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to insist we spend every Christmas and new year with my family?

(137 Posts)
froken Fri 27-Sep-13 17:53:19

I moved to Sweden to live with my dp 3 years ago.we now have a baby ds. We have spent every Christmas in the UK ( apart from last year as ds was less than a week old)

We are thinking about booking flights back to the UK in the next couple of days ( hence early Christmas aibu) dp suggested we go to the UK this year and stay in Sweden next year.

I have always Saud that I want to go to the UK every Christmas as we are in Sweden for all the other celebrations ( birthdays, Easter, midsummer etc) dp has now decided it isn't fair and we shouldalternate.

I feel like culturally ds will grow up feeling Swedish with a dash of britishness so it is important that he is in the UK for a big celebration each year. It also fits in well with time off work, dp only needs to take a couple of days of holiday but ends up with 2 weeks of holiday so it makes it a worthwhile trip.

Lastly they eat pickled fish and potatoes with fish and smoked fish and vodka and it just doesn't feel like Christmas.

Aibu to expect us to spend every Christmas with my family? I have offered dp the option of moving to the UK and spending every Christmas in Sweden, he wasn't keen on that idea.

kinkyfuckery Fri 27-Sep-13 18:17:21

I would say that the compromise is alternating years.

You knew the deal when you moved to Sweden (I assume), so it's unfair of you to start stamping your feet now. If you're not happy with the way his family celebrate Christmas, why don't you host a traditional British Christmas meal?

I also don't understand the mentality of taking turns at in-law's, does no-one want to spend Christmas with their own wee family unit these days?

froken Fri 27-Sep-13 18:17:59

It is a good point about ds not getting the chance to enjoy Christmas in the country he lives in. They have things that contradict a UK Christmas ( like that it is on a different the wrong ;) day, father Christmas actually comes to visit the kids so they stop believing really young as father Christmas is obviously just an uncle dressed up.

On the plus side snow is pretty much guaranteed.

Once you have a baby it becomes really really important to do different things every year, otherwise there is nuclear fallout from the extended family the first year you do something different. Somehow this doesn't happen so much before you have children.

So stop spending Christmas day with either set of parents and start spending Christmas day with your family - that would be your dp, you, and your ds. Then you can do a mix of British and Swedish traditions - choose the bits you both like best.

And go to the UK at different times each year so your ds gets to experience different things.

wordfactory Fri 27-Sep-13 18:20:51

I don't think you can insist on every xmas in the UK because that's the only way you can enjoy xmas.

But, I can understand that for a lot of people living abroad it is an opportunity to see family while work is closed and DC are off school etc.

Driz Fri 27-Sep-13 18:21:38

I don't think YABU at all!
Especially as your partner can get more time off at Christmas, if you started to go home for other celebrations presumably you wouldn't be able to go for as long, so I think he is going to have to suck it up a go every christmas. His family can see them any time of the year, yours only gets Christmas time.
I think your suggestion of moving to UK and spending every Christmas in Sweden is a good way to highlight to him how it feels.

SolomanDaisy Fri 27-Sep-13 18:21:59

I don't think you're being unreasonable. Moving to a different country for your spouse is a massive sacrifice and if it was on condition that you get to go 'home' for Christmas he shouldn't try to wriggle out of that.

nightcircus Fri 27-Sep-13 18:22:05

2 in uk then 1 in Sweden?!
I take your points about annual leave being a factor. Otherwise I'd go at Easter instead.

Sadly it does seem a bit unreasonable to me that froken's dh never gets to share his Christmas traditions with his family! especially their son.

I think you need to find some compromise - maybe come to the UK for a different celebration in the years when you have Christmas in Sweden. Or celebrate both Christmases each year - one on Christmas Day, and the other one the following week (so when you have Christmas on Christmas Day in Sweden, you go to the UK for the new year week, and have a second, UK Christmas then.

froken Fri 27-Sep-13 18:24:47

I love my little family very very much ( me, dp, ds) but I spend 3 days a week just the 3 of us, I don't think I havethe skills to make it feel like a special or different day.

