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Sigh - the usual problem with ILs and Xmas

(94 Posts)
Flyonthewindscreen Mon 22-Oct-12 10:28:10

I post on this topic every year so just a rant really. Until my DC were 8 & 6 we always went to the PIL for Xmas (I don't have much family of my own left). Me and DH were keen to do Xmas for the DC at home (with ILs invited to us instead, not being left out) before then but ILs (PIL and SIL) kicked up a fuss. Basically PIL want to still be the hosts and their house the centre of things and SIL wants to be "home" at Xmas. But 2009 after lots of melodrama from them we did start to alternate. So this year is their turn.

However DC, now 8 and 10 want to stay at home and me and DH, only ever having done Xmas twice are keen to stay at home also to do the day for the kids our way before they get too old. Last week my DD asked my MIL if she would come and have Xmas with us, she said "oh, but you are coming to us". I said I think the DC would like to be at home. My DS said "Nana we can't come to you because we have got rabbits now".

No more said, but yesterday we went to their house and PIL have bought a second hand rabbit hutch! They are obviously going to try to blow any rabbit related excuses out of the watergrin.

PIl have done Xmas, apart from our 2 recent turns for about 35 years. They got to do it for their DC while they were growing up, is it unreasonable for me and DH to want to do the same for ours?

Ladyhaha Mon 22-Oct-12 10:38:57

No, it's not unreasonable that you should want to be at home. You have to do what's best for you and your DCs and sod everyone else! My DPs sound very similar to your inlaws and are incredibly set in their ways, but next year we're having xmas at home with our kids, just as they did with us. I want to start my own traditions, rather than following theirs and they are more than welcome to join us, but if they refuse it's their loss. grin

onemoreminute Mon 22-Oct-12 11:05:54

Just tell them you are staying at home this year and they are welcome to join you if they want and don't get pulled into any other conversations about it. Since we have had our children we have stayed in our home.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Mon 22-Oct-12 11:20:45

Not unreasonable at all to want to stay home for christmas! Be firm. You're not being outrageous or unfair so there is no need for a fuss to be made. They want to be silly and controlling, let them. Not your problem!

FWIW we dont alternate exactly but we do play it by ear- deciding as and when what we're going to do. This year we are staying at home smile could not be happier! No MIL tutting at everything I put in my mouth and mentioning new year diets on christmas day hmm Also wont have my own mother causing a scene and upsetting us both this year over absolutely nothing angry

VoldemortsNipple Mon 22-Oct-12 11:27:36

It sounds like they have been looking forward to hosting again. Could you not go this one last time and make it clear that you will be staying at home from now on.

To be fair, you are saying we don't want to come to your house but we don't mind if you come to us. That's exactly what they are saying. It sounds like they have kept their end of the bargain for the past two years (even begrugingly) and now its their turn again you don't want to play game.

Of course its your Christmas and you can do or feel whatever you want. Personally I would go this year and then next year change it to something that suits everybody. Maybe make a big deal of boxing day at the ils.

Flyonthewindscreen Mon 22-Oct-12 12:03:48

voldemortsnipple sorry to drip feed but last time we went to theirs (2011), DH says he told them then that it would be the last time but MIL has form for not hearing what she doesn't want to hear. Also to be fair to her, I suspect DH said "yes lovely, we will come to you <mumble> but it will be last time<mumble>. We are happy to go to them on boxing day or any other day or days over Xmas except Xmas and let them host to their heart's content.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Mon 22-Oct-12 13:20:12

I think it's completely understandable that your kids want to stay in their own house with all their lovely new presents on Christmas Day.

Growing up we always stayed at home on Christmas Day and I am very grateful, it was lovely and I have wonderful cosy memories of it.

My parents are now very understanding of us wanting to do the same.

I think where you go should not be up for debate with them. It's your life, not theirs. They can have all the opinions they want but they can keep them to themselves.

Did they go to their parents when your DH was a boy? How long did that last?

turtles Mon 22-Oct-12 13:26:56

They invited you over, you politely decline.
You invite them over, they can accept or decline.

I dread the day I'm in this position!
At least you have children that can say no to her, and you can say the DC's really want to stay at home this year - and you don't really want to upset your DC's on Christmas day do you??

ENormaSnob Mon 22-Oct-12 14:58:44

I think your Pil are being unfair.

girlywhirly Mon 22-Oct-12 16:05:10

I think DH should say if you want to have Christmas at home, especially if he wasn't forceful enough before. If the PIL have always had Christmas in their own home with their DC, they should consider that you want the same for yours. Am I right in thinking that SIL still lives at home and is a drama queen?

Do the DC enjoy themselves at their GP's, because it sounds as though they want the arrangement to change, and it's easier to disappear into their own rooms for a bit of respite if necessary. Plus when they hit their teens the GP's will be lucky to see them at all!

SingingSands Mon 22-Oct-12 17:04:35

I'd stick to your guns. Politely, not creating a drama, just letting them know that your plans are to have Christmas Day at home with the children. If they don't want to come over on Christmas Day, then maybe you can go to theirs on Boxing Day, or they can come to you? The key is to be polite, but firm. Also, it helps to be overly cheerful - slap on a HUGE fake smile and be all jolly about it. It's much harder for them to convince you otherwise if you are so JOLLY about having Christmas at home!

