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Another want to have christmas at home thread.

(22 Posts)
Heavymetalmater Thu 08-Sep-11 14:38:30

we ( myself, DH, DD and DS) normally do over to my mums for christmas day. My brother and 2 spinster aunts also go. So in total 7 adults and 2 children. It is not a big house and not enough space for everyone to sit down etc. It has always been hard as we have presents, stockings etc at home with children and then go over for mid morning, more presents lunch etc. I am feeling pressurised to go because we always have done but it feels such a rush for us and DH and i feel that the day passes in a blur of unwrapping kids presents and then loading them in car to come home. We also have a dog now which we woyld have to take with us which will add to the madness. Also it always feels that the kids have more presents there than they do at home and to be honest it is excessive and uncessessary but my famil seem to like to out do each other.

I guess i am fed up of feeling like we are expected to drag the kids over for the entertainment of the relatives when we really dont enjoy it. How can i make the situation less stressful?

Heavymetalmater Thu 08-Sep-11 14:46:55

Forgot to say, we only live half hour away so dont have the excuse of distance not to go. My mum would also rather it were less people and therefore less stressful but she feels guilty and therfore invite aunts.

Hassled Thu 08-Sep-11 14:52:30

So just don't go. Tell your mum that you think it's time that your kids got to experience Christmas Day in their own home and you'll come and see her Boxing Day or she's welcome to come to yours. She'd understand, wouldn't she? Or just use the dog as an excuse - but really, fight against the madness that is obligatory Christmasses away from home. I put my foot down years ago and while the downside is that I now always host, I don't mind that - at least I'm doing things how I want to do them and at home.

Eglu Thu 08-Sep-11 14:55:51

Agree with hassled. We usually have my Mum at ours for Christmas, but she just assumed every year that she was coming and much as I like to have her I didn't want it to be an assumption.

So one year we said that we wanted a quiet family Christmas with just ourselves and DS1. Now we have DS2 and DD and my MIL is widowed so every year I get to host my Mum and MIL. No hope of it being just us.

Heavymetalmater Thu 08-Sep-11 15:00:33

I completely agree that i should just say no but i think i would have my mum getting upset. Last christmas i suggested we wanted to stay at home and she said it was unfair of us not to want to share the children at christmas. My parents see them at least once a week so not like we are depriving them. Why should we compromise our childrens enjoyment just so relatives can see them open presents.

KinkyDorito Thu 08-Sep-11 15:24:09

Come on, Heavy, join me in the revolution!

KinkyDorito Thu 08-Sep-11 15:25:51

Seriously, my Mum will be hurt, but it isn't like we are saying never again. I am seriously looking forward to it now my decision is made.

Shinyshoes1 Thu 08-Sep-11 15:27:42

I can't believe people find it hard to say 'NO' to others when it comes to Christmas.

She'll get over it and like you say she's only 1/2 hour away, don't let her guilt trip you

KinkyDorito Thu 08-Sep-11 15:55:41

I don't think it's about being guilt tripped. It's about knowing how much they want to see you and denying them that; it has become a 'tradition' and expected that this is what happens every year. Other posters assumed on the thread that I started in a similar vein that my Mum was really pushing us to be with them. She isn't. But I know she loves to see us, so it will be hard to tell them we won't be going.

Heavymetalmater Thu 08-Sep-11 16:12:27

If my aunts were not going it would be easier. Less people and less stress. My aunts just sit and expect to be waited on. Before the kids i would help my mum with the cooking etc. But am less able to do so now. However my mum feels she has to have them and the kids are the only thing that makes christmas enjoyable. They dont seem to accept that things change and the family is growing and we cant just continue doing the same things forever.

I feel i cant say to her that if the aunts dont come we may do as this sounds like blackmail and i dont want her to feel anymore guilt.

Why is christmas so complicated.

KinkyDorito Thu 08-Sep-11 16:39:19

Sympathy, Heavy. Just say you would like a Christmas at home this year. Or invite parents to yours, but not the aunts?

If you do say that you aren't going, why not make your parents and aunts a gift hamper of lovely things to enjoy on the day, like games suitable for adults rather than children (I don't mean naughty!!! Like a dinner party murder mystery game or something), and some nice alcohol, or boozy chocs?

