Argh.... FIL coming for Christmas day!(4 Posts)
I'm aware this may make me sound like a bit of a brat, but here goes...
We are pressurised every alternate year to spend Christmas day at FIL's with DH's brothers and families. For many reasons, I don't enjoy this, but the main one is the amount DH's brothers spend on their children. They all insist the children have to get all their presents with all the family there, so my DC are watching their cousins open £100s worth of presents each and they get about £30-40 each from DH and me, because that's all we can afford. They are old enough to be aware of this discrepancy, and are always asking for gadgets and expensive stuff that their cousins have. I am perfectly happy to explain to them that we can't afford this stuff, but I don't think they should have their noses rubbed in it on Christmas day. Have tried to break free from this several times but get given a guilt trip along the lines of 'It'll spoil Christmas for all the rest of the extended family if you're not there' and 'We don't know how long dad has left' etc...
Anyway, this year, we will be avoiding that hell because we are having Christmas at home, and spending boxing day with his family. Only DH texted me this evening from FIL's to say he'd love to spend Christmas day at ours. I was really looking forward to just having our own little family at home tbh. FIL gets on my wick at the best of times, winds the DC up and teaches them silly, annoying songs which they repeat until I want to bury the lot of them under the patio, quite frankly. I had mentioned to DH that he should ask his dad (ie check) that he's spending Christmas with BIL, but DH has obviously phrased it as 'You're welcome to come here on Christmas day'. FIL means well, and has been very kind to us over the years but I know I will be on edge if he's here, as I spend most of my time when he's around gritting my teeth and biting my tongue. I'm so disappointed that I can't have the laid-back, stay in my pyjamas Christmas day I was looking forward to. I'm now certain to spend more of the day in the kitchen than necessary, just to avoid FIL when I want to be spending it with the children. (Disclaimer: May be getting over emotional about this because it is DD's first Christmas)
Could you minimise the amount of time FIL is actually at your house on Christmas day? Ask him to arrive at 11am or later, then you will have a good chunk of the morning with the DC. Perhaps leave it to DH to say this, and organise for FIL to go to other family late afternoon and for the evening.
I think it will be easier in your own home to 'control' the silly songs and so on as FIL is a guest and should respect your wishes You can eat what you want when you want, you run the day as you want. After lunch get everyone out of the house for a walk, that should fill an hour.
Then get through Boxing day as best you can, perhaps try to leave a bit earlier than usual if you are finding it hard going.
Completely understand about the presents issue.
But the annoying FIL issue is a different matter. Children need to have different relationships with different adults. If you are sensible, then a grandad who teaches them silly songs is awesome. (Yes, I fully understand about the patio thing ).
If your dc get upset by teasing, then you need to monitor and subtly extract them from the situation before it escalates. "Jonny, bring your new toy down and teach grandad how to play it!" or "Jonny, I really need your help with the gravy - only you can taste it for me."
And don't dress up if you don't want to. Christmas at your house is run your way with your traditions.
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