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Xmas at home - how to tell inlaws?

(34 Posts)
GreatBritishBakeOff Mon 15-Aug-16 09:51:08

Dh and I always spend Xmas with his parents. Every year. They are nice and everything, but FIL gets grumpier every year and MIL gets more deaf, and there's not as many laughs to be had as I'd like.

We have 2 DC who will be 5 and 1 at Xmas, so the older one is really getting into it now.
Dh and I would love to have Xmas at home, just the 4 of us, so we can have our own traditions and make some less grumpy Christmas memories, but how did we tell PILs without hurting their feelings?

They have another son, but he's very unreliable and might pop in to theirs for half an hour on Xmas day, maybe.

They don't live close either, 2 hours away. So it's not as if we can just pop by in the afternoon or something, we have to stay really.

NoCapes Mon 15-Aug-16 09:53:13

"We'll be spending Christmas Day at home this year, just the 4 of us, we'll arrange something over the holidays to all do together"

confused not sure why that's so difficult really?

LadyPenelope68 Mon 15-Aug-16 09:56:57

I agree with nocapes, just tell them. You need to just do what you want and make your own memories for your children, not feel obliged to spend a miserable day with your IL's.

GreatBritishBakeOff Mon 15-Aug-16 09:58:35

Thanks NoCapes, perhaps I'm worrying unnecessarily, but that maybe sounds a bit harsh and abrupt? They've not had a Christmas on their own for 40 years... That's why it's a big difficult.

GreatBritishBakeOff Mon 15-Aug-16 09:59:08


chocoLit Mon 15-Aug-16 09:59:41

I stopped going to family & just said, we'll be having Christmas in our own house this year so what date suits you for us to visit with presents?

Fuck driving 2.5hrs after DH finishes night shift to feel uncomfortable in someone else's house.

We have fab Christmas now & our friends come etc

Just break the routine.

If it's REALLY tough say the 5yr old has asked to have Christmas in his own house so he can play with his present and you'll see them for a few hours on the 27th

wobblywonderwoman Mon 15-Aug-16 10:00:32

Dh needs to tell them. I would tell them sooner rather than later incase they may want to arrange something else.. I have a feeling they might look for a invite to yours.

Since we had our baby (even only 12 weeks old) we have had Christmas on our own. Now mine will be two and three this year abd I am glad I cut the habit.

toadgirl Mon 15-Aug-16 10:00:57

What are they like in general, OP?

Are they easy to deal with or do you think they'll refuse to see your position?

If they've never had Christmas on their own in 40 years, I would expect them to baulk a bit at this.

I think the sooner you tell them your new plans, the better though.

If you DH is on board with this (and it seems that he is), perhaps he could break it to them, as they are his parents?

Good luck!

GreatBritishBakeOff Mon 15-Aug-16 10:04:20

Dh is definitely on board, but he has joked that it shouldn't come from their 'beloved son' wink, git. These sorts of arrangements are usually down to me... They are lovely people and do a lot for us, which is probably why I feel a bit guilty really. But you're right, the sooner the better. 😕

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Mon 15-Aug-16 10:13:13

can they visit you?? Sort of wean them off gently?

....maybe say you are so embarrassed at never having reciprocated, how much effort MIL has been going to over all the years, all the hard work, expense and planning...

and then work it into the conversation that you'd love to host them IF they'd like to come BUT you understand perfectly if they'd rather keep to their own home for the festivities

or blame the 5 year old being worried that Santa won't find them this year if they are away from home!

GreatBritishBakeOff Mon 15-Aug-16 10:21:47

We've had them here before and FIL is even more grumpy because he can't go off and potter.
Also they can only sleep in the lounge, which is a magic killer!

mooimevrouw Mon 15-Aug-16 10:25:19

We bit the bullet and told both sets of parents years ago that we were going to do Christmas at home. My parents were OK, DH's not so much. We just had to ride out the guilt and set the precedence - they're used to it now and we have a lovely Christmas with our own family traditions. However, these days we do say anyone is welcome to Christmas dinner.

BertrandRussell Mon 15-Aug-16 10:29:48

Say that 5 year old wants FC to come to his house, and please can you come to them on Boxing Day- and maybe book a pantomime near them for Boxing Day afternoon and start that as a new tradition.

GreatBritishBakeOff Mon 15-Aug-16 10:32:08

Ooh, I like the panto idea, Bertrand! Thank you!

JaneAustinAllegro Mon 15-Aug-16 10:35:11

and get your DH to call his brother now and tell him it's his turn to sort out their parents for Christmas
(I say this because I wish I had teh strength to have that argument with my own brother, after 15 years of hosting my mother who is "difficult" company)

GreatBritishBakeOff Mon 15-Aug-16 10:42:30

I would, Jane, but he's incapable of looking after his own son for Christmas Day, let alone his parents! They'll just have to make do with themselves for the day, and is all piling round on Boxing Day.

Dozer Mon 15-Aug-16 10:43:46

DH needs to handle it. Not your job.

tanya1312 Mon 15-Aug-16 10:45:07

Just say that due to children's ages, and creating traditions you are staying home at Christmas, kids are with their toys etc, but then plan to go Boxing Day or 27th, family meal out or theatre with them xx

Hopelass Mon 15-Aug-16 10:47:20

We're doing the same this year with 3 year old DS and a newborn. DH just said "we'll be spending Christmas Day at home this year, just the four of us. We'll arrange to see you at another point over the holidays nearer the time" that was that. They didn't say much but how could they? It's not unreasonable to want to start your own traditions/memories.

TheNaze73 Mon 15-Aug-16 10:50:53

Don't overthink it OP, just tell it how it is. Nice & simple as nocapes said

BertrandRussell Mon 15-Aug-16 11:00:28

There is absolutely no need to be so cold and rude. Make another nice plan. "We'll arrange to see you at some point"? Just imagine being on the receiving end of that!!

GreatBritishBakeOff Mon 15-Aug-16 11:37:08

Indeed, Bertrand, I completely agree. It's not like we hate them or anything!

MrsDilligaf Mon 15-Aug-16 14:26:51

OP you've mentioned upthread that they are lovely people - I'm sure it won't go down badly as long as you (meaning your DH) lets them know the plan. Everyone with an ounce of sense should realise that children want to play with their toys at Christmas.

Be honest and say you'd like to spend Christmas at home just the four of you. Arrange a day to see them over the holidays, which might be a new tradition.

FWIW when I was growing up my grandparents came to ours every year. I was in my 20's before we had a Christmas day just my DP's and my Dsis and I.

Nowadays my parents take it in turns to come to my house or my sisters which means that every other year we have a Dilligaf's only Christmas.

ImperialBlether Mon 15-Aug-16 14:29:59

Could you pay for a couple of nights in a hotel for them for their Christmas present? Then they could go to a panto with you, come for dinner etc, but have somewhere to go back to. I've no intention of staying with my kids when they have children - I love hotels!

girlywhirly Mon 15-Aug-16 15:28:36

You know, OP, the PIL seem to like their home and own routine. You could say that you, DH and DC would like to start your own traditions and have Christmas just the four of you at your own home. Also say that maybe they would appreciate the opportunity to go out for Christmas lunch with their friends, or have a less labour intensive meal at home; but thank them profusely for all the Christmasses they have hosted your family, and you know what hard work it can be. You never know, they might be relieved!

Warn the BIL in advance that you are changing the pattern. Also, starting something new as a PP said, see them another day, go to a Panto.

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