We both have huge families who all love ds, he loves to see them and me and dp enjoy watching them play together I don't know why I'd want to stay at home with just dp and ds.

BillyBanter Fri 27-Sep-13 18:33:01

I vote for 2 in the UK and 1 in Sweden. On the Swedish year you get a holiday at a different time in the UK.

BillyBanter Fri 27-Sep-13 18:36:18

Every third year in Sweden would have been a better way of putting that.

olgaga Fri 27-Sep-13 18:36:32

I think the suggestion was hat you host Xmas - but frankly that's a big ask with a small bany (I should know, I did for 8/10 for several years).

I thnk the answer is, as others have suggested, to alternate both Xmas and one other event such as your birthday.

As for your brother, he can visit you while he's in Europe or you can spend a holiday with him every few years.

I'm afraid that a lot of travelling, and sadness at missing home/family traditions is inevitable when you emigrate.

olgaga Fri 27-Sep-13 18:38:08

Doh sorry about mistakes. New phone + need for new specs is not a good mix.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Fri 27-Sep-13 18:39:36

But think about it like this - you could perfectly well have stayed in the UK and married someone who didn't believe in telling children Santa was real, too. Less likely to marry someone who celebrates on a different day - but there are loads of things people do differently, MN is always full of threads about it.

I get that this is a totally different magnitude, but it's just worth thinking about rather than seeing everything that happens in Sweden as 'contradicting' a UK Christmas.

skyflyer Fri 27-Sep-13 18:40:38

Sorry YABU. It's not fair to your DH or DS to only ever have Christmas with yoiur family. You need to start alternating.

Cook your own English Christmas dinner or invite the Swedish family round and have bits of both.

peggyundercrackers Fri 27-Sep-13 18:42:26

YABU, its not fair to do what you want every year.

NoelHeadbands Fri 27-Sep-13 18:43:18

I'm with you!

YANBU.

trixymalixy Fri 27-Sep-13 18:46:59

I would totally feel the same as you, but I'm afraid I think YABU.

Year about is only fair.

It's not fair that the OP has to spend the rest of the year away from family, in a different culture to her own, with language, food, culture, communication all foreign to her. She does it, though. Christmas is a small ask.

Can you tell I live in a different country to my family? YANBU.

HavantGuard Fri 27-Sep-13 18:48:54

You moved to Sweden for his sake? I don't think Christmas with your family is so much to ask when you're around his all the time. Could you invite your lot over to Sweden for Christmas? Do the turkey dinner?

SaltaKatten Fri 27-Sep-13 18:49:02

I live in the UK, moved here from England about ten years ago. I haven't been able to, for various reasons, to go home from christmas and every year I feel very sad. I get what it is like to not have what feels like proper Christmas, but I have gotten used to celebrating on the wrong day, eating turkey instead of a delicious spread of christmas ham, meat balls and herring, and not having Kalle Anka on the telly. We do try to do a bit of Swedish Christmas on the 24th to cheer me up =)
I think some years in Sweden and some in the UK would be the most fair and why not go home to the UK for Easter or other holidays sometime?

Its only fair to alternate but could you introduce a little of the British customs to DPs family? Maybe yours could come over at some point over the Christmas period and sort of mix up the traditions, herrings and roasties, with a side of yorkshires?

HavantGuard Fri 27-Sep-13 18:50:23

And if the Swedes celebrate on a different day you could have that day too!

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 27-Sep-13 18:51:46

Do it on a year by year basis - so this year at your family and then see how it goes.

I think if you've moved overseas to be with a partner then its fair to spend Christmas in your home country - especially as your DH needs to tale only a couple of days of leave to get a decent stay in your home country.

So yanbu

MrsBungle Fri 27-Sep-13 18:57:39

I agree - every third year in Sweden seems fair enough to me.

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