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To be sick of travelling to see family at Christmas when no one bothers to visit us?!

(42 Posts)
Jinglebells99 Thu 18-Dec-14 17:12:29

My family live an hour and 30 minutes away in South London. They are not very hospitable when we visit. They don't offer food or drink. Often we have to eat out and end up paying for everybody. Sometimes there has been confusion about who will do a buffet with my mum and sister both expecting the other to do it. If they visit me, I obviously provide meals. But they are reluctant to come here. My sister hasn't been here for over six years. My inlaws live four hours away and are hospitable but the expectation is that we go there. So basically all our family sit in their houses and expect us to drive up and down the country. Anyone else got family like this?! I just feel stressed at trying to fit it all in.

nevergooglebrandybutter Thu 18-Dec-14 17:18:32

Don't go!

Really, say you really are very tired this year and need a break over christmas, so are going to stay home.

Greydog Thu 18-Dec-14 17:19:48

Stop going. Just don't do it anymore. If you feel you have to visit your family take a picnic just for yourselves. Tell them you don't want to inconvenience them!

TaliZorahVasNormandy Thu 18-Dec-14 17:23:15

Dont go, just settle in for Christmas and do it how you like it.

InanimateCarbonRod Thu 18-Dec-14 17:25:32

I've learned the hard way to look after myself and my family because I always ended up being the one to do all the travelling, hosting etc. I stopped offering and they stopped both bothering. My advice is just say not this year thanks.

YoullLikeItNotaLot Thu 18-Dec-14 17:28:18

Yep, agree with the don't go shouts. Tell them they're welcome at yours but otherwise you'll see them after the new year.

TheMuppetsSingChristmas Thu 18-Dec-14 17:28:57

So don't go. Just respond with an airy "oh we're having a quiet one at home this year, see you soon"

5Foot5 Thu 18-Dec-14 17:30:45

That used to be us too.

In a way I sort of expected it because we were the ones who moved away from our families. They all live relatively close to each other.

At Christmas we would sometimes end up doing massive journeys to fit everyone in. However, after DD was born we decided against it - we wanted her to have her Christmasses at home how we remembered having ours. GPs were welcome to come and stay if they wanted, and they did want to!

KingJoffreysHasABigWhiteBeard Thu 18-Dec-14 17:31:31

Ah, we get this with MiL.

She finds it too expensive to travel to us obviously we get our petrol free from the petrol faeries so we have to travel down there. Despite knowing well in advance we're coming it always seems to be a surprise to her when we arrive.

We end up going out for a meal and DP ends up paying. They don't pick cheap and cheerful places either. The bill will be £150+. I actually prefer this, the house is often too dirty to comfortably eat in.

When we get there DP is always asked to drive a load of crap to the not so local tip and I'm asked to 'help' them sort their house out. This involves me cleaning up their filth with MiL moves her hoard around and refuses to chuck anything away.

Nevertheless, we still visit.


Topseyt Thu 18-Dec-14 17:32:55

Don't stress. Plan for a Christmas by yourselves, just you and your little family unit (sorry, not sure if you have children or not).

We stopped spending Christmas on the road years ago because once the children were born it just became impossible. With pressies and everything, plus several hours driving, we just couldn't fit it all comfortably in the car.

My parents aren't that bothered, and just like their own company with routines disturbed as little as possible. The live in their own little bubble.

When my in-laws were around they didn't live as far away so sometimes came down. If not then we would sometimes visit on Boxing Day or later in the week. That won't happen this year though, as this is the first year with neither of them around anymore (MIL died back in May).

In your shoes I would be tempted to say that all are welcome to visit for Christmas, but that you cannot travel this year. Cite family or work commitments or something like that.

girlywhirly Thu 18-Dec-14 17:33:33

Would you feel better visiting your family at a different time? I think they are BU if there are no reasons not to come to you, health issues, disability, difficulties with transport etc. If they can't be bothered to even offer food and drink I don't know why you want to go!

Are any of them expecting you to go there over the Christmas period? I would say that you are not going anywhere this Christmas and you will see them another time. When you do go, could you plan to visit for a short time and then go to do something else, there must be lots in S.London. Don't invite them out with you if you don't want to. Or do the activity and pop by to see them on the way home. At least then you will have done something enjoyable and worth the trip if they are so rude.

It's more difficult with the ILS as they are further away, but sometimes there is an expectation that as you are younger you should do the travelling. They forget that you need a chance to rest as well over the Christmas holiday.

