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The age old Christmas debate...

(66 Posts)
Pinkjenny Wed 10-Nov-10 10:43:41

OK, so, here are the facts so far:

Dh (has one older brother with a ds and dd)
Me (only child)
Dd 3.7yo
Ds 11mo
MIL and FIL (live hour and a quarter away)
My aunt (always does Christmas at her large house)

When dh and I were childfree <<wistful>>, we used to alternate Christmas Day. Since we had dd, Christmas has been spent thus:

2007 My family (us, mum and dad, aunty, cousins, nan and grandad)
2008 Dh's parents attended my family Christmas - it was a little awkward, tbh
2009 My family Christmas (ds was 2 weeks old and v. poorly, so thank God we were near home)

So, now dd is 3.7, she is very excited about Christmas, and I want to go wherever she will enjoy it the most, regardless of what we've done in the past.

The ideal scenario in my eyes would be to spend it with MIL and FIL, with BIL and SIL and their dc, who dd loves, and whom are her age.

However, SIL's father is undergoing chemo, so they are unsure about what is happening at Christmas. SIL is very insular anyway, and her preferred Christmas Day is with the dc at home, with no guests, regardless of what's happening with her dad.

Dh is worried that his mum and dad will be on their own on Christmas Day (despite MIL's protestations that she's not bothered, whether you believe that or not).

If BIL and SIL are not going to be at MIL's house, then I think we should spend Christmas Day with my family, whom are a little more, erm, excitable, shall we say? MIL and FIL are steady, to say the least, and dd would be bored to tears spending Christmas Day just with them.

Dh has suggested that we change tradition and have my parents, along with his parents to our house. I cannot get him to understand, that my extended family (and by that I mean my nan and grandad, and my aunt etc) would be really upset about this, and I know my mum wouldn't consider it, and I understand why.

So, we are at a stalemate. I just want dd to enjoy herself, and if her cousins were going to be there, then I would absolutely go to MIL and FIL's house. But it seems that they're not, and I don't want Christmas Day to be spent staring at the in-laws, and watching the tv.


greenbananas Wed 10-Nov-10 10:50:16

My mum always got round this by making Boxing Day her big extended-family event. Even when we were still in primary school, she used to say "When you grow up, you can spend Christmas Day with your in-laws if you like but I want Boxing Day". She would have been gutted if any of us didn't honour that.

I do sympathise with your situation. Hope you manage to work something out.

pjmama Wed 10-Nov-10 10:51:38

If your Auntie likes to do the big xmas with everybody there, couldn't she make room for two more? Then MIL & FIL aren't left alone and everybody wins? If they choose to decline the invitation, then that's up the them.

Either that or solve the problem and just stay at home! You DD will be mortified at being dragged away from all her lovely new toys anyway! grin

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Nov-10 10:52:06

That's a great idea! I wish MIL would suggest that. Perhaps I can channel her subliminally. It's so frustrating with her saying she doesn't care, whilst we know she must care! I wish she'd just say she cares if she cares!

MIL mind games.

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Nov-10 10:53:46

pjmama - Not the way I choose to do things, tbh. I like the family Christmas and I wouldn't consider staying at home. Each to their own, but not an option for us.

They did come to my aunt's in 2008, it was just a bit awkward, and although he hasn't said why, dh is reluctant to do that again.

Our families are very different.


werewolf Wed 10-Nov-10 10:54:10

Try believing what your mil says?

FingandJeffing Wed 10-Nov-10 10:54:31

She may not be playing mind games, she is just trying to be nice and not put presure on you, probably. I hope I can do the same with my kids, as parents we all know we would like to see our kids and grandchildren at christmas, but the generous way to behave is to play it cool.

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Nov-10 10:55:03

werewolf - I want to, as that would solve all the issues, but dh doesn't believe her. At all. In that she keeps asking us what we're doing.

thefurryone Wed 10-Nov-10 10:56:00

Sort of. Your husband is trying to reach a compromise by getting both families together as he doesn't want his parents to be on their own on christmas day. You seem unwilling to even broach the subject with your family which could easily come across as you being stubborn and refusing to see his point of view or consider what is actually quite a reasonable solution from him.

werewolf Wed 10-Nov-10 10:58:20

I know this is beside the point, but mil and fil won't be on their own, will they? They'll have each other.

