Mother’s Day Dilemma

Dear Annabel Manners, 

I am planning to take my mom out for brunch this Sunday for Mother’s Day. The question is, do I invite my stepdad and stepbrother (we are all adults). 
I can’t afford to treat everyone even though I would like to. My stepfather picks up checks all the time so it’s awkward for me to talk to him about this. 
What do you think?
— E in Orange County
Dear E,
I can think of one solution that includes everybody and won’t send you into unnecessary debt.
Cancel that reservation and do brunch at your house (or your mama’s). You’ll save loads of money, and you don’t even have to cook unless you want to.
Just pick up some fresh flowers and come prepared with any combination of the following:
  • An array of bagels and spreads
  • A lovely fruit salad courtesy of your grocery store
  • Blueberry muffins
  • A delicious quiche (homemade or from Whole Foods)
  • The makings for mimosas
  • Mom’s favorite latte (and whatever everybody else likes, too)
If your heart is set on going out, I suggest you call your stepfather or send him an email to explain the situation:
“I’d love to invite you and [step-brother] to join us on Mother’s Day, but I’m afraid I just can’t swing it this year.
If you’d like to come to brunch, I’ll happily split the check with you. If not, we’ll have a girls’ outing and meet up with you two after.”
Maybe your stepfather and stepbrother could help you plan an afternoon activity (say, a museum visit or a movie) that includes everyone.
Happy Mother’s Day to your mama!
Graciously yours,
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