TeaOneSugar Mon 22-Oct-12 18:19:31

Painful isn't it, my PIL are the same, this year we've said we're staying at home, BIL/SIL are doing the same.

PIL have been invited by both of us, and are now pouting and saying they might have lunch at their house "on their own".

Why is it that while they've had christmas day at home with their DC for 44 years, they can't understand why we want to do the same.

Drizzleit Mon 22-Oct-12 20:00:10

Do what your children want to do, it's their day

Babyrabbits Mon 22-Oct-12 20:49:03

We stay home, put our foot down a few years back. I love it.
We do our own thing, cook our choice of food. Play with the children. I'm not a waitress! Not stressed at all.
We don't even invite them over.( open house boxing day) I'm mum, i'm boss at christmas :-) they have had their turn.

DontmindifIdo Mon 22-Oct-12 20:53:53

YANBU - get your DH to explain that you are stayig at home but would love them to come to you.

timothyclaypole Mon 22-Oct-12 21:13:36

Ha! This thread has just motivated me to say to DH "so what are we doing for Christmas this year?" every so innocently, followed by "can we have xmas dinner here?" He looked a bit surprised and said "yes, I suppose so". We'll bloody see!

I'd never thought about in the way that people are saying actually, that PILS's have had years of having xmas in their house with their kids, so why is it wrong for us to want to do the same?

We usually go over to MILS's as DH has a huge family and they all live very close to each other. But for the last couple of years his other siblings have had dinner at their own houses then have come over in the evening. We don't live close enough to do this, so this year I am going to have to insist that we invite MIL and my DM over here. If they refuse, then tough and they will see us on boxing day.

Can't wait to have that discussion for real! OP YANBU.

Flyonthewindscreen Tue 23-Oct-12 08:53:41

Tactics, will get DH to raise in first instance and then step in if he is being useless. Can't believe they bought a rabbit hutch as part of their hosting xmas battle!

DontmindifIdo Tue 23-Oct-12 17:34:58

Yes, get him to raise it with them as a possiblity then you follow up with it being all decided so "hi MIL, I believe DH told you our plan to stay at home this year for Christmas day, now, I'm just putting the order in for our turkey, need to know if I need to have one big enough to cover you and FIL too, are you coming to us or doing your own thing this year?"

However, as your DCs have already said "are you coming to us?" you could act like it's all decided and bussle on with "are you coming to us or doing somehting else?"

poozlepants Tue 23-Oct-12 17:41:25

You have school age children- you are the grown ups now.
I was discussing this with a group of people recently. When we were kids all our grandparents came to us and accepted that they were the older generation whilst our parents were the 'grownups' as they were of working age with kids. Now our baby boomer parents still seem to think they are still running the joint and we are all still kids. I know so many people who are struggling with this.

Lavenderhoney Tue 23-Oct-12 17:52:12

Gosh, op I do feel for you, and totally agree dc should be at home where you can build your own traditions plus stay in pjs all day, play with new stuff, do what you want. Are they seriously suggesting you get packed and drive with a rabbit? smile and back? What if it panics and drops dead or escapes?

Would really go for excited about doing Christmas as a family just like they did when their family was younger, and they can come if they want. Or do boxing day. It is nice for the dc to be with family, but sounds like the others just drop in for a drink then go. Maybe go in the week after Christmas or do ny there instead?

MistressIggi Tue 23-Oct-12 18:05:47

You have a ten year old who has only had 2 Christmases at home in his life? I would have killed someone long before this.

MistressIggi Tue 23-Oct-12 18:08:29

They have been very fortunate (for want of a better word) that you did not have family you wanted to spend every other Christmas with.

mameulah Tue 23-Oct-12 18:13:50

By saying 'yes' to your PIL you are saying 'no' to you, your DH and DC. Why should you say 'no' to your family? I would tell them now so they have time to get used to it. Good luck!

clam Tue 23-Oct-12 18:24:37

I remember my father saying once how odd it was that everyone's plans for Christmas were usually governed by someone else's in-laws' in-laws. So, for instance, they might come to us, as my sister's husband's parents were going to their other child's as their dil's parents were going to their other child and so on and so on.
That made me pledge that I was never going to get into "turns" and we'd sort each year according to how I we feel round about October. I went through 16 years of marriage having only ever managed to host Christmas once, but since then we've done it 3 more times. Love it. Have never spent it just with dh and the dcs and me though. But that's OK. I like a crowd.

MickeyTheShortOne Tue 23-Oct-12 18:27:28

I left home a year ago, but only twice did we ever, ever have christmas at grandparents houses. Ever. We always had grandparents come to us- or we went to their houses in the evening/boxing day. I am due to give birth to my first LO any day now. We are going to DM's for breakfast and FIL's for christmas lunch, but only because DP's sister is over from Australia. If she wasn't coming (and for the fact that she is only coming to see the baby, she can't really afford it) then we would've stayed at home for most of the day.
We will probably be spending the evening, on our own as a family. Next year I have already decided we are staying at home- everyone can come to us! wink

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