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to not want to compromise over christmas ?

(24 Posts)
elelfrance Mon 27-Oct-14 16:41:52

Here's the situation : I live abroad, in DH's home country, where PIL & BILs family all live, within about an hour & a half's drive of each other. We see each other every 2 or 3 weeks. In his family, Christmas is not a big deal, its basically like any other Sunday lunch, there's no fuss, no decorations, no traditions.
Where I'm from, Christmas is a big party in my family, lots of fun, we see loads of close & not so close family over the week....I lOVE it !

Since I've been living here (about 10 years), I've always gone home for Christmas, and since DH and I got serious (about 5 years ago), he's come with me. We had our DD last year, and all of us went to my family.
All of this was fine, because PILs either hosted BIL & wife & daughter, or were hosted at their house, or once they all went to SILs family (who are about a 4 hour drive away). However this year, BIL & family are going to SILs family, but they don't want to invite PILs - PILS are lovely, but are hard work to have visit for a few days as they constantly have to be entertained. They came with us to my country for DD christening last January, but they don't speak the same language as my family, so it was very awkward, and my mother doesn't want to have to deal with that at Christmas.

So the dilemma is : do I respect the standard compromise that would be spend one year at mine, and one year at his, even though its absolutely no fun at PILs, and miss out on all the fun at home ? Or do I get away with going home because I live here all year, and christmas is way more important to me than to them ?
(btw DH will go where I want, he's not that bothered, and doesn't seem to be too worried about PILs being on their own - but he wouldn't neccessarily realise that that could be a problem for them. PILs themselves have said nothing so far about the whole thing)

2minsofyourtime Mon 27-Oct-14 16:49:21

I think you should ask pil and see if they are bothered.

HalfTheSky Mon 27-Oct-14 16:49:51

I'd say do the one year at each set of parents thing (assuming you're happy with that � why can't you stay at home, invite his parents to you, and do a big Christmas in your own home as you like it? It gets more and more bother to put the show on the road as the children get older). For better for worse that's his family's style of Christmas and it does seem a shame to say well, your Christmas is not as much fun as my parents', so no we're not spending it with you again. All families have their own traditions and (I suspect) no one else's ways of doing things quite lives up to your own.

Nomama Mon 27-Oct-14 16:50:02

Conversation and joint decision - so it can't come back and bite you.

We always alternated. Get your DH to coordinate that with his brother and all will be well.

Not enjoying their company as much as your family is NOT a good enough reason to avoid them, if they want to see you that week. It is VU, to them and your kids!

But if they aren't fussed... you have a free run at every christmas with your family. But do ask and get it all sorted - or you will become the evil woman who steals sons and grandchildren!

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 27-Oct-14 16:52:08

Alternating is all very well, but you don't get to see your family all that often so my vote is to go to your family as usual. Things are different when you are far from home.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Mon 27-Oct-14 16:52:13

Actually I disagree. It's not up to your pils. It's yours and your dh's choice. If he's honestly ok with travelling then do that. It's your Christmas.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Mon 27-Oct-14 16:53:30

Lots of crossed post. I disagree with the first reply - it's not their choice, it's yours.

Nomama Mon 27-Oct-14 16:53:44

No, it is the whole family's christmas!

I think that is why OP is having a problem!

skylark2 Mon 27-Oct-14 16:53:55

If Christmas is just another Sunday lunch to them, I'd suggest you go to your family. You can have Sunday lunch with your PILs any other weekend of the year.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 27-Oct-14 17:01:28

Don't let your BIL and SIL make the decision for you!

It might seem reasonable for each of PILs' children to alternate hosting, so one year in three there, the other two with your family.

How do PILs' feel about not being invited to join BIL and SIL?

You could say you'd already made your plans before you knew about that!

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Mon 27-Oct-14 17:01:55

I meant your Christmas as in hers, dh's and dc's. dh seems ok with it.
Her pils can make their own choices for themselves.

BoomBoomsCousin Mon 27-Oct-14 17:27:41

I think if you see your PILs lots through the year it's fine to say "Christmas is the time we go back to my family". But it's a decision you have to come to with your DH (not your PILs, it isn't their decision). You can't impose it. But I think you can reasonable insist that you all spend a week or a fortnight or whatever with your family every year, even if he doesn't agree to Christmas all the time. And an alternative for Christmas is to have your parents come out to you too.

