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To not want to spend xmas with in-laws every year?

(40 Posts)
joannita Tue 30-Aug-11 21:59:17

Dh is Spanish and his parents live in Madrid. I get on quite well with mil but fil is a moody alcoholic and brings everyone else down. Ds is turning 2 over xmas. We spent last xmas including ds's first birthday with in-laws in Madrid. I had a rubbish time, and so did dh. It culminated in him telling his dad he wouldn't get to see ds again unless he sorted out his drinking. We went over in May and fil was well behaved. It was like spending time with a normal human being for a change. I actually enjoyed the holiday instead of feeling trapped.

The thing is we live in England and ds sees much more of my parents than he sees the in-laws. Dh thinks that because of this we should always spend xmas with his parents but I disagree. We visit them around 3 times a year and they come here at least twice a year. I have learned Spanish and I make a lot of effort to embrace Spanish culture. I just want to have Christmas and ds's birthday with my own family on alternate years. I don't think that's too much to ask, especially as we can still go over to Spain for new year and Epiphany, which is a big festival and present-giving day for kids. So what do you think - AIBU?

Tommy Tue 30-Aug-11 22:03:41

not at all - he can't expect you to go there every year. If you got for NY and Epiphany it sounds to me like you've got the best of both worlds!

groak Tue 30-Aug-11 22:03:56

No. No way would I commit to spending every Christmas with anyone. Dh is lucky he's here every year grin

Flisspaps Tue 30-Aug-11 22:04:40


bubblesincoffee Tue 30-Aug-11 22:08:56

Yanbu. You have to make a stand now about alternating years or it will become expected even more than it already is. Or have Christmas at home and invite both sets to you.

Tommy Tue 30-Aug-11 22:13:29

we had Christmas with the ILs one year.....
5 mins after we left, DH said "Not doing that again....."

grin grin

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 30-Aug-11 22:21:45

YANBU. I'd opt to spend Christmas Day in the UK every year and go to Spain on 29/30 Dec because the New Year's Eve and Three Kings celebrations are FANTASTIC.

joannita Tue 30-Aug-11 22:21:45

V funny tommy! Wish dh could admit that he doesn't always have a great time there. Think he feels guilty for living so far away especially because ds is the only grandchild/nephew and all the ils worship him!

halcyondays Tue 30-Aug-11 22:26:26


LittleBugsMum Tue 30-Aug-11 22:29:44

I agree you're not being unreasonable. Can't they come here one year? It sometimes snows smile

joannita Tue 30-Aug-11 22:35:54

The idea was that they should come here this year, but they and dh seem to have conveniently forgotten about that. Mil acted astonished when I mentioned it. They can't come really because the gmils are getting quite old and they don't want to leave them. The grandmas are part of the guilt that dh feels. One of them is definitely too doddery to fly and the other says she doesn't feel up to it. My grandma is the same age and does a lot of travelling but everyone is different I suppose.

LittleBugsMum Tue 30-Aug-11 23:40:50

Mine were the same only they're 4 hours down a motorway away. They'd never come here but we still get the guilt trip when we don't go there. I think it's important to be home at Christmas (at least sometimes) for children, the new presents, the tree & general atmosphere.

Inertia Wed 31-Aug-11 00:38:50

YANBU, taking it in turns is only fair.

IthinkIamUndecided Wed 31-Aug-11 07:38:12


Quick hijack: could you tell me more about the New Year festivities in Spain? I really dislike NY in the UK because it centres around getting drunk, would it worth it to go on a short break to Spain to enjoy NY there?

DawnTiggaWeirdyBeardy Wed 31-Aug-11 07:42:15

We have a 4 year rotation for hosting:

On our own

When we do the on our own we do what the hell we like and usually have the least stressed Xmas.


diddl Wed 31-Aug-11 07:42:15

Three times a year?


We´ve only been back to UK about 4yrs in the 10+ that we´ve been away.

Never had a hristmas with the ILs in all that time.

My parents visit, but they won´t!

FerretMum Wed 31-Aug-11 08:10:06

YANBU! Your suggestion sounds perfectly reasonable. Christmas isn't just for dh's parents, and if they want to spend it with you so much, they could come to the UK on alternate years and share it with you &your family...

However you need to act to nip this in the bud before it becomes what they expect... Which wouldn't be fair on you or your family! Your DH is BU to expect otherwise.

SageMist Wed 31-Aug-11 08:13:57

Its bonkers going to Spain for Christmas when Christmas isn't the main festival there. Spend Christmas where you want to be and the beginning of January some years with your in-laws.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 31-Aug-11 08:16:31

So if you are seeing them 5 times a year, that is a lot more than some people whose parents live in the same country.

YADNBU. If your husband had married a Spanish woman and lived in Spain he would still be expected to alternate Christmas. Just because his parents live abroad, it doesn't mean that you have give up all Christmases with your own family - he chose to marry here and live here, so has to accept it means seeing his family less than he would like.

I think he is being quite selfish. Say no and stand by it. So many women end up giving in and having miserable Christmases for years.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Wed 31-Aug-11 08:39:07

Nbu, I've never seen my inlaws on Xmas day, dh however sees his every year wink

pommedechocolat Wed 31-Aug-11 08:43:14

Since we have been together dh and I have spent every Xmas day with his family at their house.

This year I will be 7 months pregnant and we will have 20 month old dd. I ain't going anywhere. I refuse to budge. We know they won't travel to use because of bil and gmil so are going to invite my parents for xmas and his parents for ny. Dh hasn't told them this yet though. I still won't be budging whatever.

I want to make sure traditions are created where my children get to have Xmas at home.

Time to vote with your feet...

clam Wed 31-Aug-11 08:48:13

My sister refused to get caught up in a "turns" things at Christmas. I agree. I hate the idea of being compelled to do/go somewhere just because we did something else the previous year. There are 3 of us and we make sure our parents are always with one or other of us but I might do 2 years on the trot because my brother is abroad, for instance, and then not see them for a few years after that. We're all cool with it.

nannyl Wed 31-Aug-11 09:02:20


We live 5 mins away from OHs family
5 hours away from my family.

we see OHs family almost every week, often several times per week
We see mine 4 / 5 times per year. (including a christmas time trip which may or may not include xmas day itself)

We take turns with Christmas's (and if here head down to my family very soon after xmas, 26 / 27 dec)

OHs SIL lives along way too, so we are either all here, or all away, so IL's have Xmas day with their whole family every other year.

exoticfruits Wed 31-Aug-11 09:08:51

Once we had DCs we just stayed at home-the DCs prefer it. Let people come to you.

DougalDaydream Wed 31-Aug-11 09:22:07

My DH is an only child so we have his DP's here every year. I don't mind really but I would love a Christmas on our own for once. But how can you say you're not inviting them when you know they'll be on their own?

OP, YANBU and alternating seems like a fair and straightforward solution.

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