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to insist we spend every Christmas and new year with my family?

(137 Posts)
froken Fri 27-Sep-13 17:53:19

I moved to Sweden to live with my dp 3 years ago.we now have a baby ds. We have spent every Christmas in the UK ( apart from last year as ds was less than a week old)

We are thinking about booking flights back to the UK in the next couple of days ( hence early Christmas aibu) dp suggested we go to the UK this year and stay in Sweden next year.

I have always Saud that I want to go to the UK every Christmas as we are in Sweden for all the other celebrations ( birthdays, Easter, midsummer etc) dp has now decided it isn't fair and we shouldalternate.

I feel like culturally ds will grow up feeling Swedish with a dash of britishness so it is important that he is in the UK for a big celebration each year. It also fits in well with time off work, dp only needs to take a couple of days of holiday but ends up with 2 weeks of holiday so it makes it a worthwhile trip.

Lastly they eat pickled fish and potatoes with fish and smoked fish and vodka and it just doesn't feel like Christmas.

Aibu to expect us to spend every Christmas with my family? I have offered dp the option of moving to the UK and spending every Christmas in Sweden, he wasn't keen on that idea.

PrimalLass Fri 27-Sep-13 18:59:16

YANBU. You are there the rest of the year.

BillyBanter and MrsBungle - I think it has to be equal to be fair. It doesn't seem equal or fair for froken's dh only to get one Christmas in three. But it is better than clam's view that it's reasonable for MrFroken never to get to celebrate Christmas the way that he grew up with, which is presumably special to him, and which he will want to share with his son.

Froken - I am sure that the three of you will be able to develop your own family Christmas traditions - yes, it is very different if it is just you, your dh and your child, but it can be really special and wonderful. I love the fact that we have traditions that we started when the boys were young, that they still love now, despite being 16, 18 and 20. For example, at bedtime on Christmas Eve, we sit together, by candlelight, and read 'T'was The Night Before Christmas' together, then a couple of the Nine Lessons and Carols readings, and sometimes we sing a carol. The original intention was to have some calm and wind-down time before they went to bed, so that they would go to sleep a bit more easily!

Have confidence in yourself. smile

froken Fri 27-Sep-13 19:01:26

I'm happy to see some yanbu answers!

The Christmas food in Sweden is exactly the same as the Easter food and tge midsummer food so he will not miss out completly on his cultural food.

My family came to Sweden last year as ds was a newborn, they did enjoy themselves but I think they missed English Christmas traditions.

We have never actually decided to live in Sweden I moved here to see if it would work out between us and it did. Our life is so much better in Sweden as a family than it would be in the UK, I accept thay Sweden has better support for families, I just feel dp should realise the UK has better Christmas traditions ;)

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 27-Sep-13 19:14:37

'I think it has to be equal to be fair'

Should they live 6 months in Sweden and 6 in England then? Or a year in each maybe?

The living arrangements are not equal so it's silly to suggest Christmas must be.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 27-Sep-13 19:18:32

OP I think you need to give DP some Christmases. The 1 in 3 deal seems fair to me. Christmas isn't just one day anymore though so in the years you're not in the UK for the 25th you could bring DS over middle of December and visit Santa, see the Christmas lights, watch a panto, see a Christmas movie, decorate the tree etc. and take him back in time to spend the actual day in Sweden.

kelda Fri 27-Sep-13 19:18:59

YANBU. We spend nearly every Christmas in the UK. Like you, I spend the rest of the year with dh's family. It works fine for us.

TooTryHard Fri 27-Sep-13 19:21:36

No idea if yabu, but as someone who has to endure a fishy, wrong day xmas, I feel your pain. It's just not comforting.

BillyBanter Fri 27-Sep-13 19:22:17

Also it means you could invite some family over to experience some of the Swedish christmas magicalness.

Yama Fri 27-Sep-13 19:24:19


At all.

Your dh's family get you all year. You want to spend one teeny tiny amount of time in the UK then you should damn well get to choose when it is. Bloody hell, I'm surprised at all the other responses.

bundaberg Fri 27-Sep-13 19:28:35

Yab a bit u.

I think it's unfair to make you dh msis out on every single Christmas with his family and I don't think you should make him commit to this long term.
You can presumably cone back to the UK at other times? For Easter, birthdays etc?

froken Fri 27-Sep-13 19:29:04

I think it is the fact that our life is so obviously biased towards Swedish culture that makes me want to spend Christmas in the UK. I'd love to have one consistent tradition that was purely British.

