not to go to christening

(55 Posts)
Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 09:17:46

DN (DP's sister's son) is being christened in two weeks' time an hour and a half away. MIL told DP that we will not be getting an official invitation as SIL is too busy, but has given us the time and location, and told us we are expected to attend. The date has been chosen to coincide with a family occasion in SIL's husbands family. DP feels duty bound to go with DS and DD. I admit that I can think of better ways to spend a Saturday, but AIBU to think that if SIL is too busy to invite us, it's not unreasonable not to go? SIL has form for treating family as a right rather than a privilege; I may be prejudiced against her.

brokenhearted55a Tue 22-Apr-14 09:20:49


I wasnt formally invited to my DP's nieces christening a while ago. I was asked to come though and it would have been very rude not to.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 22-Apr-14 09:21:10

go it's a family occasion.

gamerchick Tue 22-Apr-14 09:21:27

I wouldn't need an official invitation so yes you might be right grin

You don't have to go.. just send your dude and the kids and enjoy the day to yourself.

brokenhearted55a Tue 22-Apr-14 09:21:58

A child's first introduction to the church is not the time or place to make your point.

gymboywalton Tue 22-Apr-14 09:22:17

yabu and a bit unpleasant really

Netguru Tue 22-Apr-14 09:26:07

Mum organising christening has to drop everything to issue special invitation to you personally or you won't go?

Dreadful, entitled behaviour on your part.

firesidechat Tue 22-Apr-14 09:29:41

You have been invited, just not with a printed piece of card. I wouldn't need a formal invitation in order to attend a family christening, so I think you are being unreasonable.

littlegreengloworm Tue 22-Apr-14 09:29:50

People don't send formal invites to family for something like a christening.

Honestly, they don't. I only did because I wanted a keepsake for the baby box and my brother looked at me like this hmm when I gave it to him.

When his baby was christened he dp never even got around to telling us the exact time. They just said it's around twelve. New baby, people aren't worried about formalities.

basgetti Tue 22-Apr-14 09:30:59

YABU. She is probably busy with the christening and baby and MIL is helping out by letting people know the details. I didn't send out official invitations to my baby's christening and my Mum told great grandparents and close family friends about the arrangements. Why would this be an issue?

EdithWeston Tue 22-Apr-14 09:31:19

I've never had a 'formal' (if you mean written) invitation to a Christening. It's usually by phone call or letter/email. And using family members as 'hub' for making a cascade of calls is normal in some families - ask DP about whether it is the norm in his.

So I would say you have been invited, and you reply to say whether you are going or not. You do not have to go if you do not like SIL. But you would be rude not to respond to an invitation which has reached you simply because you don't like the means by which it was sent.

rainbowfeet Tue 22-Apr-14 09:31:58

Been to many christenings & never received a formal written invitation.. Yabu & a bit precious

Nennypops Tue 22-Apr-14 09:32:17

Of course YABU. I agree people don't send formal invitations for christenings, and this is your nephew, for goodness sake.

AlpacaLypse Tue 22-Apr-14 09:32:51

I've never had a formal invitation to a Christening and didn't send any out for the girls. All done by phone.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 09:33:07

How is it entitled? You make it sound like it's a mammoth task to send an email giving the time and date. Normally if you don't invite someone it means they're not expected to show up. Why is this different?

RoseberryTopping Tue 22-Apr-14 09:33:08

I would still go, it's a bit petty to get worked up over whether you've had a card from her or not. The invite is there either way.

If you think you will have a bit of an attitude towards her or his family on the day though it might just be best to let your DP go alone, rather than spoil the day for them.

themockingjay Tue 22-Apr-14 09:33:19

Yabu and a quite mean. I only invited my family to my ds's Christening so didn't send any invites as they were family. She's already got children OP so Could probably do without pandering to guestzillas

Unless you're Queenie you won't get a printed card.

You have been invited. It sounds like you don't like her and can't be bothered so say that instead of talking about bits of card.

As with any event you decide if you want to go.

RoseberryTopping Tue 22-Apr-14 09:34:46

What difference would an email make though? You've been made aware of the time, date and location already.

It would be nice to receive an official invite but it's not the end of the world if you don't.

makeminea6x Tue 22-Apr-14 09:35:51

This thread was useful to me though - am christening my children soon and wasn't sure whether I was meant to send invites or not!

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 09:36:40

Perhaps I wan't clear - it's not the lack of a formal invitation, but rather the lack of any invitation by phone or email or even being told it was happening - before a call from MIL two weeks before the event requesting our attendance.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 22-Apr-14 09:37:32

I do think its a bit odd they've passed word informally through the grandparents, but why not ring them to confirm date/time and that you are welcome?

