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We should be kind on Christmas Day?

(88 Posts)
marmitedreams Thu 10-Oct-19 11:53:56

I have seen many threads in the last couple of weeks with people asking if they are being unreasonable for wanting to exclude relatives and in-laws on Christmas Day. Surely Christmas Day is a time for peace to all and love to all. A lot of people seem to be selfishly worrying that they will not have a great day. We should all be thinking how we can help others have a great day.

Unless there is a backstory of horrible abuse, why not use Christmas Day as an opportunity to be kind.

Simkin Thu 10-Oct-19 11:56:08

You are right of course, but sometimes you just think you can't take being a doormat ANY MORE. And it does sometimes feel like 'Christmas is for the kids' really means 'Christmas is shit for middle aged women, get over it'...

Piffle11 Thu 10-Oct-19 12:32:48

But there's a lot of grey in between 'getting on' and 'horrible abuse', isn't there? I've had MIL's (2nd) DH sitting here, glaring at me at celebrations, refusing to join in, sometimes even refusing to come (which meant MIL stayed for 20 mins and wouldn't open her gifts without him) … and why? Because I dare stand up for myself (he's a misogynist bully who is used to getting his own way). I've had my DF acting like a twat to BIL, because my DF thinks he's intellectually superior and BIL has said something inaccurate. This was during a fucking board game! My DParents only want to watch TV, and the last time they came for Christmas their behaviour was very upsetting: wouldn't join in, didn't offer any help, ignored our young DC, insisted on watching TV, then disappeared off home as soon as they could. So none of this is 'horrible abuse' but why should I put myself out when they can't be bothered to reciprocate? It only works if EVERYONE is prepared to make an effort, but there's always someone who thinks their needs and wants trump everyone else's. And they are the people being excluded.

Chamomileteaplease Thu 10-Oct-19 12:35:24

Yes this really annoys me on here. If someone doesn't want to invite someone for Christmas it usually means that that someone is a bit of a shit. So why should they invite them.

Otherwise you would wouldn't you? I mean you are not going to leave your elderly mother/uncle/whatever all on their own if they are kind and sweet and good fun are you? grin

StealthNinjaMum Thu 10-Oct-19 12:37:07

I agree with piffle there is a lot of grey between 'getting on' and 'horrible abuse'. My parents and inlaws have spent years having xmas with me and doing absolutely nothing. Last year I had separated from my exh and was crying over the turkey, hoping dc wouldn't notice, and no-one did anything to help even though the adults knew the situation. If any of those people ever want to come to my house over the Christmas period they can just fuck off. They weren't directly abusive but they certainly weren't kind or caring to me the one time I needed it.

CatteStreet Thu 10-Oct-19 12:38:59

Exactly what Simkin said.

That perfect family Christmas is a hell of a lot of work, usually for women, who have usually been socialised to 'be kind' abnd put everyone else's needs before their own. I find the threads you reference often originate after the OP has been 'being kind' and running round after everyone else for years of Christmases and can't face it one more time. Plus older women in a family have often traditionally exercised power by making demands on the younger women. Of course there are instances of preciousness over 'our little family', but not sure they're the majority.

thecatsthecats Thu 10-Oct-19 12:43:53

When a couple get together, they merge two sets of Christmas traditions.

If they're sensible, they'll compromise and create their own Christmas. If their parents are sensible, they'll fold into the new ways however they turn out. If they're lucky, both sides will have exactly the same traditions and everyone will get along in a mansion sized house.

If they're not sensible, they'll fight each other and their parents to get their way. If the parents aren't sensible, they'll force unwanted traditions that cause more discomfort than joy, caring more for tradition and getting their own way than the happiness of the new family. If they're really unlucky, everyone will want something different and righteously insist on it.

Kindness isn't just about letting demanding people have their way. It's about not putting pressure on people and putting your own demands first.

(incidentally, the fact that my parents take this approach is why we're going to them this year, because we know that even though they're more fun, the pressure will be piled on by PILs)

thecatsthecats Thu 10-Oct-19 12:46:12

Oh, and I always shout this, but TIS THE SEASON... My parents did their own version of Christmas Day alone last year and sounded really cheerful. We'd been to see them earlier as we were on honeymoon.

Crystal87 Thu 10-Oct-19 12:48:15

I'm not going to ruin my children's Christmas for a relative who isn't very nice to have around and would without doubt spoil it for everyone else, thanks very much. And yes Christmas is for everyone, not just kids, but if you have kids then of course they are the priority on the day.

WatchItGrotchet Thu 10-Oct-19 12:49:56

There's way way too much grey in between. Personally I wouldn't spit on SIL if she was on fire (DH also hates her btw). I would not spend any time in her company, especially Christmas where it's a time to enjoy it with my family.

Everybody has different relationships, I would never judge anyone on who they do and do not want to be around.

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Thu 10-Oct-19 12:50:30

I do agree in some regards and there have been an awful lot of threads this week about Christmas.

On the other hand I spend the other 364 days of the year being flexible and including people I’d rather not into our lives.
Christmas Day I’m selfish and we spend it just me, DH and DCs.
The difference here to other threads I’ve seen this week is that DH and I agree on this setup. If either of us fancy a change it is of course open for fair discussion and our plans are not set in stone from now to eternity.

