Dh's weird Christmas family traditions?

(112 Posts)
deaconblue Mon 11-Dec-06 20:38:45

No wonder sister and I are both bird phobic - it's the evil devil robins on the tree!!!

swedishmum Mon 11-Dec-06 19:17:25

Thanks Greensleeves and Mercy - I'm really looking forward to it! I'm not really Swedish though have lived there. I just never changed my name back. Big Santa Lucia celebration on 13th Dec (will be making saffron buns with dd to take into school) and a big buffet meal on Christmas Eve. I loved it, especially going out for a snowball fight after Christmas Dinner! Also ALL the shops did gift wrapping or offered gift boxes, even H and M!

Mercy Mon 11-Dec-06 17:04:35

Swedishmum, as Greensleeves says, I really hope you enjoy YOUR Christmas this year.

btw, what do Swedish people do at Christmas?

poinsettydog Mon 11-Dec-06 16:53:35

shoppingbags, robins, yes robins!

Those evil birds do not just haunt my mind.

Hadalifeonce Mon 11-Dec-06 16:40:08

I Love Christmas, the dc's wake us up with their stockings which have been left in their rooms (not last year as DS woke up & DH was left like a rabbit in the headlights with a Christmas stocking in his hand, so was left outside his door!) They pile onto our bed & open the presents. We all then head dowstairs to see if Santa has been, DH opens the champagne, I bring in the mince pies, and ds plays 'postman' with the presents. We try to keep a note of who has given what. Once the dc's have opened their presents we open ours between refills of champagne and mince pies, and the mundane tasks if turning the oven on etc. Generally, the mince pies are enough to keep us going until lunch about 1:30. Then we play games & with presents. Sometimes someone will declare there is a particular film/program on they would like to watch. Which everyone else can watch or ignore if they so choose. It's much the same whereever we are for Christams day.

FioFio Mon 11-Dec-06 16:01:09

oh but they do do the
oh did you know so and so had died?

FioFio Mon 11-Dec-06 16:00:21

dhs mum is really normal so we are ok there
dhs sister is an awkward sod all the time, so christmas is no different

dhs family watch the tv FAR m,ore than my family though and dont know what to do when questioned on their opinion on something

WonderCod Mon 11-Dec-06 15:55:49

MY in laws and dh spend a alot of time haevign the same conversations abotu family relation ship disasters every year

also" Joan is she ok"
" is mary ok


WonderCod Mon 11-Dec-06 15:52:45

lol at cirpss and hc and her bottle of beer

achristmasshoop Mon 11-Dec-06 15:50:18

When I lived at home, my christmas was....
Wake up early, wake up mum and dad and everyone down to livingroom.
Me and sis would open pressies together, then we would give mum and dad theirs to open.
No brekkie, would eat chocolate from selection pack
Nan and Grandad would come round and we'd open pressies from them.
Huge lunch cooked by mum (Mum and Nan would fight over washing up, but would always do it together while we played with our toys.)
Sometimes out to another relative in the evening on dads side of the family.
My christmas now....
Wake ds and dp up early.
Everyone into livingroom to open pressies - together. Spot of brekkie for ds then up to mum and dads.
Will hand out everyones pressies and everyone will open them after ds has opened his.
Nan will come round, open more pressies, then lunch.
For tea, Turkey sarnies with pickled onions - Yum.
That was incredibly long, won't bother to bore you all with boxing day

SantaGotStuckUpTheGreensleeve Mon 11-Dec-06 15:28:00

swedishmum, your post brought a tear to my eye. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year, with everything just the way you've always wanted it.

xmasstocking Mon 11-Dec-06 15:24:44

Whoever it was (too many posts to remember) with the vodka cake - my MIL made an ouzo trifle one year - yum yum!!! And for starters we always had melon balls drowned in whatever other alcohol she could find - peach schnapps, more ouzo, vodka

deaconblue Mon 11-Dec-06 15:13:45

My mum has some of those - they are robins with evil beady eyes! Sis and I used to compete to find the best place to hide the robins. I think she's finally chucked them thank goodness

poinsettydog Sun 10-Dec-06 23:04:07

Having tree decorations of scabby birds made with real feathers.

