Ayone else putting off the 'where shall we go for Christmas?' chat?

(47 Posts)
2kidsintow Mon 01-Oct-12 23:08:16

DH is a bit of an arse a stick in the mud when it comes to fitting around other people. Some years we stay at home (not too bad now we have little ones of our own) and others we go to my parents for dinner. Then the children in the family (me and 3 sisters) take it in turn to host tea so the jobs are shared out.

2 years ago, we stayed at home for lunch as it was our turn to host tea. The DCs still got to see everybody and it was a happy day. DH was happy.

Last year, it was someone elses tea turn so we went to my parents for lunch. DH was a right pain. Moaned all morning (inc in front of the kids) about having to fit in with other people's schedules and refused to open gifts to each other on grounds that "there isn't time" despite having plenty of time to watch the kids open theirs, then have breakfast and a cuppa etc. He was polite and friendly to others at the christmas dinner, but hardly said anything to me. Upon getting home he loudly declared "well that's me done for the next 2 years" in essence saying that he had decided we are staying at home this Christmas.

It isn't our turn to do tea again and I'd love to go to my parent's again. Mostly I'm aware that the number of Christmases with them still around is limited. They are fit and well so that is a bit maudling to be fair.

I'm putting off the row discussion.

2kidsintow Mon 01-Oct-12 23:10:30

To give a bit more perspective, his family always go on holiday (not something I want to consider while the kids are still into the Father Christmas thing) and we don't see them until just before new year, so it isn't like he wants to spend time with his side of the family instead.

Even before they started holidaying at Christmas, they never did Christmas day and we always saw them on Boxing day instead.

3duracellbunnies Mon 01-Oct-12 23:56:10

Why don't you have your parents over for lunch and then go with them and the children to whoever is hosting, leaving the grump to watch the Queen on his own and fall asleep on the pile of wrapping paper?

I have the opposite problem with dh wanting to travel length and breadth of UK while I would quite like not to have to do Santa's sleigh duties all holiday.

Badvoc Tue 02-Oct-12 07:23:35

Go without your dh this year.
He sounds a real charmer.....

girlywhirly Tue 02-Oct-12 08:28:44

I'd do as duracell says this year, have your parents over for lunch and go to whichever sister is hosting tea later leaving him the clearing up to do. Hopefully he will realise what a pain he's being. Presumably you don't have to drive for hours to get there and he gets on with your family OK? He hasn't fallen out with anyone and is trying to avoid them? Or spend Christmas day at home without your parents and then go to your sister and see your parents there. Let him present his reasons for why he wants to be at home.

You can justify your decision as he will have had the majority of Christmas day in his own home, and so he shouldn't complain when you go to your sister for tea, and especially not if the DC want to go.

I can see his point of view as well as yours. I'm normally the advocate of having Christmas day at home. But his behaviour last year moaning and complaining in front of the DC like a spoilt DC himself was uncalled for and hardly a good example to them, and highly unlikely to make you want to do what he wants.

BiddyPop Tue 02-Oct-12 15:40:01

I'd ask him exactly what he wants to do and why, and be clear yourself about what you want, and why, before you have the discussion. Hopefully that will allow you both to have an open discussion and reach a compromise.

We are both considering going down to see our parents this year (they live 15 miles apart, and 160 miles from us). But while I can cope with staying in (usually his) house any other time of the year, I find that at Christmas, we actually need a space to retreat to away from family. And I WANT to relax at times. Whereas DH is now saying renting a place is too expensive (it isn't cheap I'll admit, but I'd found reasonable options he won't even entertain), but he doesn't think it will be too bad in his mum's "once Christmas lunch is over". But there's the lead up to that, and then when they have their quiet time, we have to go to my folks. I don't mind spending LOTS of time with family, just not ALL (I quite like having some quiet time with just MY family of DH and DD). And not having anywhere to retreat to if things are too hectic (for all of us but esp for ADHD/Aspie DD) and also not being able to have grown up time with our siblings out from under the watchful eyes of our parents.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 02-Oct-12 15:48:33

We please ourselves at Christmas.
I really can't be arsed with all the family politics so we stay at home and if people want to come to ours then they are welcome.
DH and I don't tend to argue about that but we do avoid / delay telling the in laws yet again that we won't be going to theirs on christmas day.
You will have to discuss it with him because people plan their Xmas very early..
Compromise I guess, not very helpful I know.