McSantaPaws Thu 18-Dec-14 17:39:13

Same as my family. I moved away, 2-3 hours. They all live in the same village. I visit twice a year. They don't even think to offer dinner. We had a mare to start with as no one 'had space' Dsis told me there was a travel lodge round the corner with fecking baby and toddler thanks

We stay with db now who has moved to a bigger house. But tbh it's really an arse ache to visit and I just don't feel welcome sometimes. They expeect me to visit but have not once , in 8 years, visited me. I didn't go down on my usual visit this year. Going I betwixt Xmas wonder how many more years I can keep this up for

Bunbaker Thu 18-Dec-14 17:43:51

Don't go.

I simply don't understand this martyrdom at Christmas about fulfilling family obligations.

We spent years travelling to see family. But it was far easier for us than it was for our families, and both families were delighted to see us and made us very welcome.

After DD was born we just said that if anyone wanted to see us at Christmas they could come and see us instead. And it was no problem at all.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 18-Dec-14 17:44:56

Stay at home. Be good to yourselves first and foremost.

stickygotstuck Thu 18-Dec-14 17:47:23


I am in a similar situation, only I live 'abroad'. My mum is extremely hospitable and generous when we stay but my sibling is visibly disinterested in me and my daughter (her niece). Plus DH doesn't always come with us due to cost and availability of holiday days at work.

Christmas is a time of massive expense, stress and sadness for me. But I'd like DD to have some relationship with her cousins. So I keep putting us through it. I am beginning to get very, very tired of it all.

Most likely I'll stop bothering in a couple of years' time. I have told them often that it's time for them to come over. But they are used to me being the one doing all the travelling and the forking out. Perhaps I can at least perusade my mum. It would just be so nice not having to ask/cajole/beg.

Sorry for the essay, OP!

Theorientcalf Thu 18-Dec-14 18:22:43

I simply don't understand this martyrdom at Christmas about fulfilling family obligations

Me neither. Don't have a miserable Christmas making all the effort, just don't go.

FluffyJawsOfDoom Thu 18-Dec-14 18:24:33

Yes, ours are the same. If we didn't drive to see people, we'd never see them again :-/ we do it so our lo will know our (otherwise lovely) family.

NorwaySpruce Thu 18-Dec-14 18:28:14

Honestly, would they mind if you didn't bother?

They might do the whole 'oh, but you must visit', but it's probably only for appearances sake.

Most people prefer not to travel/have visitors at Christmas.

You'd almost certainly be doing them a favour.

batgirl1984 Thu 18-Dec-14 18:30:15

Those who say 'they never visit us' - have you actually invited them, with dates? I'm thinking that if you try it 3 or 4 times between your visits to them, they will think 'hmm that's a pain' (to travel) and eventually the penny will drop that you have to make the exact same journey (in reverse obviously).

KatriKling Thu 18-Dec-14 18:39:30

We're in the position of always doing the travel to visit family. But, if they were not welcoming, we definitely wouldn't bother. There is one family member who wouldn't even share a mouldy biscuit if we visited, so I've just made the assumption that we're not welcome. I would be ashamed if I didn't offer guests something to eat -- particularly if they travelled a long way.

They don't sound like they're worth the effort, I'd just ditch 'em -- if they want to see you, they know where you are.

hiccupgirl Thu 18-Dec-14 18:42:07

This is my BIL and family...apparently it's too far and they're too busy to travel to see us but are quite happy for us to go to see them when we're nearby seeing PIL who are too elderly to come and see us now. In 20 years they have never managed the 3 hour drive but moan how little they see us.

I have tried invites but 'it's too far' even with their now grown up children who can manage to travel all over the world on holidays.

rubyflipper Thu 18-Dec-14 18:56:03


My family are just the same. I am always the one schlepping down to see them, which takes at least two hours.
I kept asking them when they were going to come down. They keep saying 'oh yes, we must arrange a time.' When the time comes, they are too busy.

So this time, I stopped chasing them. In any case, I work full time, have two kids, plus DH has been recovering from an operation. Even though they knew all this, they still moaned that I hadn't come down to see them.

Guess which mug is driving down to London to see them at Christmas? fconfused

This is the last year I will do this. I've had enough.

Boomtownsurprise Thu 18-Dec-14 18:58:49


Now I've grown up (nearly 39!) I refuse to go. It really is worth the arguement.


WastingMyYoungYears Thu 18-Dec-14 19:00:45

We're making a stand this year, and not visiting my family in Scotland.

My family here (DH, DS, and I) need a relaxing break, not a driving holiday.

Minshu Thu 18-Dec-14 19:09:50

I have a similar family dynamic. My DBro is a bit better than he used to be, but sometimes we won't be offered anything after being stuck in traffic for hours to visit. Fortunately MIL is very hospitable and always acts like she's pleased to see us.

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