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About seeing family at Christmas?

(31 Posts)
FGSholdthedoor Tue 07-Nov-17 15:13:12

My parents and DH do not get along.

Up to now Christmas wasn't an issue due to a slight difference in cultures - my DP(arents) celebrate on Christmas Eve (24th of Dec) and DH family celebrate on Christmas Day (25th) like everyone else. So I would go to my DPs on Christmas Eve with DCs and we would all go to my PILs on Christmas Day.

However this year my DM started a new job and has told me there's a 99% chance she will have to work Christmas Eve so won't be able to celebrate on that day and will most likely be doing the meal on the 25th.
She heavily hinted she will want me there. And I expect a massive fallout if I'm not.
She knows we go to PILs on the 25th.

Due to the fallout my DH does not see or speak to my DPs at all and doesn't attend Christmas at their house. We have small DCs and I feel we should spend Christmas day with DH and his family like always.

I think if my DPs can't celebrate on the 24th they should do the 26th instead or at least not expect me to be there if they are adamant about 25th.
I know as soon as I bring it up it will all get turned on me and they will say how I'm putting PILs above my DPs or how "it's just one year" or how they expected me to make an exception etc etc


Is there any way to manage this without causing a fallout?

Justbookedasummmerholiday Tue 07-Nov-17 15:14:29

Just because things have changed for dm doesn't mean you have to change your plans!!

coconutpie Tue 07-Nov-17 15:25:58

YANBU. Your plans have not changed. Just because your DM’s plans have doesn’t mean you have to alter yours. You can go to your DM’s on the 26th.

NerrSnerr Tue 07-Nov-17 15:26:09

They want to celebrate on the 25th, that’s fine. You want to celebrate on the 25th with your inlaws and that’s also fine. Just tell your mum you’ll see them another day around Christmas.

Incitatus Tue 07-Nov-17 15:26:43

Just stick to the original plans and deal with any fallout by ignoring their tantrums.

It’s natural for you to want to spend xmas with your dh and therefore his family. You have no reason to change. Your dm is being very presumptuous by expecting you to change your plans.

PuppyMonkey Tue 07-Nov-17 15:30:53

Your opatents would seriously expect you and your DH to celebrate Christmas Day separately? confused

Anyway, enough of that - why don't your DH and your parents like each other?

PuppyMonkey Tue 07-Nov-17 15:31:32

'* parents

FGSholdthedoor Tue 07-Nov-17 17:29:42

Thank you everyone.

@coconutpie that's reassuring - I know my DM will twist it though as she's already said "just letting you know in advance" which IMO she might as well be saying - 'I'm expecting you there and I'm letting you know a while beforehand so if you say I've changed plans I will say we never had solid plans in the first place and throw a strop'.

@PuppyMonkey it's a long story (some MNers are familiar) but quite irrelevant. Point is I know my DPs especially DM feel extremely hurt by DH and vice versa. So anything I do in DHs favour will be somehow twisted into being a very deliberate move iykwim.

FGSholdthedoor Wed 08-Nov-17 11:40:12

Hopeful bump for anyone that's around - I need reasonable sounding things to say and/or solutions to handle this when it comes to a head when I let her know 25th will be at PILs as we originally intended ...

girlywhirly Wed 08-Nov-17 14:27:58

If you already have an unresolved fallout, how can it get much worse? I’d just say that arrangements are already in place for Christmas at PIL on 25th, it’s not your fault that she may have to work Christmas Eve. Perhaps if she was a more reasonable person, you would be inclined to try and find a solution, but if she goes off on one, you just tell her you won’t be bullied. Say that when she is calm and reasonable you will talk again, but not until then.

Eventually your DC will start to notice the animosity between your parents and their daddy, perhaps they could think on that before they risk a permanent rift.

FGSholdthedoor Wed 08-Nov-17 17:46:30

I guess I'm just worried because she's very good and going from angry to tears and laying on the guilt.

If I don't have an answer for something there and then (and I usually don't because my mind hates me and goes blank) it gets seen as her being right.

cheesypastatonight Wed 08-Nov-17 17:56:24

Say that your in laws are expecting you and it wouldn't be fair to disrupt their plans when you don't need to. It's the plans for the 24th that have changed. Not the 25th. They still stand. Ask your mum what other day she wants to do and you will check if they are free, but you have already accepted an invitation on the 25th and it would be rude to Change it.

hayli Wed 08-Nov-17 18:01:38

Will you not be able to go in the morning/brunch on 25th.. but obv say it has already been decided you will be at inlaws for eve meal if that is the case.