Badvoc Tue 02-Oct-12 15:59:04

Mu mil starts asking abut Xmas in July.
I have managed to put her off til last week when it old them we were staying here.
We will see them on Xmas eve and they are welcome to come over on Xmas day if they want to...
Same with my parents..they can come up whenever they like.
I might do supper in Xmas eve actually...

pigleychez Tue 02-Oct-12 16:32:59

My mum wanted all the family to go out for dinner this year. (10 of us including kids) Im not against this but she has picked her fav pub restaurant. She raves about it but DH and I seriously dont rate it though. Its a real old mans pub and if you arent a local you get lots of glares. Not in the tiniest bit family friendly (we have 4 under 5's!)
She loves the food despite it being nothing special and as bland as it comes.
The Xmas dinner menu is £16! which gives you a clue of the quality of the food. Im not a snob but theres no where else around that is even under £50 for xmas day.
Sadly, and im truely heartbroken by this... They are fully booked already! grin

Mum now reckons she is gonna book us up for next year's dinner there already! It gives me a year to think up a good excuse to get out of it!

mrsmplus3 Wed 03-Oct-12 21:22:45

Pigleychez, I would never want to take my wee ones to some pub for christmas dinner. Don't do it. Your kids will hate it. Invite your mum over instead.

OP, your hubby sounds a bit of a pain but he has a point. If he works hard all yr he should have a say in how to spend the day. Why don't you plan a Christmas you'll both be happy with and invite your parents along? Most importantly, what would your kids prefer to do? If they love it at granny's then you're going to have to give your dh a good talkin to.

zipzap Wed 03-Oct-12 21:33:12

pigleychez - go for a meal at dreadful pub during the year, 'get' food poisoning from it and say that's it, you're never setting foot in the place again...

Might need careful planning so you can take to your bed for a day or two or at least just stay at home (don't want to be caught out and about by your mum) but then you'll always be able to say 'No way - remember when...' whenever she tries to make you go there again!

imperialstateknickers Wed 03-Oct-12 21:39:46

zipzap I admire your Machiavellian cunning.

zipzap Wed 03-Oct-12 22:00:39

grin mwah ha haaaa grin

pigleychez Thu 04-Oct-12 08:07:54

Liking your idea Zip Zap. grin

Well mum has provisionally booked us all in for next year! However the price is now £65. Told DH last night who has categorically stated that there is no way on earth his is paying £65 to eat there!
Now to just break to gently to mum smile

This year is an issue now...We usually alternate between parents each year as we will miles away from either set. This year being my parents turn. They however have been invited to my sisters (we havent). Mum is now hinting at us to stay at home this year so that she can go to my sis. I dont mind if they want to go but the ball keeps getting thrown in my court when we cant decide till they do. Theres no point us saying we will go to theirs if they aren't going to be there!

Its the same drama every year! Its rather tiresome to be honest! [sigh]

girlywhirly Thu 04-Oct-12 10:03:48

Pigley, I'd stay at home if I were you this year, unless there is a family emergency that means you have to do something different. If you say what you've decided, they only have to sort themselves out and that should simplify things a bit. Basically, if they can't make up their minds they don't see you. See them another time

It would also set a precedent so that you can duck out of the meal next year! Unless your ILS have been invited too, as you would usually see them then.

TeaOneSugar Thu 04-Oct-12 10:32:13

I'd just like my PIL to make up their minds where they're going for Christmas Day lunch so I can start to plan menus.

Where they go for lunch impacts on who's going where Christmas Day evening, am I taking a contribution to a buffet to BIL/SIL's house, or will the PIL be coming to us, having been to BIL/SILs for lunch? In which case I'm doing a full buffet here.

If they're coming to us for Christmas Lunch that also impacts on Christmas Eve dinner, they won't come Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day Lunch (I don't think) so is it a light meal at the table with PIL or just us for a carpet picnic with some nice bread and cheese etc. in front of a film?

