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Dear Santa: Christmas Here, Christmas There
Report to Moderator Old 06-02-2002 09:41 PM
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By Kris Kringle

Dear Santa,

I am dreading Christmas this year. I am 23 years old and just got married over the summer. I come from a small family and my wife comes from a very large family. She has already made it known that we are spending Christmas there with her family, as has been done for generations. We've hardly talked about it. But it seems to be decided. When I got married, my Dad warned me to expect things like this and told me he and my Mom would not be offended if I had to break with traditions. While it would appear that I don't have a problem, I do. I just don't want to spend Christmas with her family.

Scott S. -- Fort Myers, Florida

Hi Scott,

Congratulations! And welcome to married life.

I'm not being sarcastic when I say that. This is an exciting time of discovery, not too much unlike entering school for the first time or being a teenager. And just like those times in your life, the discovery you make is not always to your liking - initially.

In my job, the toughest thing in the world is to utter the word "no". People just don't expect it of Santa Claus. But there are simply things I cannot do. I cannot give someone a million dollars. I cannot restore one to health. And I cannot disrupt the natural order of things.

And neither can you or your wife.

How strong is your relationship? How ready are you to grow as a couple? Do you love each other enough to work these things out? Isn't this one of those "for better or for worse" moments?

Well, that's what this discovery is all about. It's not about giving in through a blind compromise of "she-wins, I-lose". It's about working it out. And you have to take the bold step in that direction.

So talk with your bride. Explain to her your feelings. If necessary, remind her that your vows represent a new era, a new time and a new commitment. Be prepared to suggest ways that you can establish traditions of your own while in some way participating, if even in part, with traditions of the past.

It's going to be different. But I'm sure you have discovered that everything is different now. But just as everything else is better in a good way, your new Christmas traditions will be better too. Because they will be the ones you discover together and make your own.

Best of luck to you both. And don't forget to leave out milk and cookies.
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