Angelicinnocent Wed 08-Nov-17 18:01:39

From everything I've seen you post previously, I would just say no I'm not going to be here on the 25th, I will be with DH at PILs as usual. I can see you on 24th, 26th or not at all and if you start having a go at me, it will be not at all.

SarahH12 Wed 08-Nov-17 18:07:32

YADNBU!! I agree with you they should either celebrate on the 26th or not expect you to be there on the 25th. Just because there plans have changed it doesn't mean they should expect yours to. Sure, they can ask but you're well within your rights to say no and they should respect and understand that.

Personally there's no way I'd give up Christmas day with my partner for anyone including my parents.

SarahH12 Wed 08-Nov-17 18:10:04

As for reasonable things to say

Sorry Mum I know your plans have changed but like you already know, we always spend Christmas with DH's parents. I'll pop around on boxing day though.

Depending on how old DC are too, you could always go down the route of keeping routine for the sake of the DC (as well as the fact you actually want to spend it as you'd already planned)

TittyGolightly Wed 08-Nov-17 18:11:31

Precisely why we attach zero importance to 25th December. We arrange a convenient weekend to see DH’s family and a separate one for my family. And we do whatever the fuck we like on 25th Dec - often nothing. It’s brilliant.

MrBloomsLeftVeg Wed 08-Nov-17 18:11:35

Start your own tradition and stay home with you DH and dc?

FGSholdthedoor Wed 08-Nov-17 18:33:36

@hayli couldn't really do brunch as PILs will eat early too since there's small children and there will also be a few week old baby around so wanting to make all the bedtimes etc

There's also DHs brother, wife and children at PILs on the 25th and it would just seem weird for me to ask everyone to change their plans because of DM (idk if that's what she expects) and similarly it would be weird to prioritise DM over the whole arrangement.

@cheesypastatonight it's not at invitation as such it's just that the general arrangement has been Xmas eve at my parents and Xmas day at PILs as that's the days both sides celebrate.

The worst thing is my DM seems to have just kind of declared it (that she's working on the 24th so will be doing dinner on 25th) and left it hanging in the air.

cheesypastatonight Wed 08-Nov-17 18:43:16

I know that but SAY it's an invitation to your mum. Makes it more official and less changeable!

gobster Wed 08-Nov-17 18:45:05

Its a bit of an issue with your DH won't visit with you as I'd imagine you both want to spend xmas day with your children.

Best thing for this year would be to say we can't do the 25th as we already have plans which we confirmed prior to your announcement and suggest the 26th and hopefully that will turn into the new tradition

If she gets upset/angry just reiterate you already have plans and they have the option of the 26th instead since their the one who have changed the system

MinervaSaidThar Wed 08-Nov-17 18:48:22

Well, I would spend this year with PIL as planned and see DM on Boxing Day.

But if she is going to work Xmas eve every year then I think the fair thing to do would be to alternate Xmas day with her and PIL.

Of course I am assuming DM is a good parent not abusive etc

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 08-Nov-17 18:49:46

@FGSholdthedoor - could you say that you are doing Christmas at your house this year, with your dc, and that you will see your parents and your in-laws between Christmas and New Year? That way your parents can’t kick off, because neither set of parents is seeing you and their grandchildren on Christmas Day.

Madwoman5 Wed 08-Nov-17 18:54:06

"Just letting you know I will be doing dinner on 25th"
"Ok, we are unavailable, so how about we see you on 26th?"
"Why can't you come? You always go to pil, why can't you change it for once?"
"Because we have accepted their invitation. Do you want us to come over 26th?"
"You could change it for once. I am working. It's not my fault."
"We have accepted and will not be available. Do you want to see us on 26th?"
Repeat until she gets the message.
Do not apologise ("im sorry but.....")
Do not expand
Do not digress.

FrancisCrawford Wed 08-Nov-17 18:55:40

Your DM won’t be working all day and all night of Xmas Eve, will she?

So, if she finishes at 5.00, you and the kids pop round about 7.

If she’s working night shift, you go round in the afternoon.

And if that doesn’t suit her, then that is that.

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