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Moving back to the UK after 5 years abroad - MIL Christmas tradition

(31 Posts)
dinosaurinmybelly Mon 03-Dec-12 19:02:45

Hello -
I know it is a bit early to be thinking of this, given we are just approaching this Christmas, but we have been away for the last 5 years and will be living in the UK next Christmas. Since we left the UK, we've had 3 children, and have spent our Christmas's abroad by ourselves which has been heavenly. My MIL has always bemoaned the fact that we are not in the UK for Christmas, but it has been easy to handle this given that our children are small and flying at Christmas can be crazy. Now she is already talking about next Christmas and how she can't wait to be there when they open their presents. I know people have different feelings on Christmas, but for me I find the moment when the little ones discover their presents from Santa a very personal experience that I'm not keen to share with someone I'm not that comfortable with (i.e MIL). She is very good at taking charge of situations however which is why I want to be prepared for next year - what tips do you have for sharing the day, but keeping a bit of the magic for yourselves? MIL lives 1.5 hours away, so I'm hoping to establish a tradition of inviting them over to share Christmas lunch with us, but leaving us the morning to ourselves.
Does anyone feel the same way as me who has come up with a plan that works?

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 04-Dec-12 08:22:33

Just to clarify!! The boys only open their presents from Santa in the morning. The presents from family members are done when grandparents have arrived

LemonBreeland Tue 04-Dec-12 10:11:41

Bertha and Breathe have it right in saying that you need to mix it up each year. I am currently stuck with my Mum coming to us every year, MIL too.

MIL only comes for the day though and that is fine. My MUm comes for up to a week and I get annoyed by then. I do get on with my Mum but it would be nice if she didn't just assume that every year she will coem and stay at my house. I can see this going on for the next 20-30 years and tbh that is a draining thought.

Send an meail with your plans and stick to them. If they live an hour and a half away hopefully even if they ignore you they won't be there too early.

TeaOneSugar Tue 04-Dec-12 14:56:26

I agree with avoiding setting up a routine you don't want to get stuck with.

We're going through the pain barrier this year, as its the first year we're staying at home on christmas day and not going to PIL for lunch.

Last year I put a stop to PIL and my M turning up at the crack of dawn to watch DD open presents, my M didn't mind but MIL was put out, despite having other smaller DGC she could visit.

They now know that DD will open her stocking and presents from us early morning, and they are welcome to call mid to late morning with their gifts.

I'm slowly reclaiming Christmas, but it's a long term strategy.

I would add PIL had three dc themselves and therefore had many many christmas's to watch their own DC open presents, they never went to their parents homes on christmas day, always spent the day at home with their dc, with grandparents visiting them for lunch or tea.

Chandon Tue 04-Dec-12 15:12:34

Seems mean not to share this with her, especially as you have been abroad and she can t have seen the kids that much.

It is not the christmas spirit all, your children do not belong to you, what would THEY feel? The more the merrier? Kids love seeing their grandparents. It sounds a bit Christmaszilla.

I read your explanation, and I can see you have sme issues withher, but I still think it is a selfish approach to what could be a family celebration.

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 04-Dec-12 16:19:56

I think it's selfish of family imposing on others without a thought of what they want

ENormaSnob Tue 04-Dec-12 18:57:58

I have never had rellies over to watch the morning Santa pressies being opened, nor did we have it when I was a child.

That would mean guests from 7am ish which is way too much for me.

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