Kaykay06 Thu 10-Oct-19 12:55:16

I work every other Christmas Day so when I get a year off I want to spend it with family, with people who mean something to me. Christmas isn’t an excuse to forgive/include people if they don’t deserve it, to come and ruin a special time for myself and my children. I am happy to be kind and thoughtful ALL year so if someone else isn’t then I’m really not up for excusing bad behaviour for one day, would make me a bit of a hypocrite really.

Hesafriendfromwork Thu 10-Oct-19 12:55:34

My christmas is spent with my best friend, her husband, her kids, my kids and my dp.

I have no inclination to drive an hour so my mum can see the kids. I havenr even seen her this year. She wont drive to us so ds can play with his toys, rather than up, open presents, get dressed leave, come back 3/4 hours later, me and dp cook dinner. Then eat and the finally relax.

Ds likes a sleep in. He hasnt been up before 9am on christmas since he was 3. He is now 8. We get up open presents, he plays or watches some TV. We get taxi, the 3 minutes to my friends. We take his toys and their presents.

Then for the rest of the day, the kids are playing, we play with them, we all cook together. It's a great day.

For me christmas is about the kids having a lovely day and us all spending time with those who are kind to us all year round. Not just December.

0lga Thu 10-Oct-19 12:59:00

I think it’s especially important that MEN should be kind and unselfish at Christmas. Because women are busy doing that the other 51 weeks of the year.

Men need to organise cards and presents, decorate the house, plan menu, shop , cook and entertain relatives on Christmas Day. They should focus on how they can help others have a great day.

WatchItGrotchet Thu 10-Oct-19 12:59:13

Christmas isn’t an excuse to forgive/include people if they don’t deserve it, to come and ruin a special time for myself and my children.


WatchItGrotchet Thu 10-Oct-19 13:01:56


My DH is always kind and unselfish, so are my friends husbands.

Whatever kind of men you are around that are selfish and mean are the wrong kind.

userxx Thu 10-Oct-19 13:03:59

Hesafriendfromwork - Christmas with friends is brilliant isnt it, I've been doing it for years.

GingersAreLush Thu 10-Oct-19 13:04:02

In theory I think you’re right but practically speaking it’s not always that easy. I speak from experience with my own family. I would happily not spend Christmas with one of my parents and at least one of my siblings, simply because they create drama and upset out of nothing and fuck it, it’s my Christmas too- I don’t want yet another Christmas ruined or wasted because someone decided Christmas day with the extended family is the perfect day to tell their spouse they wish they’d never married them and then have a screaming match outside of my home in front of my neighbours and their own kids during dinner. I’d blame alcohol but these drama llamas are like this sober hmm

BumbleBeee69 Thu 10-Oct-19 13:06:32

Christmas is whatever the hell you want it to be.

0lga Thu 10-Oct-19 13:11:38


My DH is always kind and unselfish, so are my friends husbands

Of course they are. That’s why there’s so many men on the planning for Christmas threads here on MN and buying Good Housekeeping magazine to check on the tastiest stuffing.

Im sure that all men you know have probably cancelled all their social events for the next two months just to save the cash for Christmas.

You are totally right, it’s just me. In every other family ( except mine ) in the Uk if not the world, men do ALL the work for Christmas and other festivities.

Thanks for putting me right.

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Thu 10-Oct-19 13:20:33

Wow @WatchItGrotchet talk about overreaction? People can be kind and unselfish by pitching in. They don’t have to take over absolutely everything to be classed as kind.

No, my DH doesn’t take over everything but he does his fair share. Sure sometimes he drives me bonkers and I wish he’d take some initiative with certain things but on the other hand I’m sure he feels that way about me too because we’re all human.

Besides, this ‘me Me me’ attitude towards Christmas is completely unkind and selfish and obviously mumsnet sways the perception but it does look like and awful lot of women throwing their toys out of the pram over this, rather selfish eh?

Be a team. Do what your family wants to do, but don’t demand you get your own way because you’re the one who researched stuffing hmm

HolyMilkBoobiesBatman Thu 10-Oct-19 13:21:39

Sorry my last post should have tagged @0lga.

There you go, utter technophobe, technology is DHs job in my house wink

Napqueen1234 Thu 10-Oct-19 13:23:10

@0lga you do sounds quite bitter. I wouldn't say my DH was prepping which stuffing to make but hes always kind and unselfish even if his approach to things are different. I don't think it makes sense to single men out at Christmas to make more effort hmm

Straycatstrut Thu 10-Oct-19 13:24:33

I'm having the most quiet, little family christmas possible. Just me, my two boys and our puppy. At ours all day & xmas walk with the dog, hopefully it's snowy as she's never seen snow. My kids, my adult life, my rules. My parents will probably come and visit with more presents for them to open and stay a couple of hours for a drink/mince pie!

Boxing day they're wanted by Ex's family, although I'm not thrilled about this as I think they'll be stuck in the "driving back from home after christmas" mayhem traffic for hours on end.

Hoppinggreen Thu 10-Oct-19 13:25:07

Nope, if I don’t like you 364 days of the year I’m not going to change my mind on 25th December

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