Dear Tell All: I grew up in a house where Christmas was the most special time of the year. My dad always took the whole week off work, and both he and my mom spent all their time with my sister and me. My main memory is how intimate it was. We baked cookies together, went shopping together and decorated the house together.
Now I'm married with two kids of my own. When the kids were younger, our Christmases were a lot like the old-fashioned ones from my own childhood, just basking in the intimacy. But it sure hasn't been like that the last two or three years.
A big part of the problem is social media. My husband has gone all-in on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, sharing his experiences and commenting on everybody else's. I normally don't care, as I like social media myself. But not during Christmas! Every time we decorate the tree, he takes a picture with his cell phone and posts it. Every time we make cookies, he lets the whole world know. I'm sure he'll be tweeting before, during and after we open presents on Christmas morning.
I haven't said anything to him about this because I know he'll get mad. And that won't contribute to a pleasant Christmas, either. Should I insist that he focus more on his family than his cell phone, or just let this roll off my back?
Dear Holly: Given that your husband's obsession bugged you enough to write a letter, I doubt it will roll off your back. Nor should it. You've got a legitimate gripe here, and the only way to save your Christmas is to confront him with the issue. There are many places where cell-phone use is restricted as a courtesy to others: on the highway, in a movie theater, etc. So why shouldn't your husband extend similar courtesy during Christmas?
That doesn't mean you have to make it a big fight. I suggest bringing up the subject with a light touch. In fact, why don't you start by sending him a tweet? Use the hashtag #OldFashionedFamilyChristmas. Good luck.
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