DEAR AMY: My son recently became engaged to a girl whose parents are vegans. They invited my husband and me to dinner and served a vegan meal, which we enjoyed. We always host Thanksgiving dinner at our home, and I invited them to join us. I offered to prepare an all-vegan meal for the two of them. Their answer was that they would be unable to eat in a home where there are dead animal products served. In other words, if there is turkey on the table, they cannot attend. My family enjoys the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I don't think it's fair to dictate what we should serve. My son said I should just make a vegan meal for everyone to keep the peace. My family will not attend Thanksgiving dinner under those circumstances. Help! Meat LoversDEAR MEAT LOVERS: Don't assume that "the peace" is at stake. If these people are consistent, this means they cannot enjoy a meal in many homes or restaurants. This is their choice. After trying to reasonably accommodate them, respond with acceptance.
Don't put your son or his fiance in the middle. Tell her parents that you hope they would be able to join you on Thanksgiving for dessert (no mince pie). If they refuse the invitation, say you'd enjoy hosting them another time.
DEAR AMY: I'd like to share our extended family's way of handling holiday gift giving. Around Thanksgiving, whoever is hosting puts all the family names in a bowl and gives one name to each participant, who then buys a gift for that relative. The fun part is that we have to write a poem that gives a clue to the giver's identity, and the recipient has to guess who the giver is. Each adult gets an adult, and each child gets a child to buy for. The poems are hilarious and have turned into a contest of wits and talent, and nobody feels they are going broke. It becomes less about the gift and more about the relationships. Mrs. O