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To expect that grandparents should be included in Christmas?

(164 Posts)
Mishaps Tue 10-Nov-15 15:59:42

If you take yourself on to Gransnet you will find a thread that will illustrate to everyone here how deeply hurt some grandparents are at not being included in the family Christmas. There are women there who have been the lynchpin in creating wonderful family Christmases for their children over decades and who will be on their own on the day.

I know that some families have rifts in them and not all parents make a good job of their role, but might this not be a time to heal some wounds and act out of kindness?

Lots of grandparents say they do not mind being left out, but please bear in mind that sometimes they just do not want to admit out loud how hurt and lonely they feel.

There will be many grandparents for whom a lonely Christmas day will bring tears.

Nabootique Tue 10-Nov-15 16:03:02

I think it depends. I don't speak to my mother for good reason and wouldn't have her over for Christmas. However, if there is no rift I think it's very sad to have anyone alone at Christmas. I know someone who has 7 children and only one ever asks if she has any plans for Christmas.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Tue 10-Nov-15 16:05:01

Fuck that.

My mother will be sitting on her own on Christmas telling everyone what a wonderful person she is but her nasty daughter pushed her out and doesn't talk to her.

She allowed me to be abused as a child, encouraged it even, then she made me homeless and took in my abusive ex husband, and has been reporting me to anyone that will listen for years telling them what a terrible parent I am. She calls Social Services at least every 3 months.

Heal wounds? Never. Act out of kindness? Hell no.

Some Grandparents are simply cunts and deserve nothing.

FaFoutis Tue 10-Nov-15 16:05:24

You don't know why they are not included. It is often much more complicated than rifts being healed with kindness.

DaggerEyes Tue 10-Nov-15 16:07:24

Lynchpin? Or self appointed matriarch.

randomsabreuse Tue 10-Nov-15 16:08:58

We're not seeing GPs this Christmas - DH works over the Christmas period and the rota is not conducive to travelling with a small child - max 2 days off in one go. They could come to us but other siblings won't travel. Fine by me not to have a family rule and just play it by ear depending on DHs work situation.

Mishaps Tue 10-Nov-15 16:09:07

Indeed - as I said, some parents have been useless and it is fully understandable that they are not included. ElsaAintAsColdAsMe - I am sorry that your childhood was so grim and can fully understand why you feel so strongly.

But there may be some where that does not apply and the family simply do not realise how much they mind being on their own.

It's just a thought to ponder on.

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 10-Nov-15 16:11:55

I wouldn't see anybody alone at Christmas (apart from utter twats, obviously). My kids are older now but visitors would have had to come to us. My parents had their way of doing Christmas, it was my turn to do it my way, and the best way I thought for my children. Therefore I didn't take them away from their home and most of their pressies on the day (apart from every other year for an hour to our closest friends - oldest child's best friends parents, 5 mins away). Apart from thinking people who spend miserable Christmases due to family pressure or families guilting people selfishly I think 'do your own Christmas'.

TillITookAnArrowToTheKnee Tue 10-Nov-15 16:12:11

It will be a cold day in Hell before my "mother" steps foot in my home ever again.

Im with Elsa. Some elderly people are alone because they are vile. My "mother" is currently in her 50s, but even when she is elderly I wont give a shit if she is alone. Being elderly does not absolve you of abusing, allowing someone to abuse your children, and neglecting them.

ArmchairTraveller Tue 10-Nov-15 16:14:37

We always include ours, but we all get on with each other and support each other in multiple ways and combinations and have done for decades and decades.
Some families are selfish and exclude those that are bothersome in any way, so that they don't 'spoil Christmas' Old people, babies, those with additional needs.
But some parents have been deeply hurtful, neglectful and unpleasant in other ways. They don't suddenly transform into sweet and adorable old people with grandchildren.
Generalisations never work.

LovelyBranches Tue 10-Nov-15 16:19:55

When I married DH I made it very clear that every Christmas dinner from there on will be at our home. I said it because I knew that my DM who is widowed would come and wouldn't spend Christmas on her own, which I couldn't bear.

PIL are invited, but they would rather have Christmas at their house and invite SIL and her children. They regularly moan that we don't see them on Christmas, even though they are young enough to both work and could easily visit us.

My PIL would be quite happy for me, DH and DS to go to their house too. They would be more than happy to have all the fuss and bustle and completely leave my DM out on her own. That will never happen.

SongOfTheLark Tue 10-Nov-15 16:20:53

Depends entirely on your own family set up. My own MIL (and sometimes FIL) piss me off at times but they are basically good people and I would never wish for them to be excluded from Christmas or any other celebration.

On the other hand my own mother is a self absorbed pain in the arse day to day and hard work at the best of times. I prefer to not spend special times like Christmas with her because she has previously spoiled these times with her shitty selfish behaviour. Not just for me but for my children and partner too as well as other people.

anothernumberone Tue 10-Nov-15 16:21:31

How do you not know whether it applies or not though OP?

DHs father got really drunk and abusive towards everyone one Christmas about 7 years back. He sat down on the couch and grabbed my crotch at one stage. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and jumped up and told him never to lay a hand on me again. Another Christmas he beat up MIL, I was not around for that one. DH feels really sorry for his mother and we have had plenty of PA comments from SIL over the years but WE WILL NOT GO TO ILS FOR CHRISTMAS AGAIN EVER. I have my own children to think of.

Sadly though DH won't go to my parents either because he does not want his mother feeling left out and my parents won't leave their own home in spite of invites to ours, they want to be at home. It is not always as clear cut as you make it out to be.

