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to not spend a whole week visiting family over Christmas?

(22 Posts)
madmen Sun 25-Nov-12 23:30:04

DP and I have booked the whole of Christmas week off until January 2nd, since we have the holidays to use up. We have been really really busy lately and would just like some time to relax. We are planning to go to DM's (3.5 hours drive away) for 4 nights over Christmas, then just come back and relax/do some overdue chores/errands. However, DB and family are going to visit DM the weekend after Christmas (just after we leave) for a couple of days, plus my aunt has invited us over to her's for an extended family get-together at the same time. It's a shame we won't get to see everyone, but staying for all this would mean we would be there for a whole week!

I don't know how to explain to DM that we don't want to spend the whole week up there. She knows we have the time off, and I feel a bit mean saying that we just want some time to ourselves when we don't get to see family that often. Last time I saw DB was in October. Extended family I haven't seen in ages.

madmen Sun 25-Nov-12 23:31:13

Also, I should mention that we don't have the excuse of visiting DP's family.

abbierhodes Sun 25-Nov-12 23:42:39

Can you not come up with something you need to do at home? Decorating/study/work from home/meet with friends?
So your family don't have to be offended, as it's not a 'choice'?
Also, if the second half of the week has more family events you want to attend, can you not swap it and arrive later?

madmen Sun 25-Nov-12 23:44:29

No, we couldn't really swap to the second half of the week as we would be leaving DM on her own for Christmas. I just can't think of an excuse. She knows we have no decorating/study/work to do. We could say we're meeting friends but I don't know if she'll take that well (ie. implying that friends are more important than family?)

YellowDinosaur Sun 25-Nov-12 23:51:04

I don't really see why it's a problem to just be honest, but then my family are reasonable people who understand that wanting time on your own isn't unreasonable.

What would happen if you just explained to your Mum that you have been really busy and were really looking forward to spending time as a family so unfortunately you'll need to leave as planned?

CSIJanner Sun 25-Nov-12 23:54:35

Is it too late to claim hat you're going away for the New Year...? Last minute deal that DH booked or something?

I used to love going away for the NY sigh

Maybe when the bubbas grow up...

cozietoesie Mon 26-Nov-12 07:37:41

I'd just tell her you want some time with each other. I think you'll possibly be surprised by her reaction especially since she'll have other people there. (Rueful smiles and 'Oh those lovebirds' comes to mind.)


CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 26-Nov-12 07:41:46

I'd probably see the family and get it done in that visit . . . Excuse not to see them for a while after!

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 26-Nov-12 07:42:46

I'd probably see the family and get it done in that visit . . . Excuse not to see them for a while after!

FunBagFreddie Mon 26-Nov-12 07:58:35

Idk, I don't really like all the rushing about and visiting IL's between Xmas and New Year. They are lovely people, but I would prefer to relax in my own home for the week. I never get to visit anyone I would like to see, because the whole week revolves around DP's family.

BikeRunSki Mon 26-Nov-12 08:07:26

I am so with you OP! We joke that it is not really Christmas unless we've driven 1000 miles. We are in Yorkshire. DM and partner, PILs, BIL and DB and family are all approached from the M5 but there are still several hundred miles between them, and they all seem to think that if we are going to Exeter anyway, then we may as well take in Swansea and Worcester at the same time! And no one has a spare room, so we end up with crazy sleeping arrangements, and disrupted, overtired, hyper children (1 and 4) who spend long periods of time in the car, then are expected to sleep in a new place. Drives me nuts! DH drives around 300 miles a week for work and is exhausted by Christmas Eve and all he really wants to do is lie on his sofa, in his house and watch his telly and just have a few days downtime. But Christmas Eve afternoon usually sees us packing the car and heading down South. At least there's nit much traffic (only reindeer...).

Except this year.

We are staying at home. To enjoy our Holidays in our house instead of a VW. DM is visiting Christmas Eve to 28th.There will be slightly squeezed sleeping arrangements, but nothing aa daft as at DM/PIL. The others will cope.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Nov-12 08:32:27

Enjoy the festive season for once, then, BikeRunSki!

I've never appreciated this obligation that people seem to feel to travel large distances at Xmas to sleep on floors (with the hosts probably thinking bad and fed-up thoughts at the same time.) Much more fun to be at home by your own fireside and go visiting at another time when things are less frantic.


FunBagFreddie Mon 26-Nov-12 09:05:07

Also, there's only so many roast dinners I can take before I'm doubled up with heartburn.

Trills Mon 26-Nov-12 09:18:56

I feel a bit mean saying that we just want some time to ourselves when we don't get to see family that often.

This is your problem.

girlywhirly Mon 26-Nov-12 09:22:07

I think you have to be honest and say you need the time to yourselves, to do stuff together, rest, and gather your strength for the start of the new year. It's awful playing 'catch up' with all the jobs, and feeling that you haven't really had a rest at all. It's not as if your mum will be on her own all week if you aren't there, and she shouldn't assume that your taking annual leave means you should do family visiting.

diddl Mon 26-Nov-12 09:27:03

If you don´t see your brother in December-when´s the next chance & are you OK to wait until then?

Spend less time with your Mum & then go back to see brother & family?

Kalisi Mon 26-Nov-12 09:35:53

Between DH and I, our family is huge! We have to squeeze in DP, DFIL, DMIL (seperated) DEXMIL(Don't ask!)DGP and a big extended family party. Christmas usually involves heaps of driving, numerous guilt trips for not staying long enough and one incredibly ratty DS.
Last year I was a complete selfish bitch. Just said "No" to everyone (as a complete sentence) grin and had the best Christmas ever!! Wonder if we could get away with doing the same this year.

girlywhirly Mon 26-Nov-12 09:51:00

I suppose you could have less days with mum over Christmas, have some days at home and then go up for your aunt's get-together as diddl says, even though it would mean two journeys there and back.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Nov-12 09:52:36

From my own experience, I think the first festive season you say No is the hardest. After that, people relax a bit and don't make assumptions. There's still a desire to maintain 'traditions' but it's not quite so frantic.


diddl Mon 26-Nov-12 09:55:38

Just from my POV-Dad, sibling & I are all in different countries.

I haven´t seen my sister since last November, so to me, if you saw your brother in Oct-then to me it´s no big deal if you don´t see in Dec.

My Dad no longer wants to travel to us (in 80s & recently very ill), so I´m there at Christmas which will be my second visit this year.

What with husband having popped over to see his parents in the Summer, and all four of us having been in UK last Christmas, funds won´t yet stretch to seeing my sibling again!

moajab Mon 26-Nov-12 09:59:26

Could your Mum come to you for Christmas? Then you have a couple of days to yourself while she goes back to get ready fior her visitors and then you all go to hers for that weekend?

madmen Mon 26-Nov-12 20:44:36

Thanks all, good brainstorming here! I don't really want to drive up twice in one week, and I can't have my mum come to us as I have other siblings who live near her who she will want to see at Christmas (they won't be there Christmas Day, but they will come over on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day).

I've emailed her reiterating the dates we are planning to be there (but haven't provided an explanation as to why we won't be there later in the week). I told her I'd be happy to go and see my aunt another day while we're up there (although won't get to see all the cousins etc), and that I'm hoping to stop by my brother's on the drive up for a couple of hours. I feel like this quite a reasonable compromise!

Waiting to hear her response now...

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