Its gonna be a fucking awkward Christmas!

(17 Posts)
Shybairns Tue 18-Sep-12 17:05:05

mjltigger does sound like its time for a new arrangment. Not easy. Will it be a christmas day/boxing day arrangment that alternates?

mjltigger Tue 18-Sep-12 14:54:19

I have a similar but different issue - for some time my ex and I have alternated 'hosting' christmas dinner with our girl meaning she gets the joy of christmas dinner with both her parents. This worked well for the first couple years but now things are different and I feel uncomfortable with the arrangement.. last year my ex hosted.. after dinner and a suitable relaxation time I took my daughter home and we spent the rest of the day with my new partner who had been with her kids for the presents and dinner thing.. this year following previous years example it is my turn to 'host' it is also my new girlfriend's ex's turn to have their children for Christmas dinner - this means if we stick to the existing arrangement my gf has a choice between spending the best part of Christmas day either in our house with my ex or ??? somewhere else without her kids or me.. I have made tentative approaches to both my daughter and her mum but am getting nowhere with both of them wanting to stick to the previous arrangements.. further hampered this year by my ex not having a car meaning if she does come for Christmas dinner I will have to go get her and take her home.. I know this is about the kids but surely it is better for my daughter that we face up to the reality of having christmas apart than try and shoehorn some kind of fake family? The problem is trying to persuade everyone to change what is seen as a 'tradition' (this will be christmas 4 since I split from her mum)

ojbsmum Wed 12-Sep-12 20:05:20

Between the ages of 5 & 10 my brother and i spent xmas eve through to xmas day tea time with one parent then back to the other to do it all again. It was great, 2 xmas dinners, 2 sets of presents, 2 stockings...
That's the only bad thing i remember, father Christmas came to us two nights running but in such different ways it ended the magic for me at a very young age. Just something you may want to think about depending on the age of your children (though obviously not that important in the grand scheme of things...)
Good luck. The pressure we put on ourselves to have a perfect Christmas can make it stressful enough at the best of times...

ojbsmum Wed 12-Sep-12 20:05:10

Between the ages of 5 & 10 my brother and i spent xmas eve through to xmas day tea time with one parent then back to the other to do it all again. It was great, 2 xmas dinners, 2 sets of presents, 2 stockings...
That's the only bad thing i remember, father Christmas came to us two nights running but in such different ways it ended the magic for me at a very young age. Just something you may want to think about depending on the age of your children (though obviously not that important in the grand scheme of things...)
Good luck. The pressure we put on ourselves to have a perfect Christmas can make it stressful enough at the best of times...

Shybairns Tue 11-Sep-12 19:40:41

The Christmas' I grew up with were with aunties, uncles and cousins, grannies and grandads all together, playing games enjoying food and drink together.

Ex fitted in to those Christmas' and seemed to enjoy them.

The kids have benifitted from them in their early years. The past two years it was just the four of us plus my parents, brother and his mum. It was way quieter, but we had enough fun.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, that its the people that make Christmas. And this year the people are all stressed and resentful.

DCs really will miss their granparents if they weren't there for the festivities. I would too. Though I think I can safely say this Christmas will be shite for me.

BonnyDay Mon 10-Sep-12 09:41:29

why do your parents have to be involved/

Kayano Mon 10-Sep-12 09:40:42

Parents come before grandparents in this situation. Tell your parents to pull themselves together. It's about the kids

BertieBotts Mon 10-Sep-12 09:14:19

Just came on to say that my sister and I used to do alternate years with Mum and Dad. We'd have a "second Christmas" when we got home with the other parent.

It worked great for us and I have many happy memories about Christmases with both of them.

It will be hard and bittersweet the first year or two but it will be fine, in the end. You'll work things out and find a balance and Christmas will be happy again.

Another problem with "Playing happy families Christmas" is if either of you get into a new relationship and/or have more children, then it could get messy. Easier IMO to keep things separate from the start, less scope then for DCs to become resentful of step mum/dad or half siblings.

Shybairns Mon 10-Sep-12 09:08:43

Just sat here thinking about what arrangment would suit the kids and me best, and then of course realising that untill I find out ex's view on it my mumblings are pointless.

I am sad for the kids that this christmas will be so not what I ever wanted for them. Not what I wanted for me.

I think if ex comes for xmas morning, sees them open the gifts from santa, then goes home. He could then pick them up for the day and night on boxing day.
Then he'll see them at the weekend after anyway.

