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Last Christmas, did you resolve to do things differently this one?

(58 Posts)
girlywhirly Thu 23-Oct-14 16:01:35

Be it relationship conflicts between family, wanting to spend Christmas at another location, wanting to depart from the traditional food or even changing how you do presents or what you spend.

I'm sure that a few of us have said 'never again', yet would like a bit of help and advice from those who have managed to implement their changes successfully.

camembertlover Thu 23-Oct-14 16:09:26

Absolutely! Last year my DH and I spent it with his parents, his sisters, their husbands and bratty delightful hormonal teenagers. It was utter chaos, his 4 nieces were all arguing and saying they hated their presents [of which they had mountains of stuff including IPads, phones, concert tickets - they acted so ungrateful and rude it was embarrassing to watch] My brother in law insisted on cooking and didn't allow any of us to help out or have anything to eat until dinner hmm which didn't get served until 5pm and hadn't eaten all day. Was so tired and annoyed as usually we do it at my parents and is much better organised wink. We said never again and this year it will be me and my DH in our own home for the first time [just moved in April this year] lots of sex, chocolate and a nice roast - pure bliss grin

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Thu 23-Oct-14 16:38:38

I didn't necessarily plan on having a 5wk old come Xmas day but a wonderful surprise kind of planned smile

girlywhirly Thu 23-Oct-14 16:46:01

Oooh that sounds grim, camembert! I take it you have decided to give the ungrateful nieces an Oxfam goat this year, on the grounds that it would benefit those who would be grateful for it?

I always used to think that a big family gathering would be lovely, (we don't have any close family left) but mumsnet has changed my mind and now I think DH and I at home, no travelling, the food we want when we want it, and a tranquil day pleasing ourselves is great.

girlywhirly Thu 23-Oct-14 16:51:18

East, I think having a very little baby entitles you to do as you like at Christmas!

Turquoisetamborine Thu 23-Oct-14 16:52:53

Last year was a good year but the year before we had visits and parties planned everyday for about 10 days over Christmas and went to three houses on Christmas Day. Oh, and although Christmas lunch was gorgeous as usual at my mams, she had invited the whole family so that was 18 people. Too many! I collapsed with flu a few days later. Son's birthday is Boxing Day and I try to put on a brilliant time for him too to make up for his crap birthday date.

I'll hopefully be 20 weeks pregnant this year so I'm not doing anything to stress me out. Mam has declined the mass family meal on the big day so there will only be 7 of us at her house. We bring the starter or dessert. It's relaxed and lovely.
On boxing night we will go to my dad's and his partner is cooking. The daytime is for my son, he will probably just want to play with his tons of toys. We have his dad over on the morning as well as my family for breakfast.
Christmas Eve will be with H's mother and brother. I plan to book a posh meal somewhere to make up for the fact I can't drink.
The 27th is always for his Grandma as it's her 94th birthday. We go for a meal somewhere, there's about 20 of us.
And that's me cutting back on things as well. No wonder I'm exhausted by the end of it. That's without the dozens of presents to buy and wrap!

Turquoisetamborine Thu 23-Oct-14 16:56:26

I meant H's dad over on boxing morning not his dad. H lives with us!

elportodelgato Thu 23-Oct-14 17:03:15

I prefer Christmas at home with DH, our two lovely DDs and no one else. This year I had idle thoughts of the 4 of us going to Scandinavia and seeing snow and the northern lights etc. but sadly I am having chemo at the moment and will be having a treatment on 23rd Dec, what awesome timing! angry so it will be the four of us, plus my mum helping out, and me probably mainly asleep on the sofa, not drinking.

One thing I did decide a few years ago is that my DSIL is not coming to ours for Xmas again until she sorts out her significant body odour issues...

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Thu 23-Oct-14 17:06:12

Thanks girly we have decided we are not making the 200 mile journey each way plus more when there to see family between Xmas n New yr we always have Xmas at home anyway. People are welcome to visit before or after Xmas but not during!!

girlywhirly Thu 23-Oct-14 17:08:24

That's tough elport. Although you did make me smirk about SIL'S B.O.!

LokiBear Thu 23-Oct-14 17:15:36

Yes! Last year we went to DH'S parents in the morning and my parents in the afternoon. We have always done this - it involves getting to pils stupidly early to give us enough time to sit and open each present in turn (takes hours) before racing to my parents for dinner and finally getting home about 7, overwhelmed and exhausted. Last year it was horrible because dd was 2 and I felt like I missed out on seeing her because we were doing things to suit our hosts. Don't get me wrong, both pils and my parents are lovely and we were spoiled, but the rushing around was too much. Plus we had to fit in with others and I felt stressed the whole day because I had to do as others wanted. This year we are staying at home. We will pop up to pils for an hour mid morning and my parents are coming for dinner about 2pm (dinner at 4). But, for the most part we will be in our own home doing our own thing. smileThis has gone down surprisingly well with pil and dps. MIL has even scaled back the amount of presents she is buying dd because we won't be there in the morning so she won't get to do dd a pile from santa. This has been music to my ears because last year dd was totally overwhelmed and I felt like mil went completely over the top and tried to play santa which was a bit upsetting. (I know mil didn't mean any offence and my own mum was just as bad. Both sets of parents just tried to make it like it was when their kids were little but actually it was too much and pushed up out as parents.) Because neither family are hosting they have scaled back without me needing to say anything. It helps that SIL is also doing her own thing this year which takes the pressure off. We will be hosting a get together for the in laws too during christmas week so there will be plenty of extended family time, but the actual day will be ours. I can't wait grin.

