As usual, originals here.
Note: Prudie is Jewish but celebrated the secular Christmas. Nice to know. I'm christian and have celebrated the religious Hanukkah and Passover before, because there are not a lot of members of the Tribe in space, and those who are here take what aliens they can to participate.
My dog is dying and MIL says kennel him: Do what you need to do. If you are looking at anyone else to give you the permission to do what you feel is best (stay home) that's insane. I know you don't want to disappoint anyone, but c'mon, this is like your kid here, am I right?
Paper carrier crassness: I guess he couldn't tell you were a Scrooge when he asked for a tip. Jesus H., just tip the poor bastard. I can't think of a worse job than being a paper carrier — 7 days a week, hours begin at something like 5 a.m. or earlier, the pay absolutely sucks, you have to do it in all sorts of weather. These days a lot of paper carriers are grown ups, often with developmental disabilities (like my paper guy), and their earning potential is way limited. You have a nice brick house? Spread it around a little.
Surprise! Xmas at your house: This is where you (and your man) learn to say "No" and stick to it with your husband's family. They're coming anyway? Quick! To the minivan for an impromptu look at neighbor Christmas lights!
What to get my dad with the evil wife?: A gift card? A gift certificate at a restaurant? I mean, maybe enclose these in a card that says something like, "This is the gift you get when you marry a psychobitch. Wish I knew you better, but oh well it was your call and you just played through like you didn't notice lo those many years ago." Does Hallmark have a line like that?
Cinderelly: Why can't he at least stay over to wake up before you to do the dishes? He sounds like a crumb and you should have a talk with him about any other promises he can't keep before he starts making them to you.
Cheap ass tipper: What a paper carrier makes is absolutely piddling. You sound like a hard-hearted jerk. The kind who won't let his employee throw another coal on the fire. Enjoy the chains you forged in life after you die.
How to let hubby know I'm knocked up without his parents suspecting when I give him booties and a bib: Retro attitude here, with the "I'm having his baby, what a lovely gift" vibe. Just tell him. Pre-Xmas. This baby is a life-changing event, not a gift.
Why tip someone with a job?: Why are you taking the paper if your man has been out of work three months? Oh right, you're on unemployment and can afford it. I hope you're also not not-tipping when you eat out and "can't afford it." Again, DOES ANYONE HERE KNOW WHAT PAPERBOYS MAKE??? (They may make $10 an hour (not in my orbit), but they work 2-4 hours a day, generally.) And if they are developmentally disabled, as many, many of them are, they may not make more than a very, very low amount or they will be permanently disqualified from getting SSI bennies, which are absolutely critical because they cannot compete in the marketplace for actual jobs. So $20-$50 or so under the table is a huge effing deal to them. Like, HUGE.
"Sit in Santa's Lap, little girl": You can say it makes you uncomfortable, or you can cut a joke about your new entry for your sexual harrassment diary, but whatever you do, make sure you do it. Another option: email them all the website creepysanta.com and say, "This is where we'd be sending the pictures, LOL." LOLNOT also works there.
Cinderelly part duh: He sounds like a zero. A zero who lies. Call him on it, shut him down and see if he values you for more than your central location and hostess and cleaning skills.
Off the dog: Actually, this sounds about right, unless the dog is still having quality of life.
Should I feel Guilty?: Hell no, he should have. I can't believe you're worried about how YOU are perceived when HE is a MOLESTER!!!
Beauty Schooler dating richish dude: I believe Pogue Mahone said it best. The gift of BJs. Seriously, just give him the gift of you and your future together.
He cheated, and everyone knows: Well, this sounds like a recipe for something not tasty. Hopefully everyone will be civil, but it sounds like you two are in a fragile place, and some people can't help but want events to come out how THEY want them to instead of you. And you will not only have to insulate yourself from their possible aggression, but your possible defensiveness/latching on more strongly to Mr. Right. See what I'm saying?
Turkey: Yeah, might as well bring this up. Can't see how any non-jerk would object.
Getting the kids liquored up: It's up to the parents to decide for their kids (though the ones at college may balk, it's not like they should be wanting to get lit around the folks). It's up to you to say, "If I were your dad, I would totally be cool with you having a little champagne."
Cheap tippers unite!: Why is it that tipping discussions bring out everyone? If your delivery person sucks, call their boss at the paper's circulation department before Xmas! Problem solved! Then you may tip happily instead of whine about the crappy job they're doing! And you, Menlo Park, why not just move your frickin car a skoshe instead of getting dirty? No Edison are you!
People and Xmas equals hell: Don't show up, like the woman says. If you need this, you need it. And your husband needs to be at the forefront of your combined resolve.
Photo girl: Oh, that's precious.
After this chat, I will be giving my paper delivery guy a bigger tip than normal. I can afford it, and I'm proud to do it, and now I realize what hard-hearted and clueless (hellO MENLO) people there are out there.