To want to actually celebrate christmas?

(72 Posts)
LyonRoar Mon 07-Dec-15 15:49:58

To cut a long story short, my 15yo BIL (who lives with us) hates christmas. In previous years we have kept it relatively low key - presents not wrapped, tiny tree, no christmas dinner, nothing in December etc.

However, this year my eldest is 4. He is at school so is more and more away of what christmas should be like and is really excited about it this year and so I want to do a 'proper' christmas day, with dinner, wrapped presents, a big tree, lots of decorations, christmas songs etc. DP doesn't and thinks IABU as he thinks it will upset BIL. I think BIL is old enough to be told that while we know he won't enjoy it, its for one day, and for the boys, and he doesn't have to join in.

We have been doing stuff so far in December that we would not normally do anyway (advent calendars, christmas markets etc) and while BIL hasn't joined in, he hasn't been too upset about the whole thing either, so I think he will be OK on the day.

So IABU for wanting christmas for my boys?

Arkkorox Mon 07-Dec-15 15:51:44

At 15 if I had said I don't like christmas I would have been told to grow up. YANBU.

EeyoresTail Mon 07-Dec-15 15:53:09

No. He can go out if he doesn't want to celebrate.
I would do Christmas for your boys.

Asheth Mon 07-Dec-15 15:53:36

Yanbu. Why does BIL decide what happens over Christmas?

Krampus Mon 07-Dec-15 15:56:22

Does he have any reasons for not liking Christmas?

MagpieCursedTea Mon 07-Dec-15 15:57:21

Is there a particular reason your BIL doesn't like Christmas?

gamerchick Mon 07-Dec-15 15:58:57

Tell him in advance so he can make other plans. Someone who hates it doesn't dictate to the rest of the household. It's not fair on the youngest.

TheVeryThing Mon 07-Dec-15 15:59:21

Is there a reason why he hates Christmas, and why your DP is pandering to him?
I think you (and your DP) would be very unreasonable to deprive your children of the magic of Christmas.

LyonRoar Mon 07-Dec-15 16:00:59

Sorry, wrote a massive long thing then shortened it and missed out some important info!

He does have a good reason for not liking christmas. He used to live with his mum and her partner and they didn't treat him very well at all, so I don't think he associates anything positive with christmas at all. He very rarely talks about what it was like living with his mum but as far as I am aware they didn't 'do' christmas at all.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 07-Dec-15 16:01:00

Why does he hate Christmas and is it linked to why he's living with you?

If handled right, it could be therapeutic. If handled right.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 07-Dec-15 16:01:27

x-posted. Time to make some warm memories for him.

TheVeryThing Mon 07-Dec-15 16:03:40

That sounds difficult, but I'm not sure that avoiding Christmas is the right way to deal with it (nor is it fair on you or your children).
Does he get any outside help, or is there anyone you can ask for advice on the best way to deal with this?

RaptorsCantPlayPoker Mon 07-Dec-15 16:05:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Daisysbear Mon 07-Dec-15 16:06:18

I don't think your own children should miss out on Christmas celebrations because of what happened to your BIL.

It's a very difficult situation, but I think he needs to learn how to deal with it (with professional help if necessary). But cancelling Christmas to suit him is not a fair ask of you and your children.

Sparkletastic Mon 07-Dec-15 16:08:19

At 15 he should realise that sometimes we do things to make other people happy. He lives with you now - time to build some positive associations around Christmas.

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 07-Dec-15 16:08:20

I'm with MrsTP - those bad memories of Christmas need to be overridden with some good memories. Could you get him involved in planning things for his nephews, giving him responsibility for some aspects? Maybe being part of a 'good' Christmas could help him? I don't see how pretending Christmas isn't happening inside your home when he can clearly see it outside your home is helpful to him.

LBOCS2 Mon 07-Dec-15 16:09:30

I would try and get him on side with him. Sit him down and say that you think it's important that your DC see the whole magic and celebration side of it, which you know he missed out on, and you'd be really grateful if he helped out a bit by not being a grinch being neutral rather than negative about it. Ask him to be the adult. IMO 15 year olds quite like being asked to be adults rather than told they need to stop behaving like children smile

kamillaw Mon 07-Dec-15 16:10:04

I agree talk to DH about turning the situation around and making some lovely memories for him.

PennyHasNoSurname Mon 07-Dec-15 16:11:02

Id be saying "did you enjoy growing up with no christmas? Is it fair that my kids have to do that too?"

Id also be demanding that DH thinks of his kids first. They deserve a christmas.

Sherlockmaystealyourpug Mon 07-Dec-15 16:13:17

My DP also had bad experiences. In a very different way, so did I. It has worked for the both of us to work out how to celebrate it in 'our' way. I dont think 15 is too young to realise sometimes you may have to deal with unclmfortable feelings for the sake of others, and as said it could be helpful for him. I would sit down and chat to him about plans though, and let him decide how much he would like to be involved. It is hard to deal with traumatic memories, very hard, but if he can learn as a teenager how to resolve the past with the present it will be useful for him as an adult. Has he had any professional support?

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 07-Dec-15 16:17:12

It is hard to deal with traumatic memories, very hard, but if he can learn as a teenager how to resolve the past with the present it will be useful for him as an adult. Never a truer word spoken. It will be really useful for him to learn these hard coping skills now.

TeaFathers Mon 07-Dec-15 16:25:39

how you can let a 15 year old grump dictate how christmas is spent in your house is beyond me.
sorry he's had a hard time, but he needs a good kick up the arse. so does your DH.
i realise i sound harsh, but i really hate horseshit like this.

he can go out somewhere if he can't bear the sight of other people enjoying themselves in december.
i'm sure there are plenty charities that would be pleased to have help over the holidays. send him to them. they might put some manners on him.
and then when 16 he can get himself an xmas job and make himself useful somewhere.

that there's small children in the house who will potentially never see a proper xmas is truly awful.
i'm very annoyed by this i must say. angry

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 07-Dec-15 16:32:23

Wow Tea when do children turn from angel-faced tots that deserve love and affection to bloody grumpy bastards who need to suck it up?

If handled right, this could be healthy for everyone. If you want to alienate an already hurt and rejected child, go with Tea's suggestion.

Inertia Mon 07-Dec-15 16:34:49

YANBU. Your children should not miss out on family Christmases.

I would be understanding if BIL does not want to join in with all of the festivities, but with a caring approach it might help him create new memories- is he close to your children?

TeaFathers Mon 07-Dec-15 16:36:20

a 15 year old ruling the roost in some else's house?
that's obscene Terry.
and i never called him a bastard.
you did.

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