To be upset that ds said this about Christmas?

(204 Posts)
coffeerevelsrock Wed 20-Oct-21 13:47:47

He's 14 and has made a few comments recently about not liking Christmas. He's quite unusual for his age, not really a typical teen and loves history, cricket and politics. Not into expensive stuff so quite hard to buy for. He has an iphone 7 and insists he doesn't want an upgrade. He did ask for a gaming laptop a couple of years ago and is still very happy with it. Other than that all he's ever asked for is books though I get him some other thoughtful bits too that he's usually very pleased with. I'm aware that getting him loads of stuff he doesn't want would make him feel anxious and guilty so I don't do it.

His dad and I divorced 7 years ago and for the first 3 years ex came to our house for lunch on Christmas day. Since then they've stayed at dad's until the 23rd, seen him for a few hours on Christmas afternoon (except last year when he said he wouldn't be there) and then gone with ex to visit wider family 26th- 29thish. The rest of the Christmas holiday they're with me. Every year I ask what they want to do and they always say them same as usual.

We have our routines like most families, though from what I can see ex has never created any there. We get a real tree each year and dc help decorate - or do most of it now. We do a beige - everything - in breadcrumbs- lunch on the 24th, a walk late afternoon and back to Christmas eve bags from the elves, smashing up the gingerbread house for Christmas Eve pudding, always watch nativity and Father Christmas film after tea on Christmas Eve, stockings, multipack cereal for breakfast...just low key stuff but even at their ages (12 and 14) they insist on it all.

Now he keeps saying he doesn't like Christmas and that he won't ever spend it with me or his dad when he's an adult. He also said he thinks his dad's family do it well - they don't make a massive deal, don't decorate or wrap gifts, nothing traditional really. Extremely low-key. I just feel so hurt. I know he's young so it's not a pressing matter but I feel like everything I've tried to do has been thrown back at me. I have honestly tried to make it stress-free and accommodated their adulterous dad for 3 years. I honestly haven't tried to put pressure on but I feel instead of having happy memories he thinks it's all a pile of shit. He has pointed out I don't see my parents at Christmas ( we see them at new year) but my dad is an alcoholic (my kids don't know this as he manages to stay dry for the 3 days or so per year we see them) and my relationship is quite strained. They live 3 hours away too. I feel like my crap family has come back to haunt me despite it not really being my fault. I have mainly just laughed his comments off but I don't find it funny at all really.

AIBU to feel hurt by this?

OP’s posts: |
coffeerevelsrock Wed 20-Oct-21 13:48:19

blush Sorry it's so long and waffly.

OP’s posts: |
RedHelenB Wed 20-Oct-21 13:51:08

Think teenagers go through a spell of thinking Christmas is boring at his age. Don't take it personally, if he enjoyed it at the time he will have happy memories.

Mommabear20 Wed 20-Oct-21 13:52:24

Yanbu but as a child of divorced parents who is now a mother herself, please don't take it personally. No matter what you do it will be wrong, that's not to be mean to your DS but especially at his age, everything is changing in his world, and things like Christmas, family, emotions etc are all even harder to process and understand.

Prettybubblesintheair Wed 20-Oct-21 13:54:28

Ah bless you, I understand that must have hurt. I have a 13yo ds who is a bit of a grinch at Christmas! No advice but didn’t want to read and run x

Ionlydomassiveones Wed 20-Oct-21 13:57:24

I ‘hated’ Christmas as a teen. My mother was a menopausal psychopath and I rebelled against having to smile and pretend I was happy. The ‘low key’ Christmas probably suits his current feelings because he doesn’t have to pretend too much. He hasn’t got the excitement of when they were little and it all seems a bit hollow. Allow him his grump and appreciate that in some limited way he is communicating with you. Try not to take it personally. He won’t always feel this way.

RealMermaid Wed 20-Oct-21 13:57:51

You're not unreasonable to be hurt but just remember he's still a teenager and everything his parents like is desperately uncool. He may yet change his mind!

