Christmas guests - how long?(23 Posts)
I'm already getting het up about Christmas.... basically I've got DH and 2 DCs. 2 sets of parents... the way we've set it up is that one set of parents come on Christmas Day and stays overnight. The second set comes Boxing Day but can stay 2 nights if they want. Christmas Eve is kept as family time as we go to church / have a meal out/ do the box with DVD /pyjamas in.
Both sets of parents live over an hour away.
I'm stressing because I'm pretty sure my mum will kick off at only getting to stay Christmas Day, even though this is exactly what DH's DPs did last year. The year before that we had asked them to come 24-26th but ONLY because I was due my baby on 18th Dec and we thought he might be late and we needed baby cover. My mum still kicked off that year and said it "wasn't worth the bother of coming for only 2 nights" to which my DH replied "fine don't come then".
Sorry I should say, we alternate parents each year for fairness. My DH would prefer no guests so it's already a compromise. I just feel, I guess selfish, for wanting time with my own family on xmas Eve.
Break the cycle and take this year off!! Doing the same thing year after year leads to expectations and then arguments if your fa,ily is tricky.
Give your DH what he wants and have no guests. Go and see parents before or after Christmas instead. If your mum kicks off, treat her as you would your dc if they were having a tantrum - firm boundary, you're not listening to her kick off, she can take what you're offering or not.
I posted this on a similar thread the other day - we broke this cycle by going away for Christmas (Reykjavik) and have done it again since as we enjoyed it so much. Only had to do it once and the family (both sides) started asking us our plans and inviting us rather than assuming we were coming / they could come to us and showing off if we said no.
If they both only stay an hour away why don't you have them both on Christmas Day just for dinner rather than overnight stays?
No guests at Christmas is definitely the way forward. After several disastrous family Christmases in a row we only do Christmas on our own now.
Why are people so bloody needy, we got into a rut of entertaining people at Christmas and it ended up as such hard work. It's supposed to be a happy fun time not running a B&B for mardy arses
Do yourselves a huge favour and break this habitual routine whilst you still can.
Ooh er - I'd def decide when you're happy to have them over and tell them it's that or nothing. My dad lives an hour away and we regularly go for lunch and come home again!
Why have anyone overnight at all?
Have a little few hours in the morning with the kids, all the family for lunch, let them out the kids to bed and go and you and dh have nibbles and a movie etc.
We did the alternating thing for years and it was bloody hard work!
Agree with op who suggested introducing a "third option" this year.
i'm so glad i dont have this problem. my family live 10 minutes drive away, wont stay over but dm and dsis will come for a couple of hours on christmas day, and for the day on boxing day. mil is staying christmas eve to boxing day, will sleep in the girls room as they will be at their dads (take turns for christmas). mil is lovely so no issues, fil passed away long time ago before i met dh.
I agree with breaking the cycle!
Also, if they only live just over an hour away, it's silly saying its 'not worth the hassle just for a couple of nights'. People commute to work further than that!!
How far away do they actually live, is it just over an hour or 5 hours? If it's less than two hours I would say that no one needs to stay over, I'd invite everyone over for Christmas dinner but let them go home afterwards. Or don't offer to host at all and see everyone in the week between Christmas and new year, you could go and visit them?
For the past few years we invite both sets of parents and DHs DGM's on xmas eve during the day and have our xmas meal then. They go around 7pm so DH and i can wrap any more presents. Then we have xmas day with just us and the DC.
However, i cant even be arsed to do that this xmas. So will hopefully pare it back to a light buffet and cheeseboard and wine or similar and not have them all day.
Why would you want the extra hassle of anyone staying over OP? Dont set a precedent which you'll end up doing year in and out with probably not much gratitude as to the effort you've gone to.
Keep it simple and remember its your Xmas too.
I presume your mum wants to stay so that they can drink and don't need to drive home. I agree that it's time for a change in the arrangements. Your mum needs to understand that her getting stroppy results not in getting her own way, but exactly the opposite.
So I think your choices are:
See both sets of parents before or after Christmas, with no-one staying overnight at your home,
Invite both sets of parents just for Christmas Day and they all go home afterwards,
Go away for Christmas.
Nip this is the bud. Don't get into routines - they'll be impossible to break a few years down the line.
If they're an hour away you could find a nice equidistant pub/restaurant and have lunch or dinner with them on Friday 23rd and then have them over on Boxing Day afternoon. Next year, do something different again. No "traditions".
Thanks guys.... I feel less unreasonable now! My parents live 90mins away so yes they have done day trip previously (not Xmas) but will want to drink alcohol (and I will need to!).
I think it's particularly stressful this year as I am not allowed to take annual leave at work so I will literally go from work to hosting to back to work.
Going to Reyjavik sounds much better!
There's your excuse then - your work situation this year means you won't be having any visitors at all over Christmas. You can pop up and see them in the New Year.
I agree with PP - time to break the cycle.
Work is a brilliant reason not to host anyone, and is non negotiable. So the parents will have to see you before or after, and I would be inclined in this case to meet them halfway between your homes for a meal or something. Then you can rest easy and enjoy what time you do have with DH and DC's on Christmas Day. Dispense with the big dinner and do something different food wise, that sort of thing.
Invite them both just for lunch on Christmas Day. Arrive at 11 and leave before children go to bed. Totally fair and you will have the rest of the time to yourselves. No overnight- they all live near enough to go home. If they want to drink then they can book a premier inn and sleep it off before going home in the morning.
Tell them that you are going for a nude (or dressed) swim on Boxing Day at the nearest seaside place that does it - that should put them off.
I would see this problem from a different angle. Christmas is about family.....including your parents/childrens grandparents. Don't make harsh decisions now that you might regret in years to come. We are now down to one grandparent, with both of dh's parents and my Dad gone. I look back at those Christmas of past (yes they did irritate me and I found it tiring,with working full time and 4 dcs), and would give anything to have them sitting around the table again. My children are 10-16 yrs old, and they often talk about Christmas with Nana/Grandad and those memories are precious.
I know it can be extremely stressful and full on, but try and remember that Christmas is about sharing happy times with our family. and storing up memories for our kids future. I can't understand people who want to shut out everyone else . Remember you too will be a grandparent (hopefully ) some day. I'm sorry if I sound preachy, but I don't want you to make harsh(selfish) decisions now, that you may regret in the future. Hopefully you will have many happy, Christmas together, but you don't know how many more Christmas , your Children will have with thier grandparents. Build precious memories together now.
Ha val4 I realise that one Christmas will be the last with the grandparents..... I spent years thinking that about my own grandparents and they hung on til 96 so I was 31 and a mum myself before they passed away!!
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