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considering running away for Christmas

(13 Posts)
verybusyspider Mon 26-Sep-11 22:12:55

and rather than dragging the children round endless houses to see family booking a cottage somewhere in the middle of nowhere (with a wood burning stove obviously grin) dh suggested it and I'm actually tempted... so post the best places to go and when I realise its all too expensive I'll have to upset people by turning down invitations and actually having a day in PJ's this year

god I sound ungrateful, our family are all lovely so we end up every year doing a grand tour, exhausting really - and our house is way too small to have them here....

girlywhirly Tue 27-Sep-11 09:24:44

Wouldn't the family be just as upset if you said you were going to a cottage, as if you stayed at home?

I suppose family think they are giving you a rest by entertaining you at their homes, but in reality the travelling and getting all the presents into the car can be just as stressful as if you were doing Christmas at home.

I think everyone should have a Christmas at home every few years, with or without guests, it's supposed to be a holiday after all! Hope that the weather will make it difficult to travel. It's not ungrateful to want a rest. (I'm on your side, nothing would induce me to travel over Christmas these days, I have done it, and hosted Christmas at home, but it's bliss just DH and I now.)

Treats Tue 27-Sep-11 10:52:47

Just watch for the expense though. We previously looked into doing this - my parents had always hosted as my sister and I lived in small flats which couldn't accommodate everyone, but are getting a bit frail - but were totally shock at the cost. Christmas/ NY week is easily twice the cost of the surrounding weeks for some of the more desirable cottages. As much as - if not more - than the cost in high summer. And there will be restrictions like a minimum booking of 7 days, as well.

Just sayin'

verybusyspider Tue 27-Sep-11 12:37:33

treats <sigh> thats the reality check I think I needed

girlywhirly we are very fortunate to have boths sets of GP's within 20 mins of us and most family within an hour so we do see them quite often, I find it difficult to cram all the visiting in the week we have off with dc's, everyone has a need to get everyone together, GP's want at least a day with just us and our repective brothers, then another day with extended family x2, plus individual invites and seeing friends... Being so close we really have no 'excuse' not to travel - even weather hasn't stopped us in the past! but loading up even for a day or night is stressful and I'd like to have some time just the 5 of us - I'm going to end up upsetting someone aren't I?!?

girlywhirly Tue 27-Sep-11 17:03:01

Why not spread out the visiting through December and after New year? Might be less stressful than trying to cram it all into Christmas week. Or you could minimise by alternating Christmasses between your family and DH's. I appreciate that you have to work it around when people aren't working or are away, but the current arrangement clearly isn't working for you and you are finding it a chore.

I think that yes, someone will be upset, but you have to be firm and state how you would like to have Christmas this year. It's not as if it will be the only time this year the GPS will see the DC, and perhaps agree to see friends at other times, or have a buffet party at yours for them where nobody has to stay over. It could be nicer to go for a pub lunch with friends in the New Year, something to look forward to in the post-Christmas flat period.

I don't think that proximity should mean you must go and visit. Give yourselves two whole days where you are together as a nuclear family, say Christmas eve and day, decide who to visit and when around that.

belledechocchipcookie Tue 27-Sep-11 17:04:43

I'm thinking of whisking ds off to Vienna. Depends on the cash flow though sad

aloiseb Wed 05-Oct-11 00:24:34

Ah yes, the upsetting people problem.....because DS is tied to cathedral for Xmas Day and my DD died 2 Christmases ago, we are now having Everybody for Xmas, in our tiny house. They aren't actually staying here but in a hotel, as nobody can afford the holiday cottage idea, but that leaves all the actual sitting around and mass eating to be done here. I'm worried, as there are likely to be squabbles between warring DM and DH/DBIL. [In the red corner!....]
How do I cope? The hotel rooms are booked now but DH is threatening to go away to his parents for Xmas! Can he do that????

KatharineClifton Wed 05-Oct-11 00:52:24

I stopped the traipsing around on Xmas day years ago! Best decision ever. It has now extended into Boxing Day now usually. Just me and the kids in pj's eating chocolate and watching movies and sorting new toys. Bliss.

girlywhirly Wed 05-Oct-11 08:42:59

aloiseb, so sorry about your DD. I suggest you have a word with the ones likely to kick off, and say that they will have to leave, even if they haven't eaten yet if there is so much as an unpleasant word or a raised voice. Threaten that if they do, it will be the last time you see them at Christmas. DH won't have to leave of course, but he should back you up on this. It is (both) your home and the relatives should respect that, and behave with some self-control, or go back to the hotel. The advantage with being in your own home is that you can make the rules and enforce them, which is less easy on neutral territory.

I would limit the sitting around as well, too easy to start on each other when bored, and have had a few drinks. Make them go out for a walk after lunch, excepting the infirm. They don't all have to walk together, or even the same route. You could keep one of the squabblers at home with you to help clear up if you wanted. Let people know that you don't expect them to stay in the evening, and they can leave whenever if it gets a bit tense or they don't trust themselves any longer, with any luck you'll get a quiet evening in which to relax!

aloiseb Fri 07-Oct-11 00:14:28

thanks girly whirly I think you ideas are v good, and you are right about setting down some rules. I only hope I have the nerve, if I need it, on the day, being a quiet type it's not easy.
Oh dear I think i have made a mistake in my initialising, my passed-on relation was my Dad not my daughter as might have been thought blush so sorry for such a ghastly mistake. My immediate family are fine! It's rather awful without Dad though - he was the one always making jokes and smoothing things over.

girlywhirly Fri 07-Oct-11 07:35:48

I wondered if you meant your dad. In your situation I wouldn't be above mentioning him in your initial rule setting, something along the lines of how dad would be so disappointed in them bickering at Christmas, could they please remember goodwill to all men in memory of him.

AmberLeaf Fri 07-Oct-11 07:56:43

Lovely secluded place here

aloiseb Sat 08-Oct-11 06:34:06

That is a fab idea.....can you imagine getting there with Christmas travel hullabaloo in place though!!!!!
You would need at least a week just to get over the journey......

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