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Xmas dinner/family support

(33 Posts)
Lightbulb57 Sat 02-Dec-17 08:43:42

AIBU to not want to host Xmas this year?

My parents have been divorced for years now. Brother doesn’t come home for Xmas now, sister does and stays with my mum. Dad goes on holiday. For the past 7 years myself and dh have always hosted Xmas day and Boxing Day (pil plus my mum and sister on Boxing Day). We have 2 young dc, one of whom is undergoing assessment for ASD. We both have very stressful, demanding jobs and as my dh works in retail he works Boxing Day every year. I’m currently signed off work with stress.

Life is pretty tough at the moment. I know there are plenty of people who have it tougher, and in the grand scheme of things we are very lucky and fortunate BUT I’m feeling fairly unsupported by my mum, and always have done. I’d love her to say “come to me this year for Xmas” but I know she won’t. I’d love to say it’s just going to be myself, dh and dc for Xmas day this year but will then feel guilty that my dc miss out on a family Xmas. And to top it all off, she was invited the first year and then just assumed every year after that. She actually said “I assume myself, your brother and sister are coming to you again this year?” when I had a baby and a toddler!

I think I just feel irritated that she assumes we will host, we do all the shopping, prep, cooking, tidying up/dishes after while they just sit on their bums! Then repeat it all again on Boxing Day! We’re the ones with the young children, busy lives and stressful jobs! Just for once, I’d like someone to wait on me a little bit! AIBU? Pil are lovely but live 200 miles away. We used to visit them but they now come to us as that’s easier for us over having to do a long journey with the kids and plus dh works Boxing Day.

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon Sat 02-Dec-17 08:46:25

It depends. Do you not want to see PIL over Christmas? How does DH feel about that? If they lived 5 mins down the road it would be easier but if you’re still wanting to see them over Christmas you don’t really have much choice as you can’t visit them and they can’t be expected to drive 200 miles for a 30 mum catch-up

Dons1975 Sat 02-Dec-17 08:47:24

Can you go out for Christmas dinner then back to yours for drinks and games? Explain that this year you are putting your feet up and have decided to go to the local pub for dinner it costs x amount per person let us know if you want a space booked?

Lightbulb57 Sat 02-Dec-17 08:51:23

Sorry, I should have been clearer. Because film also works in retail, pil don’t travel up until Boxing Day morning as he works on Xmas day. So we have my mum and sister on Xmas day(they live locally) and then my pil come up on Boxing Day and my mum and sister come as well.

Lightbulb57 Sat 02-Dec-17 08:51:57

Damn autocorrect! Fil not film!

GinnyBaker Sat 02-Dec-17 08:54:57

I think the pub option is a great idea!

Otherwise it all sounds totally unfair on you.

I would phrase it as 'I'm too exhausted to do everything again this year. We are going to the pub at x per person if you want to reserve places too.

Lightbulb57 Sat 02-Dec-17 08:55:00

We have considered doing this but I’m not sure how my dd would cope. She’s normally fine going out for meals, but the past couple of times it has been more fraught (consultant and school have pretty much confirmed autism but we’re waiting for CYPS to make official diagnosis).

Inertia Sat 02-Dec-17 08:56:43

Tell them what they need to do to help!

Do you cook again on boxing day? Or just leftovers?

Lightbulb57 Sat 02-Dec-17 09:01:00

A mixture of leftovers and cooking from scratch on Boxing Day. Last year I asked them if they would help with the dishes. They did the plates and cutlery but then left everything else to “soak”. Didn’t wipe down the benches or anything. So me and dh pretty much had it all to do anyway.

ClareB83 Sat 02-Dec-17 09:02:59

Just ask! 'Mum can you do a Christmas this year please?'

If she says no. Ask why not. Whatever her reason is it's a good chance you can say 'Yes I feel that way too but I've still hosted the last few years.' And then suggest a compromise eg she hosts but you split the cost, she hosts but you bring dessert and DH washes up, you do your own thing this year.

She might just say yes.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 02-Dec-17 09:07:28

Just don't do it this year. "We've had a stressful year and need a quiet Christmas on our own."

Next year they won't take you for granted.

You need the break, you don't need the stress. If you are stressed to the eyeballs then you can't give your DC the support they need. Say no for them.

YouTheCat Sat 02-Dec-17 09:14:07

Tell your mum that they can only come on Boxing Day and give her and your dsis a list of things to bring. Do a buffet type thing and buy ready made stuff. That way you can have a relaxed Christmas Day with the kids.

