Wedding Woes

The holidays are always the time for exclusion

Dear Prudence,
My husband and I have two grown daughters, “Holly” and “Ivy.” I also have another much older daughter, “Gertrude,” born during my brief first marriage. Holly and Ivy are both married and have small children. Gertrude never married and has no children. Holly and Ivy have never been particularly close to Gertrude, but in recent years, their relationship has deteriorated to the point that Holly and Ivy have told me that they do not wish to visit my house if Gertrude is there. While I don't know exactly what caused the rift (Gertrude claims to have no idea) I suspect that Gertrude, who unfortunately inherited my ex’s rather difficult personality, has said or done something to deeply offend her sisters. Holly, Ivy, and their families spend Thanksgiving and Christmas at my home. We decorate the house, bake cookies and pies with the grandchildren, go sledding or for walks in the woods, and generally have a picture-perfect holiday. Gertrude usually comes to visit for a few weekends at other times of the year and we have a lovely time together. Gertrude has recently informed me that she is very hurt that I do not invite her to my home for the holidays. While it’s too late to do anything about this year since Holly and Ivy have already made travel plans, I wonder how best to handle subsequent years. Should I maintain the status quo and tolerate Gertrude’s hurt feelings? Should I start a schedule of alternating holidays, for example, hosting Holly and Ivy next Thanksgiving, then having Gertrude visit at Christmas? The problem with alternating holidays means that my husband and I will have less time with our grandchildren, a prospect which makes us both extremely sad. 

—Fa La La La La

Re: The holidays are always the time for exclusion

  • thejucheideathejucheidea East Nashville, Tennessee member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Her kids need to grow the fuck up and be adults for one day of the year for the benefit of their mom.

  • Damn, even the fake names of the daughters are telling. 

  • Agreed the kids need to grow up, but I also think it might be nice to find out if there is something bigger that happened.

  • See, this is when I would get annoyed as shit playing referee to other people's issues.

    Make the kids all get together, Octagon style if need be, hash out whatever issues they have with each other (or come to some consensus about the status of the relationship in their lives) and come to a consensus on what's getting done over the holidays. Note how mama is NOT involved.
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  • Maybe what Gert said to offend them is that Mom is a shitty person who treats her like a practice kid.
  • Maybe what Gert said to offend them is that Mom is a shitty person who treats her like a practice kid.

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