Dear Annie: I have not had a Thanksgiving or Mother's Day with my husband in more than 20 years. The reason? Deer hunting season is during Thanksgiving, and his annual weeklong fishing trip starts on Mother's Day.
I told my husband today that we need a better compromise, because I no longer want to spend both of these holidays alone. He replied that it would be like asking him to give up Halloween. How can he consider Halloween to be on the same level as Mother's Day? He refuses to miss a single day of hunting or fishing.
Our family Christmas is celebrated in late January to fit everyone's schedule, but now I regret being so accommodating. Everyone feels that holidays are celebrated at their convenience. I no longer decorate my home for Christmas, since it doesn't feel like a holiday to me.
I love my family, but I am so disappointed. I try to keep busy, but I am resentful and do not like feeling this way. Have I been too nice? -- Left Out in the Cold
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DEAR LEFT OUT: Some people don't mind rearranging holidays to suit the schedules of children and spouses. They consider family togetherness to be the celebration, not the actual date. But yes, if you are now resentful and unhappy, you have been nicer than you intended.
Your husband is not likely to alter his annual hunting and fishing trips to be accommodating. You can continue to be upset, or you can decide to make the best of it. Take a short vacation when he's hunting. Visit your children over Mother's Day. Start new traditions on Christmas, perhaps with friends or extended family, so the holiday becomes meaningful to you again. Please do something that makes you happy, instead of focusing on what you're missing. It's OK to put yourself first now and then.
DEAR ANNIE: This is in response to the letters about young people being unable to make change or balance a checkbook.
Credit unions provide financial literacy training and resources -- including how to balance a checkbook or create a budget. Our credit union sponsors financial literacy courses for elementary, middle and high schools in the communities we serve. Please tell your readers to contact the credit unions in their area and ask whether they offer such services. -- Santa Fe, New Mexico
DEAR SANTA FE: Thank you for mentioning this excellent resource. We hope our readers who feel math-challenged, whether young or old, will look into it.
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