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Topseyt Wed 20-Oct-21 14:05:23

Don't take it to heart. Speak to him and say that you were surprised by his comments the other day but you appreciate that things can be difficult and confusing with divorced parents. You appreciate too that as he is nearing adulthood his perspective is changing so how would he like Christmas to be (within reason considering any siblings) and you will try to accommodate if you can.

If I am totally honest, I personally find Christmas a bit of a pain in the arse during the run up, though I enjoy it with my family and at the restaurant we go to on the day. If your DS wants to keep it simple and no fancy wrapping paper then why not do that for him?

amylou8 Wed 20-Oct-21 14:06:01

I'm with him, I really dislike Christmas. I hate the change in routine, the clutter, the fuss, the buying stuff for the sake of it. That said I'd never begrudge anyone else, and the people that love it and get joy from it I'm genuinely please for. Of course I made the effort when the kids were little, but now they're grown and with their own partners the sense of relief not having to do Christmas is the best part of it.

ShrinkingViolet9 Wed 20-Oct-21 14:07:20

"We get a real tree each year and dc help decorate - or do most of it now. We do a beige - everything - in breadcrumbs- lunch on the 24th, a walk late afternoon and back to Christmas eve bags from the elves, smashing up the gingerbread house for Christmas Eve pudding, always watch nativity and Father Christmas film after tea on Christmas Eve, stockings, multipack cereal for breakfast...just low key stuff but even at their ages (12 and 14) they insist on it all."

Sounds exhausting.

Zeev Wed 20-Oct-21 14:08:30

ShrinkingViolet9

"We get a real tree each year and dc help decorate - or do most of it now. We do a beige - everything - in breadcrumbs- lunch on the 24th, a walk late afternoon and back to Christmas eve bags from the elves, smashing up the gingerbread house for Christmas Eve pudding, always watch nativity and Father Christmas film after tea on Christmas Eve, stockings, multipack cereal for breakfast...just low key stuff but even at their ages (12 and 14) they insist on it all."

Sounds exhausting.

I think it sounds lovely.

Taoneusa Wed 20-Oct-21 14:09:03

You are reasonable to feel hurt! I would tell him he’s being callous and unfeeling.

I would also stress that I want to have a shared nice time at Christmas, and say, ok, we have to brainstorm together how to do Christmas this year so that we all enjoy it. Maybe he can come up with a game idea or a movie idea?

I would probably enlist him to help with cooking as well, and play Christmas music and or Christmas stories while we chop red cabbage together etc. Get him involved and explain it’s a time for togetherness and sharing, so you have to give of yourself, not just be a critical spectator!

SnipSnipMrBurgess Wed 20-Oct-21 14:09:35

My son has been like this the last few years, he was.actually struggling with his mental health and I think he found it overwhelming so refused to take part. How is your son generally?

Wimpeyspread Wed 20-Oct-21 14:11:02

I agree with him, I’ve never liked Christmas much, would much rather spend it on my own than all the stressful family get together and preparation/shopping/clearing up

honeylulu Wed 20-Oct-21 14:11:23

Sounds like teenage grumps to me.
I think there's a point at which adolescents realise that all the "magic" of Christmas - I don't mean Santa - but special once a year things like trees, decorations, festive food etc is actually all "stuff" assembled by adults once a year and suddenly it doesn't seem special. I can remember like that. But it passed and I've loved Christmas again ever since. Hard to explain properly but it's a sort of "oh my childhood is over and my eyes are opened" feeling.

coffeerevelsrock Wed 20-Oct-21 14:12:41

Thank you for the replies. I feel silly mentioning this in rl so this has helped.

Ds prides himself on not being a typical teenager and enjoys his rep as an oddball (his word) at school. Seems thinking mum is a bit shit is the one stereotypical thing he is happy to indulge in though...

I don't think our routines are exhausting? As I said, kids insist on it (well, up to now they have anyway - obviously too early to say for this year). I think it's all quite simplistic compared to others and one thing I feel guilty about is it's always just the three of us. I feel like it would be more fun if we had extended family but we don't.