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr Tue 10-Nov-15 16:21:35

If a parent, has so failed to transition their relationship with their child to a normal adult one that they cannot tell them that they would be upset and are suffering in silence, then I think the problem really does need to rest with the grandparent.

No-one is a mind-reader, if you can't talk to your own close relatives about this, you need to learn to. That doesn't mean you'll get the right to spend christmas day with your children, that would be unreasonable, but to be ignored for all of christmas, that would not.

LimboNovember Tue 10-Nov-15 16:22:13

Op you sound really patronising...esp to Elsa.

I agree that it sounds awful and hideous to have old people left alone at xmas. Esp if they are truly alone.

I think we are a society that could do alot more to help and love and support our elderly, many communities would be shamed to leave a family member alone, at any time, not just xmas.

We are known as a nation who treats our dogs better than our elderly.

HOWEVER there are also many variations and many reasons why people come onto these boards to vent when they are put in awkward situations.

I have worked in old folks home I have seen how neglected they have been by everyone. But I have an elderly family member who has been left alone because their behaviour left me with no choice.

Yes there are selfish people but there are also people who make it impossible to be around them, there are people who have shat on people their whole life and sadly now pay the price. There are people who are too shat upon and need to get a grip as well.

Many people who come here to MN to vent are at the end of their tethers.

Seeyounearertime Tue 10-Nov-15 16:22:57

I'm afraid you can only take people on what they say though.
When he was alive I used to invite my Dad for Xmas day and every year he'd refuse, claiming he was happier alone with the telly and his nuts (as in walnuts not his other nuts) so we let him be.
It wasn't I'll after his death that we found diaries saying that he wished he'd just accept the invites and that sitting alone on Xmas day was horrible and yet he couldn't not do not to himself. He was very depressed and no one knew.

Krampus Tue 10-Nov-15 16:23:44

Blimey a handful of very diferent posts about Christmas and where to spend it has started so many more posts. Who is worse, grandparents, parents, children, the family dog?

Some parents are awful, some children are awful, often these people don't realise how aweful they can be because tbey think they are right. Most people are mainly great but are in complicated situations and can't please everyone all the time. If you are on good terms with family and friends TALK to them so they know.

There is no need to have people sent over to be brave enough to tell us what they think about us. Us are all very different people.

Peace and love smile

LimboNovember Tue 10-Nov-15 16:24:11

I wonder if this thread is wise.
Already a few really unpleasant memories you seen to have provoked in people. I would say most people never take a decision to leave people out - lightly.

I can only think you have touched a nerve here and your going to invite more sad and upsetting stories.

FattyNinjaOwl Tue 10-Nov-15 16:26:11

I trudge my lot down to my mums and have Christmas dinner there. I get the whole "but what about their presents". But i just reply "Santa visits nans house too you know..."
They always have presents under the tree at my mums and my two younger brothers are there too. We watch films and play with toys and stuff our faces. Then we sit and play Xbox together. grin

But my dad is alone on Christmas. My dad always says he doesn't mind. I've invited him to mine plenty of times in the past but he has refused. The one time be did agree, I had my brothers at mine and my mum and step-dad went to the pub. The year I hosted for my dad and brothers was the worst Christmas ever. My dad was miserable all day. Took over the cooking and destroyed the dinner, and told us all how he didn't want to be there. hmm
He also never makes an effort any other time and frankly I've given up now. I have tried to keep in contact with him but it goes both ways, if he doesn't contact me why should I contact him? (There's a lot more background that I CBA to go into)

Ragwort Tue 10-Nov-15 16:26:07

I think there are many, many different families and different situations - assuming no abuse and the fact that the GPs would like to spend time with their adult children and family then yes, in principle, hopefully families would try to spend some time together at Christmas.

But equally as a parent I would hate my child to feel 'obliged' to have to invite me for Christmas, I am genuinely looking forward to different sorts of Christmasses when I am no longer responsible for organising the 'family Christmas' - I know that my (very elderly now grin) parents sometimes feel 'obliged' to accept invitations at what is a very difficult time of year to travel, when they would honestly be very happy in their own home - they find dealing with loud children/noisy teenagers/different situations/endless tv etc etc quite stressful. grin

museumum Tue 10-Nov-15 16:26:13

I love my parents dearly but every second year we spend Xmas day with my in laws. It's just not fair otherwise. We can't be in two places at once and I can't ask my in laws to invite my parents as well as they already have us and sil's family and mil cooks a second dinner and takes it round to her elderly mother and sister.

Buttons23 Tue 10-Nov-15 16:26:45

Not every grandparent wants to be there for Christmas. My oh's parents go away every Christmas and my mum and her husband have go to his parents or have been happy enough to stay at home.

We certainly don't have the space anyway to host them. They have a great relationship with my son, they just don't see him Xmas day.

shutupanddance Tue 10-Nov-15 16:27:18

I can't bear inlaws but wouldn't let them spend it alone. Luckily they have family alot nearer to them.

FaFoutis Tue 10-Nov-15 16:27:58

My DH's mother cut contact with him years ago. It was entirely her decision, based on nothing I could understand. DH has had no contact with her at all since, despite him sending her a couple of letters.

As he is an only child I expect she will be alone at Christmas. She might even be on Gransnet.

LimboNovember Tue 10-Nov-15 16:28:09

lovely we have had this problem too, everyone welcome to ours, ( they came once very begrudgingly no one touched the food or drank and all sat at the other end of the room), going to theirs, the invite has only been extended to dh and dc, ( me at a push ) but not any stray guests we may have been entertaining.

It put a huge dampner on many an xmas so in the end we had to say - enough. And stopped seeing them.

Now they seem to have become strangly more flexible....and we see them again...

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