The in-laws expect the children to partake in their annual formal Christmas Eve dinner at 8p.m.

One parent wants to buy the children Heifer International gift cards, the other wants to buy them iPads.

‘Tis the season for parenting dilemmas. For a few weeks every December we find ourselves needing to explain cultural mythology and religious differences, navigate gift-giving expectations and extended family drama and encourage in our kids both good manners and gratitude.

In my story, “Holiday advice for families”, several parenting experts weigh in on some of the more common problems.

Also, Family Almanac columnist Marguerite Kelly, Washington parenting coach Meghan Leahy and I will field questions and comments about holiday parenting issues during a live online chat at 2p.m. Thursday.

Join us by submitting questions here.

Have the holidays stirred up unexpected parenting issues for you? How are you dealing with them?