OP’s posts: |
picketingpanic Wed 20-Oct-21 14:12:42

My son is autistic and finds Christmas very overwhelming. We have to keep everything super low key as he gets stressed very easily.

Thecurtainsofdestiny Wed 20-Oct-21 14:13:14

Like pp I also think it's not personal. At this age teenagers start trying to define themselves as different from their parents; this is likely part of that. It doesn't mean he didn't enjoy all you did before. And later he might change his mind again!

PRsecrets Wed 20-Oct-21 14:14:16

ShrinkingViolet9

"We get a real tree each year and dc help decorate - or do most of it now. We do a beige - everything - in breadcrumbs- lunch on the 24th, a walk late afternoon and back to Christmas eve bags from the elves, smashing up the gingerbread house for Christmas Eve pudding, always watch nativity and Father Christmas film after tea on Christmas Eve, stockings, multipack cereal for breakfast...just low key stuff but even at their ages (12 and 14) they insist on it all."

Sounds exhausting.

Haha it's crazy how we all see things so differently. That sounds really low key and calm to me (but in a very lovely, cosy way)!

You'd hate our Christmases - but it's what I grew up with so anything short of rowdy, boozy and constant activity/laughs seems quiet and low key to me.

ChubbyK Wed 20-Oct-21 14:15:58

I think he's just a teenager, they're not bothered as much as they get older. It sounds like a lot of your Xmas eve routines (elves/gingerbread house/kids films) are quite "young" and at 14 he probably can't be arsed anymore.

Its nothing against you. I can remember my mum trying to keep the magic alive, and tbh it was more for her benefit than me. As a teenager I wasn't as fussed, but to her I think she was sad that I was growing up.

GoodnightGrandma Wed 20-Oct-21 14:16:56

Don’t let it get to you. Continue with your normal Christmas but don’t insist that he joins in.
Now my kids are grown I have to agree that it’s boring. I cook a glorified Sunday roast that hardly gets eaten because they’re full of chocolate etc.
I have to say thank you for gifts I don’t want - I’d rather they keep the money.
There are so many expectations around Xmas, but it’s actually enforced boredom.
I enjoy the run up to Xmas, putting the tree up, drinking frothy coffee under a snuggly blanket while watching a soppy Xmas love film etc, but I don’t enjoy the actual days. I’d happily skip them.

TheKeatingFive Wed 20-Oct-21 14:17:27

I think it sounds lovely.

Me too. No shortage of Scrooge's around here though!

OP, he's just being 14. I think it's normal to rebel a bit against family traditions at that age. Don't take it to heart, it's just a phase. My brothers and I wanted our family Christmas rituals to continue well into our 30s 😳

Justilou1 Wed 20-Oct-21 14:18:37

He sounds like he’s maturing and now that the “little kid” phase is over, his childhood family has broken up, he wants to discontinue traditions he associates with his childhood, that he feels are babyish, etc. He may also have noticed some of the things that you have tried to protect him from anyway. Kids are amazingly astute. I don’t know him of course, but at 14, I was able to speak to my kids (in an edited way) about some of the issues their grandparents had, and why my DH and enforced really strict boundaries with them. (MH issues, dependency problems, violence, etc.) This is a really hard thing for kids to come to terms with.

Kitkat151 Wed 20-Oct-21 14:19:00

I think lots of teenagers are like this with Christmas.... I wouldn’t worry about it.... how he feels now will have changed in a few years.... my 3 were all nightmares as teenagers.... wouldn’t even get out of bed to open presents.... said it was all boring boring..... fast forward a few years they all love it again.... that’s kids for you... fickle

Mojoj Wed 20-Oct-21 14:19:38

I understand how hurtful this must be but he doesn't mean it, really. My oldest was the same at that age. He's 17 now and is very grateful for all the effort I make. They do grow out of it. And he does love you😍😍

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