Luckily dh did not want to continue that tradition.

swedishmum Sun 10-Dec-06 22:52:26

MY family were weird. As a vicar's daughter and only child I remember many years when I'd get dragged round the wards of the psychiatric hospital my dad worked in with my violin on hand to visit everyone. One year they didn't put up decorations, and one year we had lunch off plastic plates in the staff canteen because it was free. One year I got a duvet as a main present but no cover. One year they went visiting sick people without me and I sat on my own at home all afternoon. One year I cooked Christmas dinner because they were busy with church (I was about 13 I think) and we ate it on our knees.
Mum died this year and I feel as though for the first time we can do what we want as a family without her disapproving silently. Hope that doesn't sound too awful. Feel better for the rant. Christmas at our house this year. Just need a way to avoid ILs watching soaps.....

bigdipper Sun 10-Dec-06 22:21:03

My PiL's priorities at Christmas are
1. Church
2. FiL choosing the Wine (his only job)
3. talking about the Food
4. talking about the right way to cook the Food
5. talking about the wrong way to cook the Food
6. Cooking the Food
5. Remininiscing about dead people
78. the children My three dc, all under the age of 5 were expected to dress up and go to Church at 8.30 am, then home for coffee with boring old neighbours, then endless discussions about The Food before a single present was opened.


MrsSchadenfreude Sun 10-Dec-06 22:14:18

Oh yes, Meowmix, the inane conversations -
"Oh, yes, I was saying to June, wasn't I, June, that I'd seen Margaret in town and she'd put on a lot of weight. Or, no, it was Doris that had put on weight, wasn't that right, June? June?"

(June snoring loudly in armchair having lost the thread and consciousness half an hour ago...)

23balloons Sun 10-Dec-06 21:59:06

This thread is hysterical and has really made me laugh - thank you. Dh's family live in Oz and we visited last year I was fuming as the kids had to wait for grandma to arrive and then have a cup of coffee etc before they could open a single present. At home they get them as soon as they get up. I suppose most people go with what they grew up with. I tend to find Christmas a bit boring myself - I think I will have plenty to drink this year!!

kickassangel Sat 09-Dec-06 17:08:01

my in laws do tree presents, from the tree, (supposed to hide the identity of the giver), to be opened on boxing day, so it's not too much of an anti-climax.
my mum does little presents on the tree, for if people call in, or for boxing day if you're staying.
no-one in our families lets you open anything on christmas eve. i'm going to upset mil by starting on the christmas cake a day early (cos i can't be bothered with making a pudding)

deaconblue Fri 08-Dec-06 21:38:51

Dh's tree presents are not the same as presents under the tree which we also have!!! It seems to be a little extra present that you get to open on Christmas Eve.

Thanks everyone. Mum's started doing table presents too, bless her.

Presents everywhere!

corrina28 Fri 08-Dec-06 15:09:54

we have always had table presents, but that was something that my dad started as he would buy us all jewellery for xmas and insist that we opened it between starter and main course, but now we let dc make their own christmas crackers for everyone instead.

nogoeswithbellson Fri 08-Dec-06 14:47:14

Maycontainstress, in my family tree presents have always been the main big presents but it appears that everyone seems to do it differently.

yes - i think it's something small.
we don't do that!

although sil does put small presents next to the plates on the table!

table presents!

Can someone please explain their definition of a tree present to a 'tree present virgin'. My DP says its something little, like an inexpensive present. Um. All my presents are like that.


chopchopbusybusy Fri 08-Dec-06 12:36:08

My MIL thinks Christmas presents should be opened on Christmas Eve (apparently the Royal Family do this.) Hmmm... delusions of grandeur. I flatly refuse to do this but will usually (for the sake of harmony) agree to open a tree present - no my family never had those either - at midnight. Love her really.

Tempted to do the crisp thing this year though

Snowstorm Fri 08-Dec-06 11:57:31

At my parent's house, however, tradition is at Christmas pudding time for my father to light the brandy pooling the pudding and to circle the dinning room table (with all of us sat at it) once, can't remember whether it's clockwise or anti-clockwise, whilst trying to keep the pudding flame alight ...

See, that's so completely normal isn't it? <ha!ha!ha! emoticon>

Snowstorm Fri 08-Dec-06 11:50:09

It was a full Christmas dinner (minus the roast potatoes) ... plus the crisps ... think they were ready salted .

