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to not want to have anyone over for Christmas next year

(7 Posts)
Bearfrills Tue 18-Nov-14 12:45:02

That's right, it's a thread about Christmas 2015.

For the last five Christmases (since DC1 was born) we've had FIL and DH's uncle round for Christmas dinner, this year will be Christmas number six.

I never meant for it to become a tradition but it has and I don't know how to end it without coming across as a completely cold hearted bitch. We now have three DCs and all we want is one Christmas day where we can please ourselves, where we don't have to play host, where we can do whatever we want to do.

The day always goes like this: we get up with the DC and open gifts in our PJs, then DH makes something yummy for breakfast while I put the turkey in and the DC play. We always say to FIL/uncle to come around 11 for lunch at around 1. They usually turn up sometime around 9.30 so there'll be a scramble for us to get dressed, wolf down breakfast and tidy up.

I make the dinner and DH helps but by the time it's dished up on the table I'm ready to throw it at them and I don't enjoy eating it. While I'm going FIL/uncle will wander in and out of the kitchen which is nice that they want to chat to me but they then start touching, adding things to pans, turning things up or down. One year uncle drained the potatoes when they weren't even cooked. I tried giving them jobs seeing as they wanted to help but that was even worse.

Then we sit down to eat except we can't because FIL is outside having a smoke and uncle has started doing the dishes (again, lovely that he wants to help but not when I've just put dinner out). This happens again between each of the three courses.

The DC are really young (eldest has just turned 5) and Christmas is a long day for them so we expect a certain level of excitable behaviour. We also don't expect then to sit very long for Christmas lunch or to eat much of it. They sit at the table and they're served a lunch, usually they eat a bit of it and then will ask to be down at which point they go in the front room and play while we finish lunch and keep an ear on them. That fine by us. FIL always tells them to sit down at the table and if they don't eat their lunch he'll phone Santa to take all of their gifts back. If they get noisy, he'll phone Santa to take their gifts back. If they get something out without putting something else away first, he'll call Santa to take it all back. DH and I don't even get chance to say/do anything before he's in there with the Santa line. He's been told not to do it but still does.

By the time they leave I'm stressed out and it's time to go to my parents house for supper.

Don't get me wrong, the DC absolutely love them and while I don't always like the things FIL says to them (like when he told DS dancing is for girls) he dotes on them. I know it's made him happy having Christmas day with them and if we didn't invite them they'd sit at home on their own without even a Christmas tree. But we have never had a Christmas day to ourselves.

Our ideal day would be this: get up, open gifts, eat yummy breakfast, laze about in PJs playing with the kids toys and eating Roses. Get dressed at some point. Eat dinner whatever time it's ready while having some nice wine with DH. Lie in front of the TV, trousers possibly unbuttoned, and watch a Christmas film. Maybe go for a little walk to the park around the corner so the kids can have a run around. Then at tea time anyone who wants to come see us or the kids is welcome to drop by for however long they want, I'll even lay on some drinks and nibbles.

AIBU to want this and am I being a bitch to get DH to tell them it's just us during the day next year?

Davsmum Tue 18-Nov-14 12:50:28

You are under no obligation to do the same thing every year.
Your DH should be the one to have a word with your FIL and his uncle.

You cannot feel sorry for them sitting at home without a tree - They are adults and can make an effort if they want to.

However, you may find that your 'ideal Christmas' may not live up to how you dream it will be,...Your DCs may miss their Granddad and Uncle..because that has always been their 'tradition' and you may even find it does not feel right to you either.

ladymariner Tue 18-Nov-14 13:06:36

I can totally see how you would feel like this, but I couldnt enjoy Christmas knowing dh's dad and uncle were at home alone, especially since your children love them and they love the children.

I think some stricter guidelines are in order though, which may help. For example, tell them not to be at yours before 11.30 and on no count are they to touch anything in the kitchen....they can touch as much as they like when they are washing it all up AFTER you have all eaten. Leave them all to the washing up whilst you go and play with the children drink wine

Perhaps they just need some 'gentle' reminders.....

girlywhirly Tue 18-Nov-14 13:13:03

I don't think you are obliged to have FIL and uncle every year. They are adults, they can sort out decorations and food for themselves if they want to, or book Christmas dinner at a restaurant or pub. From what you've said they are taking advantage somewhat, arriving very early, taking it upon themselves to interfere with the cooking and tell the DC off as they think fit. They don't even sit at the table when told dinner's ready.

Your DC are very young and a three course meal is long and boring. Why not have a simpler meal or a buffet and eat a dinner as adults later? Then they have more time to play. Or if you wanted to put FIL and uncle off coming at all, say you will not be having a traditional meal this year, and will be having Christmas on your own with the DC. Do it soon so that they can make other arrangements.

Oh, and beware of 'ideal' and 'perfect' when describing Christmas because it may not be as you wish. I do think that you deserve a year out though from hosting FIL and uncle as they have come to expect it every year.

Summerisle1 Tue 18-Nov-14 13:14:45

I'd use this Christmas as the opportunity to say that next year, you plan to change the arrangements a bit because it'll suit you and your children better and make for a more relaxed time for guests. So you'll be having lunch alone but will have open house from teatime onwards.

If this is too much of a bombshell to drop then you'll have to lay down some ground rules. Starting with the fact that guests cannot arrive before 11.30 at the earliest.

Nomama Tue 18-Nov-14 13:16:13

Compromise a bit.

For the dish washing uncle, stretch the time between each course. You say the kids don't stay for the whole meal anyway, so there would be little difference for them.

Get DH to talk to his dad, maybe offer up an adult version of the threat - Dad, do that Santa Threat thing and I'm taking away the stuffing, cigars, whisky, tv remote....

and MOST OF ALL, tell them that if they arrive before 11.30 the door will remain locked. No compromise, no begging nor amount of snow, sleet or hail will make you change your mind. Ask them to help surprise the kids by meeting in the park for the walk perhaps.

But don't banish them, Just weave them in a bit better.

KilburnOriginal Tue 18-Nov-14 13:18:44

Your ideal day sounds perfect to me, no yanbu at all, go for it next year

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