First married Christmas with MiL - help!

(12 Posts)
trainersandcake Sun 20-Oct-13 18:16:25

It's my first married Christmas and we have decided to invite my divorced MiL and SiL to us for Christmas.

I am from a fairly large family who go to church etc on Christmas and there are several babies in my family, while DH's family are more lounge-in-front-of-tv types who don't really enjoy Christmas. Fair enough but I'd love some ideas about making the day special without spending tonnes.

They don't want my family to 'absorb' their Christmas hence not going to my parents - but I feel a bit secretly worried that 'our' Christmas might feel a bit flat in comparison.

How did other MNers create their own special Christmases when they were newlyweds?

ICameOnTheJitney Sun 20-Oct-13 18:44:37

Well we shared Christmas before we got being newlywed hasn't got much to do with it at all really. Didn't you share before you got married?

Either way, you have to make it how YOU want's your home so obviously you want to make a nice day for everyone without compromising your needs.

What do you enjoy? Will you have church in the morning? If so, you can do that and let your inlaws know they don't need to join in...ask them when they like to open gifts...if it's first thing, maybe do that and then go to church.

Share in the cooking...ask them what they like best and suggest they bring some dishes or ingredients so you can all join in. That way you don't have to do all the work and they get to eat things they like too.

In what way do you mean "They don't want my family to 'absorb' their Christmas"?

This is our second Christmas living together, but our first with DS. Last year we went to see my family in the late morning/early afternoon - my family being my DPs, sister and brother - for gifts, tea and Christmas cake and a couple of games - and then we went to my IL's at about 3pm for the Main Event - young children, DP's family all there and they do more Christmassy things. That worked totally fine. I think we will probably do the same thing this year, but perhaps have my parent's at ours before we go to my ILs and my mum and dad go back home for their Christmas dinner etc.

ICameOnTheJitney Sun 20-Oct-13 19:12:14

I think she means that the inlaws don't want a "blended" they don't want to have the day with HER parents.

Ah of course. I wouldn't want that either, which is why we spilt the day last year.

trainersandcake Sun 20-Oct-13 19:56:01

Thanks for your lovely ideas!

And sorry to drip-feed re: location, but my folks live on the other side of the country to my MiL while DH and I are in London so unfortunately no chance of making it between houses.

ICame We have only spent one Christmas together when DH had to work last year, otherwise because of our family homes being so far apart we've just stayed with our own families for the day and visited each other's afterwards.

MrsAmaretto Sun 20-Oct-13 19:59:07

Good lord. Just discuss with your husband how you want to celebrate the day & who ever is sharing it with you has to fit in. Simples.

It's your (as in you & dh) christmas at your house. Or am I weird that I just happily slot in with the arrangements at which ever house I visit?

If there's any "we do it this way" just say "that sounds lovely but we're doing it like so"

That's unfortunate about the distance. If you want to spend Christmas with parents, would you alternate each year? From what you've said, my parents sound like your in laws, and my in laws like your parents. My partner and I have discussed it, and for Christmas Day itself we decided that while still seeing my family in the morning, we'd rather spend the better part of the day where we'd have more fun and enjoy the family atmosphere (lots of children, mucking about) and then spend an evening and share a meal with my parents on Boxing Day or whenever because sitting about watching telly/eating can be done any night. That's what works for us though.

We alternate each year - might be worth establishing whether this is the plan for next year otherwise proximity/habit might take over.

Maybe you could go to midnight mass together on Christmas Eve, then quiet morning, lunch and a walk for anyone who wants to but hopefully just you &dh so can compare MIL bingo cards maybe skype your parents.

IsItMeOr Sun 20-Oct-13 22:53:14

We also have alternated each year.

I think if you are hosting then you do have the flexibility to do some of the things that make Christmas feel more special for you.

The nice thing about not having babies around is that you can more easily do more adult things, like a luxurious brunch and then Christmas dinner early evening.

Would they play board games? We've found that helped to keep us from staring at each other/having to watch Christmas Eastenders (MIL and SIL love, we consciously never watch). Rummikub is good.

IsItMeOr Sun 20-Oct-13 22:54:27

PS FWIW the tradition is that you spend first Christmas with the wife's family and then the next with husband's.

parrotsandcarsnips Mon 21-Oct-13 21:38:50

The first year I was married a wise colleague said to me about being careful what precedent I set for Christmas entertaining with inlaws. As other posters have said let your in laws fit in with what will be a special Christmas for you and your dh

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