NOELallie Fri 08-Dec-06 11:39:23

Mum always did tree presents too but not until after supper. That's one tradition I've given up on - my kids get quite enough as it is

Chloewhitechristmas Fri 08-Dec-06 10:49:59

Mioaw's xmas day sounds like something off The Royal Family!

Things are fairly normal with both sets of parents but with my family we always get a pillow case filled with little prssies all individually wrapped (normally crap freebies mum gets with magazines) but fun all the same. She would always leave them in our room in the middle of the night and it amazed me that I never heard her......until last year - I was truly, truly gutted - I wsas pg at the time and didn't sleep well - dh also gets a pillowcase, we will never grow out of it and now PILS also leave us a pillowcase when we go to theirs because DH said it wasn't xmas without one now

santasaltire Fri 08-Dec-06 10:46:45

Tree presents - yes that sounds like my mother. When we were little, all our presents from FC and assorted relatives were piled up on a chair each. Then after dinner, we got a "tree present"!.
However, DH and I put under the tree all the presents received from relatives, which are opende after breakfast. My mum however insits on giving us a tree present to open after lunch!

Luckily, I haven't had to suffer the PIL for the past two years since being single, thank GOD.

When the DTS were having their first Christmas at the age of 1, just getting into seeing presents at 7am and the PIL turned up, and the BIL and his wife and 2 kids, then the SIL and the other BIL, my whole house was full of them at 7am. We hadn't opened a single present or even had a cup of tea. They were all blind drunk from the night before - their tradition - get wildly drunk Christmas Eve, hair of the dog Christmas Day

The following year I insisted no visitors, so MIL PHONED US at 7.30am and we waited about half an hour for exh to come back into the room to see the DTS open their presents from FC.

I don't miss them at all.

This year, I have a new DP and we have to buy 'TREE' presents, wtf??????????????? I don't think so.

I'm in the mad frenzy of wrapping paper camp

sunnysideup Fri 08-Dec-06 10:04:23

pmsl, rofl and wheezing at this thread, it's been priceless.

I think Victoria Wood or Jennifer Saunders must gbe able to get ALL their material for mad english women from the MILS on this site

I shall never forget crisps instead of roast potatoes.

Very sad for peaches having to wait ALL day for pressies....that really is mean.

fairyjay Fri 08-Dec-06 08:39:11

Now our children are older, we sort all our pressies into piles just before bed on Christmas Eve, and all get loads of pleasure looking at our pile, and guessing what's in there!

We then get up as early as possible, make some hot drinks, and pile in front of the fire to open our presents.

Maybe a bit control freakery - but I make a list of who sends what to whom, and we also open one at a time, so we can see each other's gifts. Makes the fun last longer too. We also have some bin bags on standby for the rubbish!

We're away this Christmas, but ds wants to leave all the pressies at home, so that we can have our 'Christmas morning' when we get back home!

NOELallie Fri 08-Dec-06 08:12:15

peachesMclean - we don't open pressies till after lunch . You could try giving me a talking to if you like but I don't think it would help. We like it that way.

However I do get up about 5am and lunch is always over by 1pm so not quite so cruel....

hotmulledwinemama Thu 07-Dec-06 23:21:35

Please tell me she didn't pour gravy over the crisps? Ew

hatwoman Thu 07-Dec-06 23:20:02

pmsl at the crisps. did she manage any veg or did you just have ketchup?

yup- we have a winner. crisps????????!!!!!!lmao!!!!!

BahHunkBug Thu 07-Dec-06 23:07:53


You can buy roasties if she found them that hard!

She manage a turkey OK, or did she just open a tin of spam?

themoon66 Thu 07-Dec-06 23:02:37


JollyOldSaintNikkielas Thu 07-Dec-06 22:50:40

Think crisps wins

Snowstorm Thu 07-Dec-06 22:15:02

My first couple of Christmas's at P-I-L, I was surprised and startled to find that M-I-L found roast potatoes a bit of an effort and so we got served crisps instead of them with our Christmas dinner

DH's family fairly normal. The worst tradition was with my family - my mum would insist that we weren't allowed to open our presents until after lunch. And because mother wasn't going to get up early to cook (don't blame her actually) we didn't eat until 5pm or 6pm. So it could be 7pm before we opened presents. Deeply frustrating as a child and took all the fun out of the day.
If you know of anyone trying anything similar in this day and age, I'll personally go round and give them a serious talking to!

