it's always been this way then it should stay that way. Every year at Christmas this affects us and the temperament in our home, which I know that our daughter can pick up on or will eventually pick up on.

I simply want things to be fair when it comes to spending the holidays with family and not always be "one sided," but I'm the one who is always caught in the middle.

I realize this is not exactly a parenting question, but I really do not know anyone in my situation to turn to and it's causing me a lot of grief during this time of year so any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

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