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to want to buy a Christmas tree tomorrow?

(16 Posts)
KeithTalent Fri 10-Dec-10 23:03:12

I have promised the dc that we will get our tree tomorrow, they are very excited.

Dh wants me to wait until Wednesday- he knows I promised them but thinks they will forget all about it.

He is worried that his mum (who is visiting and sleeping over on Tuesday night) will see it as "a threat".

She is muslim, as is he. I am not. Mostly we follow both families traditions and celebrations.

Mil is always putting dh under pressure to be more devout, and he thinks a tree will give her something else to be upset sbout.

Part of me thinks "oh bugger off, your mum is not going to be threatened by a bloody tree, and I'll bring my children up with whichever traditions we choose".

A (smaller) part of me thinks "aah, it's nice he wants to make his mum happy".


She is threatened when the dc mention church events I sometimes take them to, and I know it must be hard for her to see them just on the fringes of her religion, but I feel his smoothing things over is a cover for HIM not wanting them. Aargh.

AliBellandthe40jingles Fri 10-Dec-10 23:04:43

Are your children Muslim?

KeithTalent Fri 10-Dec-10 23:11:55

Well, yes and no.

They all have muslim names and had muslim naming ceremonies. They attend mosque from time to time. They have as much muslim identity as they do Christian (I am a lapsed Catholic).

My husband identifies as culturally muslim, but doesn't pray. He also eats pork and drinks 9not around his family). Actually, now I'm writing this down I feel quite annoyed about the "double life" aspect, and uncomfortable with the stuff he doesn't tell his family, who are good people. He says he can't tell them he doesn't believe- apparently in Islam it's a complete no no.

We live in London, and, y'know, usually this stuff doesn't seem so hard.

MollysChambers Fri 10-Dec-10 23:17:15

He's just trying to keep the peace though isn't he? He doesn't want to upset them and would like you to respect that and his mothers beliefs. Is it really that big a deal to wait til Wednesday?

KeithTalent Fri 10-Dec-10 23:21:16

Well, yes, because I already promised the dc when he was at work. Tbh it didn't occur to me that it would be an issue. Oldest dc are 7 and 9 and unlikely to forget.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Fri 10-Dec-10 23:23:22

I presume you're getting a real one - all "bagged up" as they come - can you kind of do a compromise - get it tomorrow and then hide it out of the way until Wednesday???

MollysChambers Fri 10-Dec-10 23:29:44

Are they mature enough to be told the truth? Either that or you tell them that the christmas tree shop is shut.

magicmummy1 Fri 10-Dec-10 23:38:58

If they're 7 and 9, I think you should just tell them that you can't do it tomorrow because their grandma is coming, and as she doesn't celebrate Christmas, it might not be very respectful to put up a tree. It might make her feel uncomfortable etc. So you'll do it on Wednesday instead.

A day won't make a whole lot of difference, and in a multicultural family, there has to be some give and take.

2rebecca Fri 10-Dec-10 23:53:11

Seems early to buy a tree to me, but some people seem to put up their xmas stuff very early. I like mine to last over new year as well so usually don't get it more than a week or so before christmas.
If your husband isn't keen I'd wait. his wishes are more important than those of your kids re this sort of thing.
Seems a shame you promised your kids you'd get a tree tomorrow without OKing it with your husband, as I think of buying a tree as a family thing and would expect him to be involved.

MollieO Fri 10-Dec-10 23:56:07

No real advice other than I've never thought of a Christmas tree being a religious symbol.

ShanahansRevenge Sat 11-Dec-10 00:00:57

Could you link getthem to spend the day making decorations instead? glitter and all that usually involves them so much that they won't mind?

Awkward situation.

taintedsnow Sat 11-Dec-10 10:16:16

Well, I want to say it's your home and that MIL should respect that. Presumably she knows you are not Muslim so and pretence on that score will not be destroyed. But if you can hold off for a few days just to avoid any issues, that might be the easiest way to 'keep the peace'.

Then again, it's a tree, if MIL takes offence, that's really her issue not yours, and if you have promised your DCs, then I think perhaps you should keep your word to them. If MIL wants to come and stay in your home, she should know all about your lives and share in the excitement her GCs have about the tree.

On balance, I'd probably get the tree tbh.

KeithTalent Sat 11-Dec-10 15:28:00

Ok, I got the tree.

The compromise is that we'll put it out on the balcony when she's here. hmm

2rebecca, I would have discussed it with him if I had thought he'd want to come too- he usually doesn't, hence me discussing with kids and not him.

Taintedsnow, I think this is how I'm feeling. I am cross that I get involved in mil's festivals and yet mine have to be almost hidden away. I don't think it's very healthy for the dc either. I think it's a shame she can't be more mature about it, and sad for the dc that stuff like carol concerts and nativity plays are ignored. God, I sound really petty.

AliBellandthe40jingles Sat 11-Dec-10 16:18:30

I don't think you are being petty. Would you ask MIL not to celebrate her cultural festivals when you are there because it 'threatens' you? And if you did, what would your DH say?

I think it is really unhealthy, and I think your DH is a wimp for not just saying 'look Mum, Keith and the children celebrate Christmas so this is how it is'.

MollieO Sat 11-Dec-10 20:28:18

I agree that it is pretty unhealthy. Your MIL doesn't have to celebrate Christmas but it is odd that your dh goes out of his way so she doesn't even have to acknowledge its existence (at least in your house). What does she do when she is out and about? Signs of Christmas are in all the shops from September these days!

ShoppingDays Sat 11-Dec-10 20:33:45

I'm sure you wouldn't expect your MIL to hide her religious celebrations if you visited her and if you'd like to have a Christmas tree in your home it's your choice. Most non-Christians I know of are not in the slightest bit offended by Christmas.

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