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To change plans for Christmas and stay with DH's family instead?

(18 Posts)
AnnaBanana25 Wed 02-Dec-15 09:12:15

I have a dilemma that has been bugging me. DH and I agreed to invite my parents to stay with us for Christmas this year, because we tend to avoid Christmas with them. In fact, since we have been together, we have not spent one Christmas alone with them (we have seen them- they have come to us with other family, they have also come along to Devon with DH's family). So I decided this year we need to invite them.

History- my parents are my only family. They have isolated themselves and don't like interacting with people. That includes us. Our son is 18mo now- they say they miss him and want to spend time, and promise to spend more time with us. Well, they don't have a place to stay with us at their place, and when they visit they don't spend much time, make excuses to leave early, arrive late, they go to bed at 8pm. It's all about money and gifts- they bring lots (and I dont want to sound ungrateful), but that is intended to make up for the time and effort. We often don't go anywhere/do anything DS would enjoy as it takes so long to convince them to do anything.

DHs family invited us for Christmas a few days ago... Instead of a tense and awkward time with my folks, it would mean DS opens presents in the morning with his cousins. Everyone is excited and jolly- I absolutely love this. As a contrast, "christmas is over when the presents have been opened"- my dad. Every year. They dont get excited, they dont wake up to open presents, they simply dont care. But they will still care if I cancel.

The reasons I'd want to stay with DHs family would be for us to all have a fun time at Christmas and now DS is interacting more, he would really love it. We could go and visit my folks and stay a few days over New Year instead (we bought a blow up bed so we could stay.). However... I would have to face the music. And I cant help but think, am I being unreasonable? Should we just do Christmas this year with them and just try to make it jolly ourselves?

Krampus Wed 02-Dec-15 09:25:41

If you've invited them and they have accepted I think you need to swallow and go along (get it over) with it. If they haven't properly accepted then call up saying you need to order some food and will they be there? You never know they may change their mind and say no grin

If they do come pray they will go to bed at 8pm and crack open more wine. Pre -organise something for Boxing Day, even if it's a short walk in the woods. Cheerily ask them if they're coming, get boots on and go with or without them.

Any chance you can do a couple of day with the inlaws at NY eve, or just after Christmas?

gleam Wed 02-Dec-15 09:34:23

As you have invited them, I'd stick with it.

Having said that, do what Krampus suggested. Organise an activity (or several!) and then do it, with or without them.
Possibly invite friends round in the evening, too?

Besides, Christmas at DH's family will be more fun next year, when ds really starts to understand it. wink

Enjolrass Wed 02-Dec-15 09:43:59

I think you should spend Christmas with dhs family if that is more fun for everyone.

However you have already invited them. It's really harsh to un invite them.

In this situation, I would just suck it up. Your child won't know what's going on really this year. So spend it with your parents, and then spend next year (when dc will have more of an idea what's going on) spend with pil.

Just don't be tempted to make plans with them again.

Make plans while they are there and they either go or not.

ofallthenerve Wed 02-Dec-15 09:55:54

Agree with PPs that it's harsh to uninvite them if they've accepted. Think you need to suck it up OP.

Cloudyflower Wed 02-Dec-15 10:09:06

Could you invite them to your in laws with you?

Kintan Wed 02-Dec-15 10:15:34

I think if you have already invited your parents and they have accepted, it would be incredibly rude to cancel. Surely if you are hosting you can do your Christmas your way. As you say you can try and make it jolly, and this will be the first Christmas where your DS is aware of what is going on so focus on making it fun for him, yourself and your DH, and your parents will either join in or not. But at least you, your son and your husband will have a fun time!

Maddaddam Wed 02-Dec-15 10:26:58

Stick with it this year and go to dh's family next year (and every year after). 18mo won't care or remember. Next year he'll get more out of the cousins etc.

I have difficult parents. We invite them one year in 4. I count that a Christmas "lost" in terms of enjoyment. (I don't think they really enjoy it either, my father's view of Christmas is quite specific and narrow, and he doesn't really like children or fun much). Then we do what we enjoy the other years.

(my parents have 2 other children and we all tend to avoid inviting them for Christmas so I think 1/4 years is fair enough).

girlywhirly Wed 02-Dec-15 10:48:16

I think the best way of managing Christmas with your parents staying, is to plan what you will be doing, and they can participate or not. Your little one will be happy at that age to just play with his new toys, have his meals and naps as usual, and you can go out with the pushchair for a walk and the parents can come or not as they please. If they go to bed at 8, fine, you can enjoy yourselves without them.

Yes to having happy phone calls on Christmas day to the ILS and friends to wish them a lovely time, and find out if there are any friends who would like to pop by. If you can line up some visitors, let your parents know that they will be coming. Ask to confirm when they will be arriving and leaving, as they don't sound particularly sociable they might decide not to come if they think you will have visitors.

Could you suggest meeting up before Christmas instead, if so, then they won't have to spend much time if they don't want to.

Anotherusername1 Wed 02-Dec-15 11:18:41

Could you invite them to your in laws with you?

