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To think the attitudes of some MNetters towards extended family at Christmas very dispiriting

(174 Posts)
welliesandleaves Mon 02-Nov-15 18:23:09

There just seems to be a lot of threads here at the moment where posters are being advised to 'do whatever suits you' at Christmas, regardless of how much it hurts the feelings of parents or parents in law.

I realise that sometimes it's just not possible for families to be together on Christmas day, but I actually feel my heart breaking for some of the elderly people who are being left on their own, not because they're toxic or anti social, but because their grown up children or children in law simply can't be bothered to include them. All these comments about wanting to spend Christmas 'with my own family'.

AIBU to find this very depressing and selfish. Surely 'family' includes parents, regardless of whether you now have a partner and children of your own.

Hatethis22 Mon 02-Nov-15 18:26:21

On most of the threads the 'elderly people' - many of whom will be in the 55 to 65 age bracket and wouldn't appreciate your choice of words - are not being left 'alone.' They have husbands, wives, partners and other DC.

DawnOfTheDoggers Mon 02-Nov-15 18:26:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Mon 02-Nov-15 18:27:01

I agree to an extent but what you find is certain family members feeling obliged to extend an invite every time. Whereas imo all family members should take turns to host relatives.

Thurlow Mon 02-Nov-15 18:27:01

YANBU. Though I suspect we may be in the minority. I find the attitude of some MNetters towards their extended family in general very dispiriting - move out, have your own kids, everyone else in the family is then somehow intruding or being too demanding by wanting to spend time with you (or, god forbid, your kids).

IMO, family includes parents, siblings, children, grandparents, a whole range of people. And just because you start a new relationship, or have your own children, doesn't stop you still being a daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter.

welliesandleaves Mon 02-Nov-15 18:27:23

No, Hate, I'm thinking of several threads where elderly parents are being left alone, or with just their spouse who is in bad health.

welliesandleaves Mon 02-Nov-15 18:28:05

I agree Thurlow.

AutumnLeavesArePretty Mon 02-Nov-15 18:30:33

It is sad and it always seems to be the mans family that's left out in the main. I dread becoming a MIL as so many wives seems to think their husbands mum is disposable sad

It's not just christmas but weddings and birthdays as well.

Lots are selfish, doing a favour for someone or including someone seems out of the ordinary to many and not something they should be doing.

Funinthesun15 Mon 02-Nov-15 18:32:16

I do actually get where you are coming from

welliesandleaves Mon 02-Nov-15 18:33:31

I grew up in a family where my parents wouldn't see anyone on their own for Christmas. This year my sister has split up from her long time partner who has no family of his own. We have all told her he is still very very welcome on Christmas day. I just hate the idea of parents being given the message that they're no longer part of the family Christmas and must spend it on their own. It just seems so unkind and hurtful.

UnlikelyPilgramage Mon 02-Nov-15 18:33:45


There undoubtedly is an attitude that "we've got our own family now" and it is upsetting. I hope DD doesn't do this to me, as I'm single and otherwise will definitely be alone at Christmas!

I do agree with you Autumn that it seems to be very woman-centric and the man's family are sidelined.

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Mon 02-Nov-15 18:36:56

If you have families that you like and want to see at Christmas then you are lucky! What about the poster whose parent (or PIl, can't remember) is a violent alcoholic? Should they really be making space for them round the dinner table? I wouldn't.

welliesandleaves Mon 02-Nov-15 18:38:14

Imust I did actually qualify that in my opening post.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 02-Nov-15 18:38:17


Foreverconfused Mon 02-Nov-15 18:39:17

We always have both sets of parents round ,I wouldn't dream of excluding them. More the merrier , anyway smile That's what I'm afraid of , my son getting a wife and me being seen as the nuisance MIL sad

OverAndAbove Mon 02-Nov-15 18:40:26

I agree with this and it's not only to do with christmas. I think lots of people would be horrified if their kids or inlaws put them in the same position, years down the line. I certainly would be.

UnlikelyPilgramage Mon 02-Nov-15 18:40:49

After my mother died, my dad went very peculiar and would spend Christmas with his partners (he had a few over the years!) but wouldn't invite me.

It was hurtful in the extreme and it did impact on our relationship quite a bit.

MumOnTheRunAgain Mon 02-Nov-15 18:42:42

Op I agree with you

So many precious posters here whose standard retort, is 'Christmas is just for the kids anyway'.... No, it isn't ! It really isn't.

Hatethis22 Mon 02-Nov-15 18:42:53

I haven't seen the threads.

I couldn't do that but was very surprised when one of my SILs declared, once she'd had her first child, that from then on she'd be spending every Christmas Day with just her DP and their DC. She was the same one who had always guilted her siblings for spending every other Christmas with their ILs and desperately wanted every Christmas to be just like when they were children. I know it hurts MIL.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Mon 02-Nov-15 18:43:05

YANBU and it isn't just Christmas either as Thurlow says, although I appreciate that everyone's circumstances are different and most people are probably doing their best with the options they have. We have our Christmas options fairly constrained by the preference of other extended family members to not see any of us (no other issues, they just want Christmas at home by themselves every year) and it does upset me a little.

SmellyHead Mon 02-Nov-15 18:44:56

My parents inlaw consist of MiL and Step FiL, FiL and Step MiL. Step FiL refuses to be in the same house as FiL despite the fact that MiL and FiL split up >40 years ago, the split had nothing to do with any infidelity, and both the current couples have been married >35 years. So we aren't able to have a whole family celebration of any sort because of this man. I fail to feel much sympathy for him tbh, when he and MiL get left out.

Hullygully Mon 02-Nov-15 18:47:07


Mean old selfish pants, all of em.

Same as the wedding threads: "It's YOUR day, YOUR rules."

We are social animals who live in important networks and should love and care for each other. Mad rampant selfish egoism. I blame Thatcher.

FunkyPeacock Mon 02-Nov-15 18:49:22


Growing up we had my great-aunt (who had never married or had children) staying with us for a week every Christmas throughout my childhood and up until she died. As kids we used to moan a bit about having her stay but in retrospect it was a great example of charity beginning at home and ensuring the elderly weren't left alone at Christmas time.

Savagebeauty Mon 02-Nov-15 18:49:36

I have virtually no family and ex h had a huge one. I only spent Xmas day once with them once and loathed it.
So always spent it at home after that.

shutupanddance Mon 02-Nov-15 18:52:59

If you have a good relationship, great. My mil is a tit.

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