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Nov-10 10:58:35

thefurryone - I completely accept that. However my mum is very close to her parents and her sister, and I wouldn't ask her to not spend Christmas Day with them, both for her sake and theirs.

taintedpaint Wed 10-Nov-10 11:05:41

I think YABU, but that's mainly because you come across as completely inflexible. Your DH has suggested a very decent compromise and you seem to just not want to do it. Why can't you have everyone to your house? You say your mum wouldn't consider it and you understand, though it doesn't seem at all clear why. Given the circumstances, I think your DH is being completely fair and considerate to everyone (including you). I would go for his option and tell everyone involved they are welcome to join you.

taintedpaint Wed 10-Nov-10 11:06:45

Following on from furry's point, why can't your GPs and aunt come to you as well? Seems like this would solve everything.

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Nov-10 11:07:18

taintedpaint - I don't agree, surprisingly. It's not a decent compromise if it upsets my entire family, is it? So my mum doesn't get to spend Christmas with her parents or her sister? And they don't get to spend it with her?

taintedpaint Wed 10-Nov-10 11:07:40

See my second point.

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Nov-10 11:09:20

taintedpaint - I don't really have the space. My aunt is a terrible guest, mainly because she sees her role very much as the family hostess, and she would be a cow difficult, I know she would.

God, this is impossible. I tell you what, we'll just go up to MIL and FIL. Dd can stare to twe 60-odd year old people all day, and completely miss out on any fun that my family will be having.

I know I sound petulant, but it's true. In my head, anyway.

loonyrationalist Wed 10-Nov-10 11:11:14

You sound unwilling to compromise at all. Your dd will enjoy Christmas wherever you are. You are using her as an excuse. It looks to me that if you have been with your family for the past 3 years you should take account of this. Go to your pil (or better still invite them to you) and put your energy into making it a fun Christmas rather than whinging that it won't be.

ChaoticAngel Wed 10-Nov-10 11:11:57

I agree with taintedpaint's second post. Just make sure that your dh does his share in the kitchen. In fact delegate jobs to everyone eg your in-laws could provide a dessert, your mum could do a starter, something that could be prepared at hers and then cooked/heated at yours if necessary.

ChaoticAngel Wed 10-Nov-10 11:13:33

Let your aunt host, she can get everybody drinks, maybe make sandwiches (or whatever) a bit later on.

FingandJeffing Wed 10-Nov-10 11:13:45

Wow that is a bit mean, my kids love spending time with their grandparents, both sets. They make up games, chat and spoil them (I expect my MIl will be sneaking lots of chocs off the tree for them this year and I'll pretend not to notice). Age doesn't come into it when they are really little.

Now if you want to spend it with your parents, that is a different thing but the kind thing would be to find a plan that includes everyone. I don't think it's that hard, none of them live in NZ

ChaoticAngel Wed 10-Nov-10 11:14:28

I don't mean host completely but she can do stuff that will make her feel involved.

SparklingExplosionGoldBrass Wed 10-Nov-10 11:16:24

Sorry but you are coming across as someone who both dislikes your PIL and think the whole of your H's family should conform to your wishes. You've had your own way the past couple of years, isn't it time for you to suck it up for once and do it in a way that suits your H and his family? Particularly given that your poor SIL may be about to lose her father.

coatgate Wed 10-Nov-10 11:18:01

Get Real - Who the hell said Christmas was meant to be fun? You should try mine. At least you have the choice of lots of relatives. Your DD will appreciate whatever you do.

amidaiwish Wed 10-Nov-10 11:18:34

you have 3 options:

1) go to PILs and dd is bored (so you say, she might actually be fine with all her toys and plenty of attention, more likely you are going to be bored!)

2) invite PILs to you. it is your turn to spend christmas with dh's family after all. if SIL can come too, or pop in, great.

3) go to your aunts and ask her to extend the invitation to your PILs. so what if they are quiet. if there are enough of you you shouldn't notice. if they have experienced your family's christmas before and don't want to go then revert to option 1 or 2.

Christmas is the time of goodwill remember. your dd will be more than happy playing with her new toys and have you all to herself ime.

DamselInDisgrace Wed 10-Nov-10 11:19:53

I think you just really don't want to cook Christmas dinner.

Invite your parents and in-laws to yours. Your parents don't have to accept if they want to go to your aunt's instead. You won't 'upset your entire family' by doing this so long as you don't insist that they come and get huffy if they don't.

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