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to be in tears over Christmas?

(82 Posts)
FreckledLeopard Thu 12-Sep-13 22:53:24

Backstory: moved from London to Bristol just over a year ago. Just DD and I. No family down here. My father died when I was a teenager and I have no siblings. My mother has vascular dementia but still spends Christmas with us, though it's getting harder year on year.

Most Christmases were spent with my lovely cousin and her family in London. We went there last year and had a great time.

I've wanted to host Christmas and now I have a bit of room to do so. I also didn't want to have to impose on my cousin - they may be doing their own thing or want some peace this year, so instead I invited my uncle, his daughter and her husband and their DD. I am close to my uncle and his DD (a bit older than me) has been on holiday with us in the past and vice versa.

I spoke to my uncle earlier this evening to ask if he'd heard anything from his DD about whether they'd come for Christmas. He's fairly straight talking and told me my plans were "never going to happen" as his DD's husband "doesn't like you".

I was pretty taken aback. I don't know him very well but have spent time with him over the years and always thought he was a nice, interesting guy. I have no idea what I've done to make him dislike me.

I've been in tears on and off all evening. I'm dreading Christmas and have images of it being just me, DD and my mother. I hate not having a large family, hate that my mother is going downhill, can't bear to think of DD being sad and lonely at Christmas with no-one her age around.

I'm gutted that I'm disliked by someone I liked and respected. I sent my cousin a text saying how upset I was that her husband disliked me so much and apologising if I'd offended them in any way. Have heard nothing back but she phoned my uncle and gave him an ear-bashing for telling me.

I'm so desparate. I'm too scared to phone my lovely cousin in London in case they already have plans or only want immediate family. I don't want to be a burden on them. If I can't celebrate Christmas with them then that's pretty much the final straw. I can't go away with DD as my mother has no-one.

I'm crying again and so, so low. Fucking families. sad

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 12-Sep-13 22:56:55

Jeez that is awful. Not nice to be told someone does not like you.

But, it would still be possible to have a good Christmas with your dd. you could make it really special for her.

FreckledLeopard Thu 12-Sep-13 22:58:47

Should add that DD is 12. So unlikely to be tactful or sensitive if she has a crap Christmas.

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 12-Sep-13 22:59:24

Start making a plan now of all the things she loves doing - then you have something to look forward to. She will enjoy being the centre of attention. You are not alone - you have a lovely dd to enjoy and your mum - focus on making it gorgeous for them. Ignore the rest - your uncle sounds mean to tell you such harsh news.

sooperdooper Thu 12-Sep-13 23:00:18

Oh how awful sad

Could you invite your cousin to come to you instead? She might love the idea of a change if she normally hosts?

CaptainSweatPants Thu 12-Sep-13 23:01:19

Christmas is just one day

If you want it at home then take on board the million of suggestions on the Christmas board to make it special for your dd

Some people don't like to travel at Xmas

They want to stay in their own homes

You can't blame them for that

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 12-Sep-13 23:01:28

Good idea sooper

Dilidali Thu 12-Sep-13 23:03:18

Hey, cheer up! It's not all that bad. You're hurt and lonely, but tomorrow you're going to feel better. You can't be liked by everybody, don't take it personally. At least you lnow where you're standing.
Plan something else, just you and your daughter.. Can you go away for a few days? Make it your new year resolution to widen your friends circle....plan something with friends not relatives...? I enjoy quiet christmases, I think of the past year and make plans for the new one, luxurious baths, pyjama day... It'll be fine.
Hugs

Graceparkhill Thu 12-Sep-13 23:03:44

Could you involve your DD in planning your perfect ( in the circumstances ) Christmas?
I think she is old enough for you to discuss your worries and then you can both plan what you would like to do.
A friend in a similar situation had teenage DCs who chose to get up late,stay in pjs, watch telly and eat Chinese.

Backtobedlam Thu 12-Sep-13 23:04:17

Your uncle shouldn't have told you all that, but at least you know not to include them in future plans! Christmas isn't about being with lots of people, its about being with those that are special to you, and you have your dd and your mum. Why don't you ask dd what she'd like to do (then she can't complain on the day). Maybe go out for dinner somewhere instead if you're worried she'll be bored? Do you have any friends that are eating out and you could book lunch at the same place?

FreckledLeopard Thu 12-Sep-13 23:05:53

I will invite lovely cousin. But dreading her saying no.

Christmas to me is not about one day. We always had big family Christmases when I was a child - build up on Christmas eve, cooking, the excitement of Christmas Day. Party on Boxing Day.

I so wish I had siblings.

Sorry for the self pity sad

AlpacaPicnic Thu 12-Sep-13 23:07:43

But Captain - there is a world of difference between being politely turned down - 'thank you for the invitation, but we prefer to stay at home over christmas' and 'not gonna visit because we don't like you'

I agree that you have an opportunity to make it special for just the two of you, or three if your mother comes. I'm sure your DD will be happy to chill out with her new christmas stuff and lots of chocolate - I would have loved that at her age, especially if I got some new DVDs or books...