Any sign of complaint and tell her she can host Boxing Day.

lborgia Sat 02-Dec-17 09:19:43

If you’re signed off with stress, I don’t know what else there is to say. If you’re too stressed to do a job that you need, to support your family and pay the mortgage, you’re definitely too stressed to provide a full christmas experience, and Boxing Day, for people who don’t lend a hand —sit on their arses all day—.

flowers - wish they were poinsettias for you!

iloveredwine Sat 02-Dec-17 09:20:12

yup I would tell your family to come on boxing day with the others and just have a quiet one with your dh and children.

EthelOnTheTown Sat 02-Dec-17 09:21:42

'we do all the shopping, prep, cooking, tidying up/dishes after while they just sit on their bums! ' confused

It is hard with stressful jobs and young dc but really without the need for any more stress you need to communicate. Just say 'if you come to us again I'll need a hand as we're really struggling with things at the moment' or as a pp said 'can we come to you this year for lunch mum?'. Some people presume others will do the running about and cooking etc because they let them. Just speak up!

We spread it out Xmas Eve, Xmas day and boxing day seeing rels etc I would never fancy having my parents and pils all day Christmas with me waitressing. No chance.

confusedlittleone Sat 02-Dec-17 09:22:16

@YouTheCat but the dm could totally fuck over the pil by not inviting in them?

Just don't invite your mum for xmas/Boxing Day ect, see her for a drink or something xmas eve or a few days later.

Originalfoogirl Sat 02-Dec-17 09:22:30

Just tell them you aren’t doing it.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Sat 02-Dec-17 09:23:19

If you'd like to be at your mum's for Christmas Day, then ask her. If she says no, tell her you'll see her Boxing Day but Christmas day will be just you, dh, and the kids. They're not missing out on a family Christmas, that IS a family Christmas.

And on Boxing Day, explain at length just how exhausted you are and assign specific tasks - someone whose job it is to keep everyone supplied with tea/drinks and clear up the empties, for example. Although if you spent the previous day at your mums she's liable to feel she's earned a day sitting on her bum.

Notreallyarsed Sat 02-Dec-17 09:25:42

I’ve put my foot down this year and not invited SIL who ruins every Christmas by having a face like a smacked arse, does fuck all to help/contribute to the prep, cooking, cleaning up and just sits there being critical and annoys the shit out of me. So I’ve said no to her and BIL coming because I’ve had enough.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Sat 02-Dec-17 09:26:31

Or that. Just have a year off and don't see anyone for Christmas. Shut the doors, batten down the hatches... Bloody lovely.

BewareOfDragons Sat 02-Dec-17 09:31:46

Tell everyone to bring dishes that have been prepared and are ready to be cooked/warmed up. And a bottle each.


Tell everyone you're booking a Chrismas dinner and/or Boxing Day dinner out and it will be £££ per person plus tip. Please bring enough cash or be prepared to sort out your own payment with the restaurant, as you can't afford to subsidize anyone.

Your family is unreasonable to be dumping all the work and expenses on you under the circumstances.

Otherwise, just tell the ungrateful ones to stay home.

noenergy Sat 02-Dec-17 09:32:43

Just do it on Boxing Day. That sounds so stressful 2 days in a row. With 2 young DC.

The DC will have a family Xmas, your family.

PricillaQueenOfTheDesert Sat 02-Dec-17 09:33:15

What Dons1975 said. It’s the perfect arrangement.

zoomiee Sat 02-Dec-17 09:34:51

Last year, to break the news that we wanted Christmas Day to ourselves, we did a group message saying 'what a truly exhausting year it had been and so we are opting for a quiet home day on Christmas Day, but we would love to have everybody over in Boxing Day...and then listed a few item requests, with a very cheery 'we all know how busy and expensive Christmas can be, so if we all put in together, everyone gets to have fun!' And then; Mum- you're on mash potato duty and desserts plus some snacks for the eve, PIL please bring booze for the table and cheese, BIL please bring your famous stuffing, DSis can you bring fizz...?
Etc etc

It reminded people that always being the host requires a load of organisation, and money, and if everyone chipped in a bit, it would help massively. People moaned and complained and asked to bring different things so we negotiated a but but overall I stood my ground and it was appreciated. My mum has therefore just assumed we won't be seeing anyone on Christmas Day this year too- and she's right! See u Boxing Day with some roast veggies, please!!

Hissy Sat 02-Dec-17 11:37:05

Come on! This is important!

You just can’t do it this year, you’re stressed to the point of being signed off, your dd is struggling with suspected autism, they won’t help you in any way.. you’ve got more than enough reason to say that this year it’s just you and your family at home.

Please put yourself and your kids first and just have a nice quiet Christmas Day/Boxing Day. Arrange to meet up before or after if you like, but absolutely don’t host.

Your H can make the call “we’ve given it a lot of thought and no matter how we try, there’s just no way we can host again this year, so we’ll have a quiet family Christmas at home and see you sometime over the Christmas period.”

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