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My mother and Christmas - it's started already

(8 Posts)
juneau Mon 15-Oct-12 13:38:34

I posted about six weeks ago saying that DH and I had decided to stay at home for Christmas this year and how happy we were with our decision (we still are!). Inevitably, however, having broken this news to my mother, it's gone down like a shit sandwich.

To give a bit of background, we've spent the past four Christmases with my Mother and for the past two she's moaned and grumped about 'still having to do a family Christmas when you're all pushing 40' - that's me and my sister and our three step-brothers. Last year was a total nightmare as she made a huge fuss about providing a buffet lunch on Boxing Day for everyone and their kids and made everyone's lives hell, my brothers and their families feel unwelcome, and kept banging on about how her cats were frightened by all the noise. The cat issue is brought up ad nauseam every time she has any of the GC in the house and the three of us who have kids are heartily sick of it and feel she prioritises the bloody cats over her GC and step-GC.

My Dad and step-mum, OTOH, make everyone welcome, don't differentiate between blood- and step-relations, and their two large dogs are shut in another part of the house, out of everyone's way.

So now I've told her we're not coming and she's all upset and says she's prepared to do 'one final Christmas', but I know she only wants to host me and my sister and families and not the boys and theirs. I've made a stand and said she's either got to include everyone or no-one as anything else isn't fair. This morning I had a message from my step-dad saying he wants to 'discuss Christmas'. I just don't want to discuss it further - I've said my piece and I'm fed up of the subject already. And it's only mid-Oct. sigh

juneau Mon 15-Oct-12 13:41:06

P.S. I think she's well within her rights to refuse to do Christmas for everyone if she doesn't want to any more. But I don't want to go anyway!

NervousAt20 Mon 15-Oct-12 13:43:35

I would stick to your guns and refuse to go, if she's made a big deal of it every other year then she will again. I'd message your step dad back saying there's nothing to discuss we have different plans this year that we've committed to and can't change

BerthaTheBogBurglar Mon 15-Oct-12 14:15:23

I think you've muddied the waters a bit by telling your mum to invite everyone or no one. I think you should have stuck to "we're not coming this year".

Text your step-Dad back with "nothing to discuss, we've decided to stay home by ourselves this year".

Could you invite them (just the two of them, no siblings or cats!) to yours for the weekend/Sunday before or after Christmas? To soften the blow and sort the "but when will we give the gcs their presents" problem?

Incidentally, if you've spent the last 4 Christmases with your mum, when do you see your Dad, and your in-laws?

juneau Mon 15-Oct-12 14:37:56

You're right Bertha - I think I have muddied the waters and I'm annoyed with myself for saying too much. Me and my big mouth!

My ILs live overseas and although I suggested to my DH that we got there this year he said no. Our youngest will be 18 months at Christmas, which is a HORRIBLE age to fly long-haul with, so I'm quite relieved.

I see my Dad when we go to see my Mum as he lives up the road, so we've seen him every Christmas for the past four years too.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 15-Oct-12 14:42:36

I agree you have muddled the waters.

You need to talk to both your mum and dad to say that it really is nothing to discuss, it has been so fraught with tension the last few years, with nobody really happy at Christmas, and least of all your mum, so you have decided to stay home and start making your own family traditions with your child.

girlywhirly Mon 15-Oct-12 17:02:14

I absolutely agree stick to your plan of staying at home.

I expect your mum could do with a Christmas on her own with her DH, if only to realise that people are no longer prepared to put up with her behaviour. I can well believe your relief at not having your Christmas ruined again. Message SF back with exactly the reasons that Quintessential has listed, plus the fact that the cats won't be upset by DD.

There will be plenty of other opportunities to see them, just not on Christmas day to spoil it again.

Or was she giving a very pointed hint that she would like to be invited to someone else's for Christmas so that they can do all the hard work 'at pushing 40'? Although if she has been less than welcoming in the past at her own home I can't see anyone willing to do that.

juneau Mon 15-Oct-12 17:33:14

No, I don't think she's angling for an invitation to mine or anyone else's, although perhaps her widowed sister could do the honours for once. She's also sat at my mother's Christmas table for 40-odd years and never once hosted it herself.

I'm sure my mother doesn't realise how obnoxious she's been as she's never been one for introspection. I'd hoped that at some point this year she'd realise how unreasonable she'd been last Christmas, but she's still banging on about how my step-dad had no right to invite his sons 'without asking her first'. WTAF? They're his sons! I don't suppose she 'asked' him if it was okay for me and my family and my sister to come, so why should it be different for him?

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