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WWYD - where to have Christmas?

(21 Posts)
KinkyDorito Mon 05-Sep-11 17:31:14

Help. I have a dilemma.

Every year we spend Christmas at my parents' house. We have a party with family on Christmas Eve and then have dinner at Mum's, then a tea at my Aunt's. I usually stay there for the full 2 weeks as I have friends and family to see. They live a couple of hours away. Driving can be interesting at that time of year.

We've never had a family Christmas at home. I would love to invite all our relatives to us, but simply don't have the space. I don't think they would want to spend it in a hotel.

DD really wants to do what we always do, but DH wants a Christmas at home. I'm worried if we stay at home, it will feel a bit empty as I'm used to all my relatives being around me. I'm also worried it will upset my Mum, who gets to see her DGC open their presents on Christmas morning.

So, what would you do: stick to the normal routine, or try Christmas at home?

Thanks for your help smile.

DottyDot Mon 05-Sep-11 17:37:45

Tricky..! We always have everyone one to us (my Mum and Aunty, dp's Mum and Dad, my brother, the boys' Dad) on Christmas Day and then go to someone's parents on Boxing Day - this year I've said I don't mind having them all round on Christmas Day but I want Boxing Day to be just the four of us - no sodding relatives! grin

Is there a similar compromise for yourselves - go on Christmas Eve but drive back on Christmas Day evening so that you can have Boxing Day at home?

EdithWeston Mon 05-Sep-11 17:45:30

I think DH's turn for a Christmas in the style of his choosing sounds long overdue.

You might find it a bit strange, but it will be fun in a different way, if you are ready to embrace it. I know how important Christmas traditions can be - but a change, which may prove an enjoyable one-off, will enhance the appreciation of what you usually do.

KinkyDorito Mon 05-Sep-11 17:46:18

Thanks Dotty. That's still really doing Christmas at my Mum's and DH really wants to spend the day here. DD is 13 now and very aware that the tradition is going to Grandma's. We were doing that before I married DH (I've been there every year bar one). I now have DS too, who is getting old enough to understand that Christmas is at Grandma's which means, as DH says, we will be forever trapped in that tradition.

I could invite DPs here, but Dsis would be really cross. They could come too and we'd manage but she wouldn't want to bring her DCs away from their home. They live near parents, so normally spend morning at their home, then join us all for dinner.

Christmas is a minefield!

DottyDot Mon 05-Sep-11 17:48:47

It's definitely a minefield! OK, so how about doing Christmas Day at yours but then going to your parents for Boxing Day?

Either way you're going to piss someone off... grin

Have to say one of the very best Christmas's I ever had was just me and dp, on our own, before children. Sigh...

But children tend to complicate things don't they...?!

KinkyDorito Mon 05-Sep-11 17:48:55

Thanks Edith. I think you are right.

However, just to chuck something else in the mix, DD has been seriously ill and has had a pretty tough year, so I'm not sure if this is the year to mix things up.

I want to stay at home, and I never thought I'd say that, but I'll feel really rotten to DD. But I can't see her ever wanting to change things.

TheProvincialLady Mon 05-Sep-11 17:48:57

I agree with Edith, it is time your husband had a say. He's not asking to stop this (pretty full-on) tradition forever, just for one year. I also think that you should give consideration to your husband's feelings over your mum, as she has got her way for many years. Frankly he sounds like saint to have spent 2 weeks with your entire extended family every Christmas <shudders at the thought>

TheProvincialLady Mon 05-Sep-11 17:50:44

Sorry x posts. It does sound more difficult with your DD having been ill (I hope she is mush better now), but there will almost always be a reason not to do it and before you know it you will never have spent a Christmas together with your own nuclear family.

KinkyDorito Mon 05-Sep-11 17:51:08

Dotty, ironically, my DPs spent Christmas together from the very first year they married, and only saw their parents before or after the day itself. Christmas was always at home with them as children, but it was amazing and that is what has made it the place we all still go as adults.

purpleturtle Mon 05-Sep-11 17:53:10

We had a Christmas a couple of years ago when it was just the 5 of us, rather than trekking to family, or hosting. I was dreading it - thought it would be a bit sad. But it was really lovely in the end. The cooking wasn't stressful, (which it can be when your mother and sisters are in the way all the time!), we were able to do what we wanted when we wanted. The children had time to enjoy their presents.

I think that if you and your DH both want to stay at home then you should. Your DD knows no different, and if you make an effort to make Christmas special for her in a different way then I think you'll all be happy.