I did this one year. My parents are divorced, so one year my PIL were kind enough to accommodate my dad for Christmas as well.

MagicMojito Wed 02-Dec-15 11:32:08

Shit as it will probably be, yes ywbu to cancel on them, sorry sad

Agree with pp that you need to take control over what happens this Xmas.

"Hi mum/dad. This is a list of our Xmas activities that we WILL be doing this year. Your more than welcome to join in but we understand if you'd prefer to sit them out and have a day of chocs, slippers and TV whilst we crack on."

Don't just resound yourself to a shit Christmas. Take control of the situation!

AnnaBanana25 Wed 02-Dec-15 14:58:06

Thanks all. This was the first time I posted on AIBU and I was scared I was going to be called a cold hearted bitch.......

I do think it's harsh to cancel to last minute given they have accepted and say they're looking forward to it. It's so frustrating because their pattern (over years and years) is to say they'll come down and spend say 3 days, then it becomes 2, then overnight and off first thing in the morning... It messes us around as we never know what to do.

Sometimes they full on cancel on us with a days notice. Reasons are ridiculous. I asked for help looking after DS ONCE for 2 hours so I could attend a meeting, which they agreed to help with. They didn't turn up. Said they were waiting for a passport to be delivered that didn't arrive. We are the only ones who uphold making and keeping plans in advance, another reason why we have been wondering if we should change plans just this once.

If we do have them over, as other have suggested we will make plans and just keep them informed, they can join in or not. It will be a lost Christmas in terms of time we could have spend with DHs family, but we will see them afterwards, and it is a good point DS will be fully aware next year- that's the year that counts more as MIL has it off (she usually works nights), so taking a hit now would be better in the grand scheme of things.

Oh as others suggested inviting them to in laws... wouldnt work. A) they wouldnt do it as its a long drive for them and b) theyd have to interact with more people. It is very much one family or the other due to location and each familys needs.

IwishIwasinNewYork Wed 02-Dec-15 15:02:56

Ok given your last post (bit of an unintentional drip feed there OP wink), I'd say you would not be unreasonable at ALL to cancel.

They cancel with a day's notice, they let you down on the one time you needed them to look after your ds? Plus they don't like Christmas and decree it's all over once gifts are over.

Tell them now - it's 3/4 week away, that's not late notice in their books is it?

Don't feel guilty. This is their doing, not yours. Give yourselves and your son a Christmas to feel joyful about!

girlywhirly Wed 02-Dec-15 15:34:07

How far apart do you and your parents live? I'm just wondering whether meeting them half way to exchange gifts and let them see DS would be less stressful, you could go for lunch somewhere maybe. You could raise it as a possible solution to the last minute cancelling or inconsistent visit lengths. However if you invite people over it won't really matter whether they are there or not, if they suddenly decide to go home.

I wouldn't go mad with too much food if there's a chance they'll not come at the last minute.

coconutpie Wed 02-Dec-15 15:47:00

Is there a risk so that they could cancel coming for Christmas? If so, then you wouldn't be unreasonable to cancel. It sounds like they don't care very much.

Hissy Wed 02-Dec-15 17:32:39

Your best bet is it breezily phone them and announce that you've all been invited to mil for Christmas and as they are so excited, you and dh have had to say yes.... "Won't that be LOVELY..?" <evil grin>

And pause...

You know they will back out...

Enjolrass Wed 02-Dec-15 18:14:07

I disagree with it being ok to cancel just because they do. How is that any better than what they do?

I would however be upfront and say 'are you definitely 100% coming on Christmas Day? Because we can go to pils if you aren't sure and I don't want last minute cancellations'

It may give them the opportunity to think it over and maybe they will suck out then and problem solved.

Last year dbro and dsil were meant to be with my mum and dad last year and we were at ours having pil over .

Sil clearly wanted to go to her mums again, so her and dbro made all sorts of excuses about what sil would and wouldn't eat (mum accomdates her all the time) our kids would be too noisy and disturb her baby (we weren't going to be there).

In the end mum said 'look of you want to go to your mums it's absolutely fine.' She genuinely meant it they said 'no of course we want to be here but, it might be to difficult for you. Basically they didn't want to be the ones to say 'we aren't coming' they wanted mum to tell them it was best they didn't come.

They always do this. Try and make everyone else make the decision so they can say it's not their doing.

Anyway, we thought there was a high chance they would cancel last minute. Dbro has form for this.

Our plan was if they cancelled we would go to mums take all our food and pils would meet us there.

Is there a way you can do this? Explain the situation to pils and see if they can accommodate you last minute?

And don't ever ask your mum and dad for Christmas again grin

LittleBeautyBelle Wed 02-Dec-15 18:21:18

You should keep your word in that you invited them already to come on Christmas. Is there any way you could spend Christmas morning, at least a couple of hours, with your husband's family so that your son (and you and your husband) can have that fun joyous time with his cousins and still host your parents for the remainder of the day? Then next year, plan on Christmas with your husband's family and spend time either before or after Christmas with your parents. Hopefully you can find a compromise this year that works all around.

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