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Juggling relatives at Christmas - what do you do when you are the only relatives for one family member?

(5 Posts)
openjarawayfromface Sun 14-Dec-08 18:38:32

Well, not the only only - but my parents have separated, so they don't have each other, and my brother died, so I'm the only child now. All of that is pretty crap, but it gets worse as my poor uncle (my Mum's brother) now has terminal cancer (), which will leave me as the only close family for my Mum.

I really don't know what we'll do when it's not my Mum's "turn" for Christmas. My Dad goes to see his sister, and DH's parents have each other and his sister, but I don't know who my Mum will see. I know that a lot of friends have offered for her to go to them in the past (and will in the future) - my Mum is lovely and has a lot of friends - but I know that she feels that it's not the same and that she's intruding in some way. Even though obviously the friends don't feel that way or they wouldn't invite her.

On the other hand, DH has told me that he doesn't want to be emotionally blackmailed (his words) into only seeing her. We're hoping that one day we'll have a house and we can invite everyone to ours (and hope that my parents don't annoy each other too much). We can't ask my ILs if they would have everyone to theirs as they are very nice, but just aren't the hosting types and would find it very stressful.

What does everyone else do?

SatsumaMoon Sun 14-Dec-08 18:50:52

Do all these relatives live nearby or far away? If they all live reasonably close, maybe you could all go out for Christmas dinner if your place isn't big enough. If the problem is that they all have to travel a long way and would have to stay over, would it be feasible for some of them to stay in a hotel or rent a self-catering p;lace for a few days?

Or if you are going to ILs for Christmas dinner but not staying over, surely they could cope with having your mum as well - it's only one extra adult...

openjarawayfromface Sun 14-Dec-08 18:56:53

That's the trouble, we don't live close to either family, and they don't live close to each other. I realised since posting this that I have secret fantasies about inviting all the (extended) family over to our wonderful big house and having a fab time all together. But it's not going to work in reality as we live in the SE and will never afford a big enough house and they all live too far away anyway.

I wonder if one year we could perhaps persuade everyone to hire a house in the country somewhere in between both families and do it that way. It wouldn't work for every year though - DH's family just aren't "big party" people. I think that they're secretly a bit shy.

openjarawayfromface Mon 15-Dec-08 08:56:43

Bump for the weekday crowd.
Any suggestions?

girlywhirly Mon 15-Dec-08 18:12:20

Renting a cottage for Christmas can be very successful, as it is neutral territory and everyone has to muck in and help. Removes the problem of one family 'hosting' and doing everything. I remember some friends went to Center Parcs one year with extended family.

It also means that people are free to come and go and not be cooped up together doing what the hosting family wants all the time. DH's family might find it easier, especially as folk tend to split up doing different things, i.e. food prep, walk, pub etc they might cope better in one-to-one situations.

It does require some organisation, agreeing who brings what etc.

Might be a bit late to book for this year, could you both and Mum go to stay at a hotel near IL's if they can have your Mum for Christmas day? Then they won't feel overpowered?

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