KinkyDorito Mon 05-Sep-11 17:56:13

Provincial DH doesn't spend 2 weeks at my parents. I have more time off than him. My Mum also doesn't insist, we have always invited ourselves! She lives for us and her grandchildren though and I think she'd be sad if we didn't go, but she would never complain or make me feel bad for my choice. It is DD who will do that! DD has leukaemia, so it has been pretty heavy going on everyone. But, strangely, that's another reason why I would quite like to be selfish and just all be together in our home. It's been crap sad.

pink4ever Mon 05-Sep-11 18:07:38

I am coming at this from the opposite side as we have spent 6 of the last 9 xmas with the pil's. We have never had xmas in our own home.

This year I have put my foot down and told dh that the dc's and I are staying at home and he can do what he bloody well likes!. Tried being reasonable but he just trys to turn it round and make me feel guilty but this year its not working!

Took the cowards way out and left a message for pil's-currently on hols-that we would be staying at home but they are welcome to come round on boxing day. Got a text back from mil which completely ignored my message so am sure they think I am bluffing. They will learngrin

Let your dh have an xmas at home this year-explain to your dd that after the horrible time you have all been through you just want a lovely,intimate xmas with the immediate family.
Your dd has my sympathy as I myself have had cancer-must be ten times worse for a child.

KinkyDorito Mon 05-Sep-11 18:10:37

I agree with what you are saying, pink. How do your DCs feel about it?

I had DD young. DD and I lived with DPs until I got married, 5 years ago. She still feels like their home is her home I think.

KinkyDorito Mon 05-Sep-11 18:21:57

A big thank you for the replies. I love that the Christmas thread already has so much traffic grin.

pink4ever Tue 06-Sep-11 20:37:23

kitty-my two older dcs are delighted to be staying at home. They hate having to leave their toys and go to inlaws. I am really looking forward to xmas this year!

KinkyDorito Tue 06-Sep-11 20:41:31

We are staying home. It has been decided. I've bribed DD with promises of new traditions, and I'm actually really excited now (and a bit gutted it's only September...) grin. Thanks all.

DottyDot Wed 07-Sep-11 09:07:47

ooh fab - well done! Do you do Christmas pyjamas? Ours really like it - each Christmas Eve they get a new pair of pyjamas - they're wrapped up under the tree. They open them after tea, get changed into them and we all watch a film together. We've done it for the past few years and it's really sweet smile

Another one of our traditions is tree presents - done this since I was a child and it's now been passed on. So at around 5pm - 6pm, after Christmas dinner, when all the main presents have been opened and I've had a nap, we have tree presents - these are little tiny presents, around 2 - 3 each, and just finish off the day and as a child and adult it was really good knowing there were still more presents to open grin

Setting new traditions is fab - I think we originally got the Christmas pyjamas idea from MN, so here's hoping you get inspired and pass on any more this way too - I love a new tradition grin

KinkyDorito Wed 07-Sep-11 13:00:33

Christmas pyjamas/hampers I started last year at mum's, but will do that again. We don't have stockings at mum's, so I'm going to do them too. (FC comes and leaves all presents downstairs in sacks and we go together to open them, then presents from relatives.) I like the tree present idea smile. I'm also going to, obviously, do my own food for the first time, which is pretty exciting (sad woman emoticon)! I might get an elf as I think DS, who will turn 3 in Dec, will be beside himself with excitement if we have a special visitor in the run-up.

Barmcake Thu 08-Sep-11 12:40:50

Dotty am really liking your tradition of tree presents but can you give me a clue what kind of things you buy, we have all of DH's family with us this year and this could possibly be the last time for a long they will all be together with DH present as well, although he will be at work for a few hours Christmas Day sad think this would be make everybody happy but I was thinking of doing table presents now not sure confused

DottyDot Thu 08-Sep-11 18:05:56

Hi there - usually little/silly things - so my Mum always gets me and dp a small bag of Thornton's toffee each as a tree present and the boys always get little pocket torches. I think they got a couple of matchbox cars - stuff like that. The idea is that they're small in size and also in value - but are the ones I usually like the most! I got a body shop lip balm last year and a mascara (had come free in a magazine that Mum didn't want grin).

Last year we also gave the grandparents school photos of the boys as tree presents - they'd been done in Sept/Oct and we saved them to give and I think we also did pick and mix in jam jars for them - we were trying to save money (will be this year as well!).

Barmcake Fri 09-Sep-11 07:48:31

Thanks Dotty, will now be on the look out for little things to buy/find which don't cost a fortune!!! Luckily there will be a few table top sales before Christmas so hopefully will be able to pick up a few things then grin

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