We only sent out a quick email and forgot the actual location details as well

RoseberryTopping Tue 22-Apr-14 09:38:13

Yes that is a bit off on her part, I agree. I still wouldn't let it wind me up though.

AGnu Tue 22-Apr-14 09:38:16

You have been invited, they've just outsourced the responsibility of asking everyone directly. Hardly crime of the century & obviously they do want you there or they wouldn't have asked for the message to be passed on!

MidniteScribbler Tue 22-Apr-14 09:39:45

Oh grow the fuck up.

Although something tells me that your presence may not exactly be missed by the family.

iK8 Tue 22-Apr-14 09:44:15

You were clear. We just think you are being unreasonable and a bit self absorbed.

JeanSeberg Tue 22-Apr-14 09:45:37

Get over yourself.

brokenhearted55a Tue 22-Apr-14 09:45:40

Perhaps I wan't clear - it's not the lack of a formal invitation, but rather the lack of any invitation by phone or email or even being told it was happening - before a call from MIL two weeks before the event requesting our attendance.

That's how I was invited to the last one I went to. JFC the world doesn't revolve around you!!

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 09:45:41

midnite probably not. Perhaps that's why SIL treats me with disdain. I think it's more a question of whether I should go for DP's sake though.

RoseberryTopping Tue 22-Apr-14 09:48:27

If your DP would like you there then go, but make sure you have a genuine smile on your face and don't spoil it for him.

If he's not bothered then maybe give it a miss.

littlegreengloworm Tue 22-Apr-14 09:48:37

Definitely go. I don't like my SIL but I would always go and be nice too.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 09:53:15

I really wish I hadn't started this thread now. I know I am self absorbed, and wanted an excuse not to have to wear uncomfortable clothes and make uncomfortable small talk for six hours. I find social occasions like this a trial as I'm not good with people. Suspect that people would have a better time if I wasn't there, but sounds like I ought to go anyway

Goldmandra Tue 22-Apr-14 09:53:57

* I think it's more a question of whether I should go for DP's sake though.*

If you're throwing your toys out of the playpen over not receiving a formal invitation you're unlikely to add much of value to the occasion anyway.

Show a bit of integrity and stay away. Spend the day at home and do something you want to do but make sure you are polite and interested when they get home for your DC's sake.

GoldenGytha Tue 22-Apr-14 09:58:04

I have never been to a christening that didn't have a formal invitation, I am the only one in my family whose DC were christened (though I no longer follow that religion) and I sent formal invitations to everyone.

I wouldn't be bothered or upset by a word of mouth invitation though. Just go and have a lovely day!

It looks as though you are looking for an excuse not to go, if you don't want to go tell your DP that you find social occasions hard and let him take the kids and have a day relaxing. If your DP would like your support then I would just grin and bare it, it's only one day. I have a SIL I don't like but I would smile grimace for the day if I had to, and just pour a huge glass of wine when I got back home.

jaysaway Tue 22-Apr-14 10:02:31

a family occasion is a family occasion i have never had a formal invite to a christening it was always little baby will be christened at xchurch on sunday please come, oh ok then that will be lovely, I am not sure what you are after somebody on horse back and scroll to formally invite you TBH i wouldn't invite you either if i thought you had better things to do with your Saturday, don't go you will be miserable at the lack of formality

iK8 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:04:00

Ah so it's more that you don't want to go. That's ok, lots of us find the in-laws a chore even when they're harmless enough.

So you need to have a plan to get you through if you're going, or come up with a good excuse if you're not. If it were my dh I would go, just because it's not fair to have him looking after the dc at a big event. Just a visit or lunch then I might send dh on his own and enjoy doing fuck all at home!

To help get me through I would play a game of bigot bingo with dh and use the children as an excuse to get away. There would also be a firm end time to look forward to.

Lucked Tue 22-Apr-14 10:05:30

So in reality you are looking for reasons not to attend but want to find one that isn't your fault and that you can pass off as due to someone else's rudeness!!

My mum phoned and told people about our DS's christening. It's a christening not a wedding.

Perhaps Mil told her daughter that she would be speaking to your DP and would let him know. It's not a big deal and your are being precious to think so.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:05:43

Jaysaway, you probably missed the bit where it wasn't the lack of a formal invitation, but of anything like 'little baby will be christened at xchurch on sunday'. I would have expected something similar.

Thomyorke Tue 22-Apr-14 10:06:06

I suppose it is the dynamics of individual family, I could imagine the thread of MIL/DM inviting people who where not wanted and why would you turn up without being invited by the host? I would like notification from the host, it does not have to be fancy, but it would be nice to hear it from them.

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 22-Apr-14 10:06:54

I think you should stay at home so you don't spoil the occasion for everyone else.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:09:57

lucked obviously that would be perfect, but to be honest they probably think I'm rude anyway.

rainbowfeet Tue 22-Apr-14 10:11:55

Is it worth upsetting your partner & his family over though?!!