FreckledLeopard Thu 12-Sep-13 23:08:18

Thank you for suggestions. Can't think of any friends. But will try to come up with a plan.

mykingdomforasleep Thu 12-Sep-13 23:08:21

Definitely invite your cousin. Especially as she hosted you last year, it would be rude not to (I take it they are 2 different cousins and the one you saw last year is not the one whose husband your uncle was talking about).

FreckledLeopard Thu 12-Sep-13 23:10:33

Yes - two different cousins. I invited lovely cousin last year but her teenage DDs wanted to have Christmas in London.

I love hosting Christmas. Just need some guests!

steppedonlego Thu 12-Sep-13 23:20:40

Definitely do an invite for your lovely cousin. Where abouts in the country are you? Could you afford to go and stay in a hotel over a couple of days? Get Christmas lunch, other people there for a merry atmosphere, and if they have a spa etc treat yourself, DD and DM.

Greenkit Thu 12-Sep-13 23:25:43

I remember one christmas, mum and I (I was about 10 or 11) locked ourselves in for 4 days and had a lovely Christmas together.

Im in Bristol by the way, where abouts are you?

FreckledLeopard Thu 12-Sep-13 23:30:09

I'm in Bristol. Hotel not really an option - my mother would be too confused to stay anywhere she isn't familiar with.

Don't mean to shoot down all the suggestions. I just want to vent really. Feel so fucking lonely and don't understand what I've done wrong. Christmas is all about happy families and there's a distinct lack of happiness in this family.

I feel like such a failure. All my friends are married and having babies and I'm divorced and lonely.

TidyDancer England Thu 12-Sep-13 23:33:43

Wow that was cruel of your uncle and even worse (obviously) of your cousin. And she doesn't have the courtesy to reply to you!

I'm sorry you feel bad, it's horrible when people treat you poorly.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 12-Sep-13 23:38:38

Christmas (and families, come to that) are whatever you make them. If yours is letting you down (or some of them are) then it's time to look for others to spend your festive time with. Who have you met in Bristol? there may be people you know right there who have no-one to spend it with. Or you could start a tradition of your own, not on the day itself but maybe Xmas Eve drinks for the neighbours? Get-together for your DD's local friends on the 27th (when everyone's got cabin fever and will be keen to send their DC somewhere for the day)?

Or, how about volunteering at a local homeless shelter? They are always looking for people for Christmas Eve/Day. Not what you envisioned, I know, but it could be a bonding experience for you and your DD as well as a count-your-blessings thing...

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 12-Sep-13 23:40:04

Oh, and not only is the husband of whoever who doesn't like you a dick, so is your uncle for telling you that so rudely. However nice the guy may have seemed, he obviously isn't. Forget them and make room for better people in your life.

FreckledLeopard Thu 12-Sep-13 23:51:11

I know. I am fortunate compared to lots of people. Christmas Eve drinks for neighbours sounds like a good idea smile

HesterShaw Thu 12-Sep-13 23:55:21

You sound very lovely. Just that xxxx I'm sorry you're upset. Christmas is nothing but a massive ball-ache. I hate it.

Dubjackeen Mexico Thu 12-Sep-13 23:56:13

You haven't done anything wrong, stop beating yourself up. I think it was nasty of your uncle to say that, I don't care how plain spoken he may be. There are very few people (if any) that would be able to deal with such an unkind, and possibly untrue statement, without letting it get to them. Hold your head high, you have a lovely daughter, and you sound so lovely and caring towards your mum. I don't really have any words of wisdom to offer, but please do remember that. flowers

Another one here who thinks you have the makings of an excellent Christmas if you put some thought and planning into it. Bristol has so much going on - think about things like visiting the Bath Christmas Market, booking a pantomime, going to a carol concert - things like that. If you start doing your homework/legwork now, you'll find there's masses going on. Lots of places have things like swims or fun runs on Boxing Day - how about you and your DD entering one?

Our Christmas is usually me, DH and our four dogs but we love it - over the Christmas period we see family, have friends for lunch and enjoy chilling out/enjoying each other. We also enjoy things like going out to look at Christmas lights, adn I often go to see the Nutcracker on Christmas Eve.

If you visit the Christmas area of the website you will be amazed and humbled by the fantastic ideas, creativity and love shown by some of the posters - often on a very tight budget.

I agree about starting your own traditions - pop a note in with neighbours' cards inviting them for drinks/nibbles on Boxing Day or Christmas Eve. Would DD like to host an event over the holidays for her friends?

It's also a time when there are people who are really alone. Ask at your local college/university if there are overseas students who will be by themselves who might like to spend a traditional Christmas day with you? Or your local Age UK branch if there are lonely pensioners near by who might really benefit from a hot meal and some cheerful company? If you like animals, how about volunteering at a local shelter, or even taking them a little parcel of dog/cat food?

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