Stockingsofdinosaurs Thu 07-Dec-06 22:03:39

Like the idea of football in the park but I would probably not be able to help myself staying home and stressing about dinner hence going for Hatwoman's Xmas eve turkey next year.

maryhadaharpsichordyeahlord Thu 07-Dec-06 21:54:56

<snigger> at the boozy cakes.
lol at the bottle of Lieb between 7
ditto, only Blue Nun <gag>

Boobooroastingonanopenfire Thu 07-Dec-06 21:33:00

Maryhadaharpsichord: I think my MIL started experimenting with weird booze in cakes because she thinks I'm an alcoholic, and wants to please me.

This started when I insisted on taking champagne to theirs on Christmas Day, because otherwise we end up with one bottle of Liebfraumilch between 7 of us.

santasaltire Thu 07-Dec-06 21:27:35

We haven't actually had christmas anywhere other than our own house. However MIL, and my mum still expect us to do their traditions when they come to stay

Do you usually ask?

maryhadaharpsichordyeahlord Thu 07-Dec-06 21:24:05

oh I manage to get a bottle of beer
if I ask for it
then everyone Looks at me, in a significant manner
oh there she goes, the big ole boozer

heavenlyghosty Thu 07-Dec-06 21:19:50

Wierd family traditions of DH's family ...
Hmmm, let's see - how about giving presents to eachother when they all hate eachother .... how about getting all knickers in a twist about spending Christmas day together when they don't talk to eachother AT ALL for the rest of the year ...
Oh and MIL's classic "Spend Christmas day with me but don't expect me to get food for all of you, I have a ham and some salad, don't expect me to get food/cook for the children ...."
A few years ago we spent a fortune coming from the UK to NZ for Xmas and ended up buying all our food ....

A dry Christmas does sound pretty horrible.

maryhadaharpsichordyeahlord Thu 07-Dec-06 21:16:02

no fkn alcohol and bloody lousy food
that's why I have never spent christmas there and never will

santasaltire Thu 07-Dec-06 21:12:35

in 10 - 20 years time out DIL's will be on here saying
"Oh it's awful with Dh's family at chrismtas, they all just rip paper off, the house is chaos, they are all drunk etc"
And we will all be on our "fabgrannies.com website" telling tales on the same DIL's! .

colette Thu 07-Dec-06 21:02:33

First time I went to dhs family Xmas mil opened every single ptresent she had received(like a tin of biscuits posted from someone she used to know 30 years ago), whilst giving me the history of their lives in great boring detail. She flattened each piece of wrapping paper out carefully taking the sellotape off and the rest of the family sat and watched . We took turns in a very restrained way of carefully opening lots of small presents, and they put their presents on the tree No tv and the most boring board games imaginable.
We didn't eat dinner until 7pm
I prefer the get stuck in and slob out mode of xmas ( saying thanks for presents along the way of course}

SantasPersonalClown Thu 07-Dec-06 20:48:04

I don't have ILs so makes life easier for me!!!
Our family tradition is
Everyone up and breakfast, then all presents are dished out first, THEN mad frenzy of ripping paper and trying to convince ds to open more not just play with the first thing he gets to.
Am planning this year to let ds open some at home, then some at GPs then the last of his in the evening. I may save one or two for the 27th as its my birthday and he gets a little confused as to why only I get more presents. Bless!!!

deaconblue Thu 07-Dec-06 20:36:19

Oh my God microwaved Christmas dinner and vodka Christmas cake - makes my pil look like Christmas angels!! Dh wasn't allowed to touch his stocking until his Grandparents arrived at lunchtime. Can you imagine the suspense? We used to be welcomed into mum's bed for a snuggly opening of pressies at 5am!

santasaltire Thu 07-Dec-06 18:46:05

I must admit, i cook my turkey on Christmas eve, but certainly don't microwave it the next day, or serve it cold.
lemontart, my MIL, would, if she could get away with it, watch TV all day on Chrismtas day. This year we have decided Tv not going on until 5pm(ish). She's not happy, doesn't know what we will do all day! I told her we can play games with the DS, i know for a fact santa is bringing DS1 Cludeo!