I mean relationships are give & take.. Your Dp may have already been or will go to in the future gatherings with your family & friends that he'd rather not but you do these things for love!

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:13:28

Amanda I think so too. Sadly societal norms suggest this would be taken pretty badly, as other posters demonstrate.

WestieMamma Tue 22-Apr-14 10:15:38

DS is being baptised in a few weeks. I haven't issued any formal invitations. Do people even do that for christenings?confused
I guess nobody'll turn up and I'll be eating egg sandwiches for a month.

longtallsally2 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:16:58

wanted an excuse not to have to wear uncomfortable clothes and make uncomfortable small talk for six hours. I find social occasions like this a trial as I'm not good with people.

smile Poor you! This does sound like an ordeal, for you. So, how about wearing smart but comfy clothes, and getting MN to help you through the day. 1st tip: break the day down into smaller parts:

Meeting before the service - take along a present for the baby and some flowers for the mum. Smile and thank them for inviting you (!) - yes, I know they didn't actually, but the thought was there.

The service - you never know, you may enjoy it. Chance to be in a beautiful building hundreds of years old, with windows and carvings and music that people have created to make it a special place.

The social bit afterwards - have a few packs of chocolate buttons and a bottle of bubble mixture. I always found that at painful family gatherings, you can usually entertain a small child and have fun. Then if it is a do at someone's house, head for the kitchen to see if you can help out. Other people who don't feel comfortable in social settings will be there so you can meet a kindred spirit and garner some brownie points which might come in useful, in future. (My alternative strategy is to find Great Grannie in the corner. She is sometimes a wonderful source of entertainment.)

Alternatively, just smile and nod lots, and enjoy a few glasses of wine, and do some people watching.

Sallyingforth Tue 22-Apr-14 10:19:48

make uncomfortable small talk for six hours

A Christening usually lasts about 20 minutes and is a public event that anyone can attend without an invitation.

As to any party that might be held before or after, I am sure they can manage without you.

fluffyraggies Tue 22-Apr-14 10:20:50

OP if you don't want to go, then don't. It's fine to decline. Let DP go, with or without DS, and think of it as a dodged bullet.

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 22-Apr-14 10:22:14

Ctually, societal norms involve the expectation that you attend without a fuss.
But I can see that gatherings can be difficult for some people, especially if you have limited social skills.
How do you normally cope? Does being slightly drunk all day help?

iK8 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:27:24

Lol at "does being slightly drunk all day help?". That was my first thought but I think being shitfaced at a christening is a bad idea.

Definitely cut it down from 6 hours. Anything longer than 3 in the company of other people's family is too much.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:30:57

Being squiffy helps enormously at the event - I believe my jokes become vastly more entertaining - but not with driving home.

You're right though - it's expected that one will attend without a fuss, but stress of the build up to the event make it so much harder not to fuss that it's a vicious circle. Much easier not to go and blame SIL for not letting us know.

MrsWombat Tue 22-Apr-14 10:34:08

If your MIL had just said, "I've been asked to invite our side of the family. these are the details." Would that have been ok?

I would have been rather annoyed at being told the hosts were too busy to do the inviting, the way it was worded in the OP, and got the hump as well. But maybe there's been a bit of miscommunication with MIL?

I had a similar situation where DP told me we'd been invited to an evening wedding reception. I said where's the invite? He said there wasn't one. Apparently the bride informally invited him over facebook. Said there was a paper invite but we'd have to pick it up ourselves from her parents house. I did think that was a bit rude, esp as the bride and I work for the same company (different locations) and she could have stuck it in the internal post to me. I told DP he can go by himself, as I only knew the bride vaguely and wouldn't know anyone else. I honestly think we were only invited as an afterthought as some of the wedding party are DP's closest friends who live out of town and they don't get to see each other often (They all shared a hobby years ago) and someone might have said "why weren't the Wombats invited? " blush

Either way, you still need to go, I'm afraid. It's a family christening, and you need to build a few bridges.

fluffyraggies Tue 22-Apr-14 10:35:37

Easier to not go and feign an illness or a slight injury IMO. Keep 'blame' out of it and things wont escalate or fester.

fluffyraggies Tue 22-Apr-14 10:37:23

^ ^ that was in response to OPs:
Much easier not to go and blame SIL for not letting us know., btw.

Braganza Tue 22-Apr-14 10:43:55

Well I'm hardly likely to go round saying 'you didn't invite us so I'm not going'. Despite appearances, I do understand that it's not always best to tell the plain truth.

I think the cat may be developing a temperature. He seems very lethargic, and has hardly moved the bed / food bowl for the last 12 hours. If his condition get's any worse, I'll need to stay and look after him.

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