Ds will never celebrate bonfire night, Halloween or pancake day. He won't have a school uniform. We sing Swedish kids songs at playgroup. He will be interested in the moomins and pippi longstocking. He calls me mamma not mummy, he will probably be more interested in ice hockey than football. I just want one thing that comes from my culture that happens consistently.

ILikeBirds Fri 27-Sep-13 19:32:05

I love having a blended Christmas, that way you can just pick the best bits from each celebration. My Danish inlaws have been converted to the delights of pigs in blankets.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 27-Sep-13 19:32:48

Froken - your final post has totally won me over (I was already to be fair)

But I just wouldn't phrase it to your DP at the moment that you want this forever, just sort this year for now and then see how things go.

ILikeBirds Fri 27-Sep-13 19:33:21

Halloween and Bonfire night are a bit harder but there's no reason you can't celebrate pancake day just because you are in Sweden

heartisaspade Fri 27-Sep-13 19:36:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theneedajobname Fri 27-Sep-13 19:40:51

YANBU. I am in a similar situation and I get what you're saying.

DO NOT do as some have suggested and split the holiday (24th in Sweden, 25th in UK) - that will ruin both celebrations.

I think alternating is a possibility, if you're happy on 'off' years to visit the UK for a different celebration - perhaps someone's birthday or Bonfire night or whatever works for you?

You are giving up a LOT by living in you DH's culture FT. It's a shame if he has to give up Xmas in Sweden - but you have given up every other holiday and the rest of the year, too. I think he should suck up the loss of Swedish Christmas and be happy to be in his own culture for the other 50 weeks of the year.

theneedajobname Fri 27-Sep-13 19:42:25

And ice hockey is clearly a better game than football - that one's win-win. grin

BillyBanter Fri 27-Sep-13 19:42:28

Well as Swedish Christmas is on a different day you can still have a british christmas on 25th December for swedish relatives or british visitors every single year. That gives you consistency.

If you take a holiday through halloween and bonfire night on the Swedish christmas years you can look on that as two! bonus traditions that your ds will be able to enjoy every third year that he wouldn't be able to under your current plan.

Yama Fri 27-Sep-13 19:42:50

Sorry Heartisaspade, I meant all the YABU responses. I just didn't want to add YABU to my post in case skim readers thought I was saying YABU. And now I've added 3 more. grin

WidowWadman Fri 27-Sep-13 19:43:53

we alternate between UK and Germany - seems fairest to us.

OneStepCloser Fri 27-Sep-13 19:47:23

Froken, apart from the School Uniform (I am anti) you have won me over. Drag your DP back kicking and screaming and tell him he will enjoy it grin Maybe you could do one in ten in Sweeden?

BillyBanter Fri 27-Sep-13 19:48:01

If you were living in the UK would you really be happy to never get to spend christmas with your family, or for your DS to never experience a british christmas with your family? Even though you were getting halloween and bonfire night and shrove tuesday - holidays that are not usually nearly as loaded with shared ritual as christmas?

I can totally see your DH's pov. His christmas traditions are probably as special to him as yours are to you.

RaspberryRuffle Fri 27-Sep-13 19:54:43

YABU Froken, to expect to go home every Christmas, but you could compromise, more Christmases in the UK than Sweden. Maybe all go to your brother's home one year.
I think getting into 'habits'/'turns' is one Christmas peril to avoid as everyone gets in a strop if they miss their 'turn' (as if it is a contract written in stone!)
How about UK for New Years if you can't go for Christmas, everything is still decorated like Christmas, you can have turkey and pick up some bargains in the sales.
I know where you're coming from as I live abroad, but every Christmas at home my DH would not agree to that.

MrsOakenshield Fri 27-Sep-13 19:56:01

Yama - why? Christmas is a very family time of year, why on earth wouldn't the OP's DP get to spend it, at least occasionally, with his family, allowing his son to experience Christmas in his country? And I say this as someone who isn't keen on spending Christmas anywhere except at my mum's - but I do!

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 27-Sep-13 19:56:56

I really wish Bonfire Night. I can't even do my own as fireworks are illegal here. sad I do pancakes and stuff but it's not the same.

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