NOELallie Thu 07-Dec-06 18:38:24

lemontart - my sil does that.She cooks the turkey christmas eve and then serves it cold WITH HOT GRAVY!!! And tinned veg.....Now that is weird.

Boobooroastingonanopenfire Thu 07-Dec-06 18:28:59

My DH's family hate Christmas, and yet we dutifully drag ourselves over there every other year.

My family: champagne cocktails, beautiful tree, lovely presents, big dinner about 3pm, then turkey and stuffing sandwiches in the evening.

DH's family: never enough roast potatoes, floppy carrots, MIL stressed about the cooking but won't let anyone help (but bitches about it), 'experimental' cake (last year involving vodka: bleuch), crappy presents.

Also, embarassingly, they've decided they like me more than DH, which gets particularly uncomfortable at Christmas. Last year they got me about ten presents, and they got DH one book with really obscenely offensive limericks in it. (I'm no prude, but one of them was about a woman with a smelly c*nt. Nice).

They also give me presents on DH's birthday.

Oh God: only 2 weeks to go.

And I love Christmas...

LemonTart Thu 07-Dec-06 18:28:10

oops! Is that Boozing Day or Boxing Day ?!!

LemonTart Thu 07-Dec-06 18:27:20

my pils tradional day involved letting the children open stockings in their own room and not wake parents so they can have a lie in..(I love to see their faces, all piled into one bed opening stockings together).
Christmas lunch is PRE COOKED (ALL of it) on Xmas eve in pils house. Soggy veg and dry turkey MICROWAVED up the next day!! (Not in my house,,,)
Afternoon with PIL involves all children being quiet so adults can watch every soap episode going followed by crap movie of their own choosing (WW2 pref.) Children not allowed to talk through it.. (I like mine to play with their pressies all together)
NO FRESH Air at all for PIL ideal Christmas - I need to get out for family walks, if not on Christmas day at least on Bosing Day afternoon.

good job they have emigrated really

dmo Thu 07-Dec-06 18:21:05

we let our boys (9 and 10) open their socking and they play with the toys in there (all tat btw) all morning, they always get a football in the stocking so when dh puts the dinner in the oven (yes dh always cooks ) we go to the park with the balls etc
we then come home eat dinner pull crackers etc then we go into the living room and open all their big presents, then we veg
we dont have any visitors on christmas day and we dont visit anyone +

gothicsanta Thu 07-Dec-06 18:17:34

haven't a clue never do christmas with them

kickassangel Thu 07-Dec-06 18:11:55

kickassangel Thu 07-Dec-06 18:11:30

OMG I've just realised that when we have Christmas with my family, we do things how they want, and do what dh's parents want when they come to us! [fschock]
will speak to dh tonight, am going to INVENT our own Christmas traditions, just to annoy everybody!

kickassangel Thu 07-Dec-06 18:10:06

OMG I've just realised that when we have Christmas with my family, we do things how they want, and do what dh's parents want when they come to us! [fschock]
will speak to dh tonight, am going to INVENT our own Christmas traditions, just to annoy everybody!

Stockingsofdinosaurs Thu 07-Dec-06 17:56:51

One of us kids usually did the 'list' once we could write, we used to fight over the job!
I think I'll probably be a binbag mum too, I disapprove of wrapping paper (but have used it this year) so I don't want to be wading through it all morning feeling guilty.

courgettes aren't a christmas dinner vegetable-that's just weird!!!!!!!!

TerrbileTwos Thu 07-Dec-06 16:42:22

shopping bags - how can it be christmas if you don't have the equivalent of an EEC stock pile of food bursting out of every corner of your kitchen? Are your in-laws German by any chance? i only ask because ex-inlaws were very much in this strange vein of Christmas on the 24th Dec at 4pm in the afternoon (after mil had finished work) and then it was some christmas fairy who brought the tree and all the presents.......

deaconblue Thu 07-Dec-06 15:57:33

wtf indeed! My in laws don't understand the importance of buying a food mountain for Christmas. At their house no cake, nibbles, after dinner mints, nuts, crisps etc etc. I end up very hungry and very miserable. Have decided to never go there again and will always host, that way plenty of grub

bundle Thu 07-Dec-06 15:57:32

what's wrong with courgettes?

dh's family open their presents in the afternoon. talk about willpower...

wrappingpaperBOwZZAndribbons Thu 07-Dec-06 15:57:07

still think potato croquettes beat courgettes.

ok how about this- my sil insists on having courgettes with christmas dinner


mammaduck Thu 07-Dec-06 15:43:18

I do the pen and paper thing for presents.