MrsTerrorPratchett Mon 27-Oct-14 17:29:41

If DH is fine with it, go home every year. Why on earth wouldn't you?

Topseyt Mon 27-Oct-14 17:33:53

You need an honest conversation with your husband, and possibly also with his parents. You need to know where you stand.

It is possible they are not that bothered and would enjoy spending it quietly on their own. My parents are rather like that. They do enjoy meeting with family at times, but are very much home buddies and seem to want to remain that way. They are quite insular, and really not bothered much about family celebrations and parties. They spend most Christmases just the two of them, and seem relieved to be honest.

If you do find that it is more important to your PIL than you thought then I guess you will just have to compromise and do alternate years with each of them. We used to do that, but travelling at Christmas became a logistical nightmare once the children were born so we stopped and now only have Christmas at home.

elelfrance Mon 27-Oct-14 17:38:45

We're planning on moving to my country in 3 or 4 years time, and i've said i'll happily host everyone who wants to come then (no space in current flat to host anyone)
I do want to speak to PILs about it, but they're very very passive : they wouldn't actually say what they want to do, and would definitely not say if they would be upset or not to be on their own...which is kind of tiring, as we're all left trying to guess whats going on in their head!! But i suppose if they do say 'oh we don't mind...', then we go wherever we like

MrsTerrorPratchett Mon 27-Oct-14 17:45:55

My pet peeve is people who won't say what they want and complain when they don't get it. If they don't care enough to say, assume that everything is fine. Life is too short for journeys into trying to be psychic.

areyoubeingserviced Mon 27-Oct-14 17:51:23

Go home to your family.
Your IL see you the rest of the year

elelfrance Mon 27-Oct-14 18:08:28

grin MrsTerror you're so right, no point in tying myself in knots about what i think someone might think but would never actually say !

Littlef00t Mon 27-Oct-14 18:09:28

I reckon you get to have Xmas with your family every year as you don't see them.

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 27-Oct-14 18:15:12

I don't think that "the standard compromise" is appropriate in this situation. It presumes that both sets of parents want to host Christmas, but in the case of your PIL, Christmas is " basically like any other Sunday lunch". Which you share with them every 2-3 weeks.

For the past 5 years you and your DH have gone to your family 's Christmas. Your ILs probably regard this as standard, the usual, what they expect you to do. There is NO expectation that this will not happen this year.

This is really between your PIL/BIL/SIL with your DH really being a bystander. He has had no hand in his family's Christmas arrangement. Other than suggesting he check with his parents if they are OK about it (and given that this is just a run-of-the-mill Sunday lunch to them, I can understand why they might be) I really wouldn't get involved.

And absolutely do not feel that you have to invite them to your parents! It is not your place to do so, it is your parents', and you are already aware that they are not keen.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 27-Oct-14 18:19:33

Tbh I live 10 mins in the car from my ILs and weve never had Christmas with them in the eleven years DH and I have been together. Even the year I had to work he chose to go to my parents.

My family go the whole shebang - decorations, crackers, turkey, at the table woth cheeseboard and games til the small hours, maybe a quiz, bucks fizz on arrival. A proper event.

DHs family have a beef dinner on their knee then sit and watch tv for five hours. Whilst Im not knocking what they enjoy, we choose the type of Christmas we enjoy. Its only ome day a year so I want it to be the best.

They always have an invite to join us at my parents (who usually host 12-14 people every year) but they decline, which is totally fine. We go along Boxing Day.

JennyBlueWren Mon 27-Oct-14 20:45:55

Do they want to join you for Christmas?

My parents don't like the worry of us travelling in usually bad weather and apparently enjoy it as just the two of them. PILs are closer and we used to take it in turns them coming to us and us going to them but we've found we all enjoy it better here (and we've got room for GIL).

Perhaps send them a hamper of nice food to enjoy together.

elelfrance Mon 03-Nov-14 14:42:09

Just to finish out this thread, we were at PILs at the weekend, and DH asked them what their plans were for christmas day...they answered that they'd be just the two of them, and that that was fine - they had totally assumed we were going back to my country, and don't seem too worried or at least didn't say they were and weren't expecting an invite

Off i go to book flights grin and stop worrying about things that are not actually a problem in the first place !

MrsTerrorPratchett Mon 03-Nov-14 14:50:31

Hooray. My flights are already booked!

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