I don't know...

fengirl1 Sat 08-Sep-12 21:55:36

The way I've done it for the last four is one of us has them Christmas Day, with them being collected Boxing morning by the other to spend the day (we alternate). It's now evolved (sadly) to presents being saved to be opened with the relevant parent. It seems to work though, and avoids the prospect of ex meeting parents etc.

origamirose Sat 08-Sep-12 21:40:01

My advice is to get it sorted now. What you do this xmas will, more than likely, set the pattern for subsequent xmases. You and your ex have to decide what is best for the children... not you, your ex or your parents...
If he's a complete git then this is a discussion worth having now and agreeing arrangements for this year and subsequent years.

Oldlady says it will be his turn next year. Most divorced parents do turn about but not all of them. My DP doesn't - 5 years on him and his ex wife play happy families every xmas (he goes round in the morning and stays till the evening). This is 'for the sake of the kids' but believe me it doesnt so anyone any favours:
My DP feels guilty leaving me and afraid that his ex might kick off about something
The oldest child feels stressed that her parents will argue
The youngest child feels confused
The ex is probably just as stressed and anxious as everyone else.

The oldest who's only 11 told me during the summer that she would give up all her presents to avoid the stress of Xmas day...

I'm rambling but I hope this gives you food for thought. FWIW I think the best thing in my case would be for DP's kids to have Xmas at their mum's and to come to ours on Xmas night (we live nearby) and to stay with us till the 1st (as we always have them from 27th-1st.).
That way they get 2 magic Christmases and both parents can enjoy it in a relaxed way.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 08-Sep-12 20:29:00

Whatever you decide, remember that it'll be his turn to have them Xmas Eve and morning next year, so it might be wise to make nice.

Or as nice as possible in the circumstances.

rockandahardplace2012 Sat 08-Sep-12 20:27:53

I have this exact problem, my dp and family dont get on and i was worrying about this. Difference is were still together so what were doing is me and dd are spending xmas morning with dp. Then going to visit his family,then me and dd are having xmas dinner at my nans whilst dp has dinner at his sisters then back to dp later. I know this isnt ideal but it works for us smile HTH

Shybairns Sat 08-Sep-12 20:20:20

I'm not going to miss out on the christmas morning thrills. So he will have to arrive as a visitor once they're awake.

And your right, I can't worry about my parents. It'll be very stressfull though once they arrive.

If it wasn't for the fact that DCs would really miss having their GPs there at xmas I would ask them not to come. They'd be very hurt as well.

Soo they'll have to act for the kids. I will be beyond stressed. I will certainly not be stressing about the turkey dinner or table decorations!! wink

DreamsTurnToDust Sat 08-Sep-12 20:10:12

Horrible situation for you sad

However, it sounds like you and your Ex are trying to keep things as good as possible for the Children, I think your parents are going to have to either fake it(for the sake of their GCs) or stay away until he leaves. None of them have to like him, but if you and your ex have decided this is what you want to do for Christmas then they really need to support you on this.

Hope it works out, alternatively, could you have them in the morning and then he has them afternoons, a lot of families do this. We do alternate years with DSS and no ones really keen on it although he is older so easier now, but when he was younger I didnt like it as even when we had him I didnt really like that his mum would be sad without him.

tribpot Sat 08-Sep-12 20:05:58

You've got a number of options, but many of them centre around your parents not heaping extra pressure on you but sucking it up for the sake of their daughter and grandchildren.

Could your dc stay at his on Xmas Eve, so he can have them first thing in the morning and then you could have them from, say, 11 a.m.? This avoids them meeting at all.

If that's not possible, then they have to respect who you choose to have in your house, even if that is your (I have no doubt) arse of an ex for the sake of his dc. It is therefore up to them if they wait at the hotel until he has gone - no reason why this should be unpleasant or soulless for them, it's only a bloody hotel (in other words, don't allow them to suggest a hotel is an intolerable place to spend Xmas morning, there will be loads of people wishing they were!).

Personally, I think it might be confusing for your dc to find your ex there when they wake up. Even if he does want to see them when they wake up - presumably next year you could swap arrangements so he has them on Xmas morning and take turns in this way instead. I would have him wait nearby if practical, so that they can see him arriving at the house as a visitor, rather than be confused that somehow he's been there all night.

Shybairns Sat 08-Sep-12 19:48:16

How do I handle Christmas this year?
Ex h moved out in April. We are mid divorce. He loves the kids and sees them as much as possible given the situation.

My parents are close with the kids, even though they currently live 3 hours away. His mum will probably go to her daughters for xmas so she's out of the picture.

My parents can't stand ex (understandingly) and would not be able to fake it for the kids.

How does on do christmas for the kids, when the family is broken?

My parents would either be staying with me or in a hotel near by. And probably my brother too.

Ex h will want to be with kids when they wake on xmas morning.
Does he just arrive before they've woken and stay in kitchen till kids wake up?
Do I make my parents stay in a souless hotel waiting for me to give them the all clear?

It all feels impossible.

Help!!!!!!

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