Never considered it to be control-freaky.

Feel quite put out by that suggestion.

SpicymulledSheraz Thu 07-Dec-06 15:42:41

Oh this is do funny, my in laws are so dull and never get excited about anything even Christmas. I have not spent Xmas with them for 4 yrs now. They just sit and watch TV all day. Last week they drove 100 miles to see us and sat and watched Countdown, din't even speak to DS's - was fuming. Now my family of course are perfect in every way..

wrappingpaperBOwZZAndribbons Thu 07-Dec-06 15:35:03

My ILs have potato croquettes for Christmas dinner. Now this is not a problem, they also have roasties and the rest of the usual festive meal. But it is bizarre.

sunnysideup Thu 07-Dec-06 15:33:59

Wheezing with laughter at NoelAllie and meowmix....toe curlingly awful!!! But gut wrenchingly familiar, some of it

deaconblue Thu 07-Dec-06 15:28:00

Ooh so glad I started this thread. So many funny traditions. Why is it that in laws Christmases are crap but your own family's are wonderful?

we do that rosa- well the paper and pen anyway and that is something that has come from dh';s family.

NOELallie Thu 07-Dec-06 13:49:30

Ah. Now you see Rosa I would do that. I'm all for making things easier. But unfortunately I've usually had too much too drink by then And Dh can't be bothered.

RosaLuxembourg Thu 07-Dec-06 13:12:21

DH's family do the one present at a time thing but with the addition that MIL sits there with a bin bag for the discarded wrapping paper and a pencil and paper to write down what the present was and who from for the thank you letters. DH now does this too (the letters, not the bin bag) and though I appreciate that it saves the pain of trying to remember who gave what when you get around to the thank yous, I do feel it is the teensiest bit control freaky.

Tommy Thu 07-Dec-06 13:10:17

I can never understand why the ILs don't pull their crackers until after lunch

I thought it was the law that you all had to wear your hat throughout lunch

octobermum Thu 07-Dec-06 13:05:21

Sorry pc went a bit funny

octobermum Thu 07-Dec-06 13:03:49

Dh family have all presents piled up in near piles one per person. I don't like this as it seems to me to formal and no fun.

MIL dosen't like cooking but always does to much, eg turkey, bacon wrapped sausages, ham and roast & bolied potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower cheese, broccoli all put on when potatoes are put into oven except brussels which are cooked for 40mins then reheated in microwave before serving and yorkshire pudding, followed by christmas pudding and triffle then mince pies. This is all served at 1pm then at 5pm she is asking if anyone wants tea and sandwiches and the get upset because no one is hungry.

octobermum Thu 07-Dec-06 13:03:47

Dh family have all presents piled up in near piles one per person. I don't like this as it seems to me to formal and no fun.

MIL dosen't like cooking but always does to much, eg turkey, bacon wrapped sausages, ham and roast & bolied potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower cheese, broccoli all put on when potatoes are put into oven except brussels which are cooked for 40mins then reheated in microwave before serving and yorkshire pudding, followed by christmas pudding and triffle then mince pies. This is all served at 1pm then at 5pm she is asking if anyone wants tea and sandwiches and the get upset because no one is hungry.

octobermum Thu 07-Dec-06 13:03:44

Dh family have all presents piled up in near piles one per person. I don't like this as it seems to me to formal and no fun.

MIL dosen't like cooking but always does to much, eg turkey, bacon wrapped sausages, ham and roast & bolied potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower cheese, broccoli all put on when potatoes are put into oven except brussels which are cooked for 40mins then reheated in microwave before serving and yorkshire pudding, followed by christmas pudding and triffle then mince pies. This is all served at 1pm then at 5pm she is asking if anyone wants tea and sandwiches and the get upset because no one is hungry.

hatwoman Thu 07-Dec-06 13:00:38

lol meowmix.

hatwoman Thu 07-Dec-06 13:00:09

re presnt unwrapping I see there are 2 camps - frenzied excitement vs civilised taking it in turns. the adults on our houses are pretty civilised ie we physically give them to each other and say thanks, but the kids are allowed to be chaotic. it all ends up chaotic anyway.

meowmix Thu 07-Dec-06 12:55:21

does talking shite endlessly count?