thatsn0tmyname Thu 23-Oct-14 17:27:26

Hope the chemo goes well, elporto. The Northern lights sound lovely. Definitely next year!

girlywhirly Fri 24-Oct-14 08:58:53

Yes, good luck for the chemo elporto.

Glad you are staying at home and not travelling, East. If you are overdue, it could be as little as three weeks before Christmas and you don't know how you will be feeling.

Turquoise, that sounds a really hard Christmas two years ago, I had flu one Christmas which started on Christmas eve, I still managed to soldier on making the dinner, H wafted about pouring drinks and did nothing else helpful, then we had to go to the pantomime Boxing day afternoon and sit in a boiling hot theatre, me dosed to the eyeballs with painkillers as I also had sinusitis. For some reason none of his family seemed to believe I had more than just a heavy cold, probably because I don't complain much.

Loki, it's good that your parents and ILS have accepted how Christmas will be this year. For many the problems arise from trying to change things and getting a hard time for even suggesting it. They must dread Christmas.

furcoatbigknickers Fri 24-Oct-14 09:04:25

Pil won't be visiting...will be perfect

MsBug Fri 24-Oct-14 09:07:32

This year I will not attempt to cook Xmas dinner for ten in my 2 bed flat.

It seemed like a good idea at the time grin

roundandround51 Fri 24-Oct-14 09:15:25

Yes and I have made changes, because of the manic Christmas where I looked after everyone else but myself I ended up in hospital in January with a severe infection.

Last year I tried to please everyone, nights out with single friends after work, nights out with mother, sister in law, panto with kids, visiting everyone etc when I just wasn't up to it.

This year I am focusing on myself, DH and DC's.

Boysandme Fri 24-Oct-14 09:21:34

Yes, we usually spend the week between xmas and new year travelling round the country seeing family but we announced many months ago that we are not travelling anywhere this year.

We are having open house pretty much for a week, some family xmas day and will do another full xmas dinner etc a few days later for other family. May well end up feeling like a waitress but at least won't spend hours and hours in the car. The money that we won't be spending on a premier inn will go towards the extra food bill.

Hassled Fri 24-Oct-14 09:26:09

This year will definitely be approached differently - last year I was a stressed out wreck and really felt exhausted and awful by the end of it. I always, always host Christmas, which is fine, but I'm a bloody martyr to the cause and I don't help myself. This year - way more shop bought food (why do I think I have to make my own bread and cranberry sauce?) and way more delegation of tasks.

pommedeterre Fri 24-Oct-14 09:27:39

Last Xmas I was ovulating and got fertilized. This Xmas I will have a coil in!

girlywhirly Fri 24-Oct-14 09:33:14

Yes, family who expect people to always travel to see them forget what a toll it can take on health and finances, especially over long distances and having to pay for hotels.

Rowboat Fri 24-Oct-14 10:12:13

After the last time we spent xmas at inlaws 3 years ago we said "never again". Going this year and hoping beyond hope that it'll be better. We were there too long last time and blew on xmas eve. This time we're only there for 3 days. Surely this'll be fine <feels sense of impending doomsad >

Rowboat Fri 24-Oct-14 10:16:09

Also last Christmas I had a week old baby. I definitely said I was never having another Christmas baby. It was a double whammy of new baby visits and Christmas merriment. Exhausting.

Rowboat Fri 24-Oct-14 10:16:49

Good luck elporto smile

Ledkr Fri 24-Oct-14 10:17:06

I do d Xmas a big stress.
This year I've already made a good start on my pressies.
I am determined to enjoy the more traditional things with the dds.
Xmas baking, walks, church services etc. just generally getting more excited and not bloody shopping.
I am on a low fat diet fir gallstones so this year will be more booze less food.
We are going to pil boxing day so less food shopping needed.
I have also booked some time off work rather than martyr it out cos I'm part time so feel I should!
I'm hoping it works out well.

123upthere Fri 24-Oct-14 10:23:57

Last Xmas was our first to say a huge 'we're doing it our way - at home, just us & DCs' it was the calmest most indulgent Xmas ever and not by spending ££££ - indulgent because I was able to spend most of it on the sofa snuggling DH and DCs watching great tele or having family winter walks etc rather than visiting inlaws etc. saw them on Boxing Day. Oh and DH cooked every meal!grin

Will be doing same this year. It was truly magical to slow it right down.

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