I don't think I've ever met a man quite so unChristmassy (and that is saying something!). His view is that christmas is only fun for small children (all mine are grown up, but hugely enjoy Christmas and three of them will be coming back to my house for the day at least). He's quite happy to sit in a corner muttering 'humbug'. I don't think his family really 'did' Christmas...
Anyway. He's been at mine for the last six Christmasses, and by next year we're hoping to have moved in somewhere together. I don't think I can stand another year of him Grinching (he has no money problems and isn't essentially mean, just...unChristmassy). Can anyone think of a way of engaging him somehow, so it doesn't feel quite so much like the 'Me Show'?
That's weird, he thinks Christmas is only fun for small DC, but has witnessed your adult DC enjoying themselves?
I think he sounds rude. Clearly happy to be entertained in your home, eating and drinking, and yet making no effort to join in. I think you need to find out why he has this attitude and see if you can make a deal. Or maybe he would be happier spending the day somewhere else?
If he's happy to sit the corner then let him sit in the corner whole you get on with enjoying the day. If he makes you feel uncomfortable then tell him you'd prefer to spend the day with just the kids.
Does he actively try and spoil the day for you? What about him is so grinchy?
Could you give him a "job" so that he feels more involved? Something like buying the booze. Or laying the table so that it looks festive. Get him an advent calendar. Make a Christmas cake, or pudding, together.
I might ask someone to give me something that needs a LOT of constructing, then hand him a screwdriver and ask him to sort it.
He's just not a very jolly person, he's lovely, but he really doesn't 'get' Christmas. Has enough money that he can buy himself anything he wants, his family just tell one another what they are giving each other, buy the thing themselves and ask for the money so they don't do present giving. To him, it's basically just a big dinner. I know I'll never get him actually excited, but it would be nice if he just participated a bit.
What's his thing OP? Everyone has something that gets them fired up; the trick is to christmasify it. If it's putting things together buy someone else something that needs assembly and give him that job, if it's cooking get him to make one signature dish, if it's music get him to sort you a decent playlist, or pair the wine with the turkey, ... He sounds a bit left out to me. If he hasn't an experience of Christmas, and your family are full on, I can see how someone a bit shy and uncertain could end up on the fringes. Do you have any special traditions just for the two of you? Maybe a trip out to buy the tree before your dc arrive, or exchanging risqué gifts on Christmas morning that aren't suitable for under the tree Or maybe you could incorporate some things that are special and meaningful to him into your Christmas traditions: watch his favourite old movie on Boxing Day in your Jamie's eating left overs even if it's not a Christmas movie per se. Lots of people have traditions of going to the races or for an icy swim on Boxing Day, maybe you could do something that involved his favourite sport or hobby.
Annwithnoe - I think that's a lot of the problem, he doesn't really have a 'thing'. And we are limited to Christmas Day and doing it all then because I usually work Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (retail). So there's more pressure on the day, if you see what I mean. He's a very quiet, unconfrontational man in his mid fifties, we've been together for six years, and I just want him to enjoy the day, not look as if it's some kind of terrible trial! He does like to be useful (although he doesn't cook) so I think I'll find something that needs constructing on the day. He'll get a buzz out of feeling useful and therefore, hopefully, enjoy things more!
Trouble with him spending the day elsewhere is that we VERY rarely get days off together (as I said, I'm a shopworker, so most weekends I'm behind my till and he's off, I get days off in the week and he's at work). Christmas day is a rare day that we can be together and I'd feel horrible saying 'I don't want you there'. He isn't actually harmful to our Christmas (my adult kids are there too), he's just not enthusiastic!