"oooh mags look at that turkey..."
"ooh yes jean isn't it big"
"Da, Dad, DAD,DAD - look at that turkey.."
"oooh thats a big one isn't it..."


"oooh mags look at that christmas pudding.."
"ooh yes jean isn't it big...."

and repeat... all day...

and they wonder why I drink

NOELallie Thu 07-Dec-06 12:50:53

sunnysideup - my DH's family could sit on their arse's as an Olympic sport!! I get so antsy sitting there. Only done Christmas once and I hated it. Kids told to sit quietly - no can't watch TV as the adults are talking, can't run around 'cos the flat is full of junk that mil won't chuck away, and no-one would ever dream of taking them out to the park for a while to let off steam!! At the time DH's 2 neices were very 'musical' (or so mil described it ) and we were treated to about 2 hours of agonising playing on every fr*gging instrument under the sum and singing. It was hell!

Also mil totally failed to cope with cooking for that many people and the meal was mostly cold - and she got really stressed and snappy. So she comes to my house mostly these days so I can do it properly

TEEstheCEEsontobejolly Thu 07-Dec-06 11:26:11

Yep, my DH and his family open their presents late too, after dinner. I let my 2 open their presents the minute they wake up like I always used to.

melrose Thu 07-Dec-06 11:23:19

Just diving in a opening all your presents in a frenzied 5 mins with no one saying thank you to anyone, only spent xmas day with them once and hated it! In my family we hand presents out from under the tree one at a time and watch each other open them, much nicer!

My family gained table prtesents when my StepDad joined us. But as it his tradition he usually buys them so it is OK!

sunnysideup Thu 07-Dec-06 10:55:19

unfortunately on Dh's side the family tradition appears to be attempting to sit on your arse for more hours than anyone else, completely ignoring all children present once the presents have been given out, making sure that most of the presents include brightly coloured sweets, smacking the kids for inevitably misbehaving, then sitting around some more talking about work and saying how Christmas is all for the kids really, isn't it.


We're staying at 'ome this year as DH prefers our family tradition of having a lovely time

My MIL trys to get everyone to do a party piece. Me and My SIL never do it as it is sooooooooo hokey.

santasaltire Thu 07-Dec-06 10:26:31

The first Christmas we spent with DH's mum and step dad was the year i was pregnant with DS1. She set up the video camera on top of tv, put everysingle present in middle of room, and said "sit down". Me, 7 months PG and she expected me to sit on floor. Anyway it turns out that they used to put all gifts in middle of floor, the oldest person would take one off the top, read it and give it to the person who it was for. They would then open it, watched by everyone else, then they would pick one off the pile and give it to whoever it was for. Took us four hours and there weren't even any kids. I soon put a stop to that. now, the DS open their santa presents, we have breakfast, and then all the others under the tree get opened. The DS can read so they hand them out, opening their own ones in the process. it;s chaos, but they have fun.
DH never had a stocking either. They never had turkey on Christmas day.

GodRestYeMerryPebblemum Thu 07-Dec-06 10:22:56

My IL's give out presents on Boxing Day. They are only normally token presents ie under £10 but when you have 25 people to buy normal Christmas Day presents for it works out qute expensive when you have you buy 12 more things for people to open the following day as well.

My neighbours sprinkle glitter down the paths outside (its supposed to look like magic dust from the sleigh) Last year they did it outside our front door as well and in the morning Dh stood in it and then walked it all through the house, he was not amused

noogles Thu 07-Dec-06 10:18:18

The main difference for us is that dp used to have to wait until after lunch to open a special pressie. We have kind of carried this on for the adults but not for ds yet (I think its unfair as he is only 3.5). Also Christmas has never been a huge event in dps family but in ours it is,right up until new years day. My mum goes all out,(the house looks like santas grotto,although this year is slightly more subdued and me and siblings keep complaining!!),lashings of food, in our house Christmas is for the kids and everything is enthusiasic and made really exciting. DPs family would just like to drink the day away (cos apparently thats what the TRUE meaning of christmas is!! )

lol! my fil is a love but he makes comments like that. " none of my children had dummies"- and i actually said to him then" he's not your child"

but going to my mums this year so will be a different kettle of fish- chaos from dawn to dusk!