I need to know, it's October already and I don't have a list !!!

girlywhirly Thu 04-Oct-12 11:51:48

Tea, could you write up a few plans provisionally, to take into account all possibilities, then disregard those plans which you don't want to do? Having narrowed down to a shortlist, give the PIL a time limit by which you would like definite confirmation, on the grounds that you need to plan. Pin SIL/BIL down if you can to what's happening Christmas day evening, so that the PIL will know you will be there and you will know to take something.

If PIL don't decide inside the time limit, make it clear that you will continue with your own plans and not change to suit them, so if they do turn up at short notice they will just have to join in with the carpet picnic or something. It should concentrate their minds if they have to decide within a set time frame, and risk not getting the full buffet! I think it's quite rude to expect to be catered for when they haven't been gracious enough to make up their minds in a timely manner.

TeaOneSugar Thu 04-Oct-12 12:06:54

I have mentioned it a couple of times and have been promised a decision, I think MIL is kind of enjoying being "fought over" although I've said I don't mind either way, and BIL has said he really wants them to go to him.

I would really like them to go to BIL for lunch and them to come to us for tea, so we get the house to ourselves for most of the day, I only said they could come to us after MIL said she didn't want to go to BIL/SIL and would host at her house.

I'm cooking lunch at home this year, whatever anyone else does, and I'm not budging on that grin

If they haven't decided when I see them on Sunday I'll set a deadline, I'll need to order a turkey fairly soon.

girlywhirly Thu 04-Oct-12 12:23:06

If you're lucky, they might not come at all if they think they're getting a carpet picnic for tea! Why doesn't MIL want to go to BIL/SIL for lunch?

Well done for not pandering to MIL enjoying being 'fought over', and sticking to your plan to have Christmas lunch at home. The more people do that, the longer she will draw out her decision. Good plan to use the day you are ordering the turkey as a deadline.

TeaOneSugar Thu 04-Oct-12 12:36:17

BIL/SIL have invited about 16 people, MIL thinks it'll be too hectic and she'll end up helping with the cooking, washing up etc, in which case she might as well host at her house and take the credit - my interpretation obviously.

girlywhirly Thu 04-Oct-12 12:57:23

I read MIL thinking it will be too hectic as meaning "I will be a skivvy and not get enough attention." Realistically that means having lunch at yours or a quiet non-hectic one at her own home, because it sounds as though neither you or SIL are budging from yours.

TeaOneSugar Thu 04-Oct-12 14:52:08

MIL knows she won't have to lift a finger here.

DeckSwabber Fri 05-Oct-12 14:26:55

Thank you for this thread. I am dreading Christmas.

Fell out with my only sibling (brother, married with two young ones) quite badly this year so really don't want to spend time with him, but can't neglect my mother (now 80 and widowed 2 years). Would like to see nephews & Sil, though. I am SP with 3 teens. Every alternate year the boys go to their Dad and I volunteer with a charity - something that massively upsets my family for some reason. This year they are with me.

Options are:

- go to stay with elderly mum, but not much fun for my teens as there is nothing for them to do. And I can't really stop her inviting brother. I could just about get through this but there isn't enough room. She has already said she will book my family into a hotel and that will be our Christmas present hmm.

- invite her here, but then she would have to stay with my brother (who lives quite close) because she is allergic to my cats. Too far to go and get her/drive her home in one day. This would be ok if they all eat here - I can be busy and I like the cooking and stuff. Can avoid brother. However, the chances are my SiL will insist on having the main meal at hers - and I really don't want to go there. I know this sounds incredibly petty but we have had Christmas lunch there several times in the past, and I particularly don't want to accept his hospitaility because of the events that led to the row. However if I put my foot down I know there will be another awful row.

- go to friends. I have been invited. But can't really go if my mum will end up on her own.

- have lunch just me and my boys. But I think it would be hard to make that feel special for my boys or me.

Gumby Fri 05-Oct-12 14:33:23

Go to friends & take your mum if she's on her own

girlywhirly Fri 05-Oct-12 22:55:10

If your mum stayed at your brothers and had Christmas lunch there, could she take some anti-histamines and come to you for tea? Would she be prepared to travel down without someone having to fetch her?

Why wouldn't it be special just you and the boys, and they can do whatever they would normally do.

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