Like I said before, it's just one year. See how it goes, you can always go back to the traditional the year after.

NHScutback Thu 08-Sep-11 20:28:07

Why don't you have them all to you this year? Do you have room? If so then you could say that next year you'll spend it alone. Do a rotation. With 7 adults and 2 kids I would think at least 4 people will be feed up to assist with preparation, cooking, washing up, etc.

Eglu Thu 08-Sep-11 20:32:42

It is unfair of your Mum to lay guilt on you like that. It is one day, she could see them the next day.

groak Thu 08-Sep-11 20:39:19

I made it clear that we were having christmas at our house, one year we invite parents, the next we don't. I never take the dcs out on christmas day, they love going through all their stuff smile

Kewcumber Thu 08-Sep-11 20:54:55

I'm lucky my mum accepts that things change. Now I invite her over to spend Xmas eve with us and she watches DS open his stocking in the morning. Or could you invite your Mum and Dad over for tea at your house when they can open presents - mainden aunts can fend for themselves for an hour!

Carrotsandcelery Thu 08-Sep-11 21:01:17

Can you give your maiden aunts a Christmas holiday for Christmas? You and your parents can save up and club together to get rid of them give them a magical Christmas, then invite your parents to yours late afternoon for mince pies and sandwiches or something like that, or even for the whole meal. It would give your Mum a change too.

Chestnutx3 Thu 08-Sep-11 21:04:57

So have Christmas at home. Do you want to invite your parents - yes or no? Do you want to invite aunts - yes or no? This is for meal and/or afternoon tea. Invite who you want, if people get upset they will get over it.

I would have christmas lunch on your own and invite the parents and the aunts for a cup of tea and christmas cake at 4pm

I hate all this Christmas deciding who is going to be where and when - it leads to so much ill feeling. DH likes having loads of people (he doesn't cook and does sod all so I think he doesn't get to choose) I like just having the four of us. Kids still little but want to stay at home for Christmas, I won't take them anywhere anymore on the day - DH relieved as then he can drink!

Flisspaps Thu 08-Sep-11 21:12:26

You're not 'sharing' the children at Christmas? They're people, not a box of biscuits. Tell her (soon) that you're spending Christmas at home this year. Ask her to come to yours if she wants, but that you just want a quiet Christmas, you, DH, the kids the dog and her if she wants to join you. Then she's got three months to get over her upset.

GnomeDePlume Thu 08-Sep-11 21:13:43

Heavymetalmater we too have parents 30 minutes away. Our solution is to spread Christmas over 3 days. Christmas eve with one set of family, Christmas Day in our own home, Boxing day with the other set of family. It took a while to get to this but now we are there each day has its own character and the pressure is spread. Funnily enough the DCs checked today that this was what we planned to do again this year.

Decide what you want to do then tell your mum (better make it this week though as if she is like my mum she will be getting ready to put the sprouts on a low light).

Keep the statement simple and dont apologise.

'Mum, this year we are going to spend Christmas Day on in our own home. We would like to come to you on either Christmas Eve or Boxing Day which suits you best?'

Of course she wont like the change but tell dont ask and give her plenty of notice.

LemonDifficult Thu 08-Sep-11 21:13:54

This seems really straightforward to me: have Christmas at home and invite no-one else. Say you'll go over on Boxing Day. Then don't get into a discussion any further than 'We just thought we'd try it this year - we'll probably be begging to come back next year, but we just thought we'd try it.'

cerealqueen Fri 09-Sep-11 20:45:59

Tell your mum its time your family started to establish its own christmas traditions so your children can have their memories of christmas at home - not being ferried hither and thither.

Tonksforthememories Fri 09-Sep-11 20:59:22

We do the same as Gnome but managed to go one better 2 years ago and persuaded MIL that she didn't want to do a 3 course sit down meal on Christmas eve, Kids too excited, ds was 4m, bf etc. She did a mini buffet and enjoyed it so much it stuck!

Now we visit and snack on buffet food while decorating the tree. Fab.

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