hatwoman Thu 07-Dec-06 09:50:41

janitor - i can so relate to that! dh's family just don;t get excited by Christmas. sitting reading the paper like on a normal Sunday - that's fil all over. drives me mad! My mum and I love it, we go to lots of effort to decorate the house and make everything look lovely. when I was a kid dbs and I would take our pillow cases into mum and dad's room and rip all our presents open in a frenzy of excitement sitting on their bed. it was lovely. fil came last year and whilst he didn;t mean to be grumpy, his failure to get excited felt, to me, like grumpiness. along with his mutterings about the kids having too many pressies (sorry, but not true, I know houese with 5 times as many toys as we have) and his declaration that they "ought" to wait until after dinner to open some of them (that really pissed me off - not the sugestion in itself, but the fact that he felt himself in a position to make it! my house, my kids, and, mostly, my presents). I'd better stop before I turn this into a whinge about fils thread...he's not a bad old fart really...(and he's not coming this year...)

well i was 20 before i met him so i dunno-23? 24?

MerryChipmonkAndAHappyNewey Wed 06-Dec-06 23:40:48

MIL believes in buying loads of crap presents for a person instead of buying one decent one. With the result that last year she gave me, among other things a bag of 400 nappy sacks and a pack of baby wipes. Thing is, I use neither because I use cloth nappies and re-usable wipes. But because it takes ages to open all the little individual crap presents, and it only takes a few minutes for her to open the nice present I've gotten for her, she makes me feel as if I've gone to no effort at all!

Stockingsofdinosaurs Wed 06-Dec-06 23:27:02

Oh Janitor, how old were you?

Stockingsofdinosaurs Wed 06-Dec-06 23:21:29

Just being boring and never getting any fresh air.

only tradition that differs is opening presents once evryones is dressed and had breakfast and lunch is on etc etc.
in my famil we open them first thing.

now we have children he's come round to our way!

i remember the first time i spent christmas with his family and sitting in the bathroom crying because it was lunchtime and there wasn't an unwrapped present in the house, his dad was reading the paper and it just felt like a normal sunday.
i phoned home and could hear all my family having loads of fun and felt terrible!

flutturkey Wed 06-Dec-06 22:55:05

Ooooohhh sausages wrapped in bacon yum yum yum!!!!!

Anyway I have been sooooo lucky DH and his family never really celebrated Christmas with anything other than a visit to church, no presents, no dinner no stupid traditions.

When DH first had Christmas with my family I think he nearly had a break down the house was packed full (7 siblings) and noisy with grown adults who behave like children at Christmas. He loves it now and can't wait for it every year.

hatwoman Wed 06-Dec-06 22:51:59

we've ended up compromising on the present opening. some in the morning and some later on. I'm not convinced on that one. tinsel is absolutely utterly banned.

SantaGotStuckUpTheGreensleeve Wed 06-Dec-06 22:49:41

Cheese in bacon, as well as sausages in bacon!! He can stick that up his arse!

Quootiepie Wed 06-Dec-06 22:47:57

Waiting until after lunch/dinner to open the presents... ive knocked that one on the head sharpish!

Oh, and not a tradition as such, but... tinsel. Ive banned it

hatwoman Wed 06-Dec-06 22:45:49

christmas dinner on christmas eve. but am now a prosylete

HoHoHorsewoman Wed 06-Dec-06 22:41:18

DH used to knock over the fireguard and tramp the ashes across the floor to look as though santa had done it. Never cleaned it up next day, though. Apparently his dad used to do it (bet he never cleaned it up either, in fact surprised he bothered to do anything for his kids at all)

WanderingTroll Wed 06-Dec-06 22:29:05

A big fight.
Every year.


This year they all get Bach Rescue Remedies and, if things get physical, arnica.

deaconblue Wed 06-Dec-06 22:26:28

What weird traditions do your husbands/partners' families have? I now have to buy extra presents for the tree to give to us on Christmas Eve thanks to Dh!

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