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To sort of step away from both families this christmas and...

(58 Posts)
TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Wed 19-Aug-09 14:09:27

just go for lunch at a restaurant- just me, DH and DS?

I will be heavily pregnant by then and I won't want to be wound up by family. I get very stressed every xmas by all the expectations.

Year before last, my sister and I had had a really rough time with 1 another, I was pregnant, she was going through IVF and hated me because of it. When xmas came and we were both pregnant and emotional we ended up rowing, DP went to the pub with his family and came home pissed, we were staying with my family at the time as we had problems with our rented home. My family did nothing at the night time and I went to bed at 6pm, bored and upset.

Last year we had lunch with my family and went to see DH's family at the pub because they couldn't tear themselves away to actually spend some time with DS. They were all drunk, tension rose and DH's nana started shouting that DS was spoilt rotten as he cried when she drunkenly grabbed at him. He was 7 months old. Horrible xmas.

This year I don't mind people coming round or us visiting them after DS has opened his prezzies in the morning, but I'd quite like DH, DS and I to go for xmas dinner together in a restaurant.

This is going to cause huge amount of moaning from the family, but I just think it is easier than all the fuss.

Then there'll be a big issue over whether we stay at home, got to DH's family or my family at night time.

Sorry this is long but I need to know whether I am being unreasonable as I don't want to really offend either family, I just want us to have a nice xmas.

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Wed 19-Aug-09 14:10:09

The reason I'm asking in August is I need to book the xmas day meal now-ish if that's what we're doing.

moondog Wed 19-Aug-09 14:11:58

Then don't worry about offending peopel. It's their problem not yours.Book your nice lunch out and just close your ears to petty whingeing.

Iklboo Wed 19-Aug-09 14:12:56

My folks Xmas Eve
MIL Boxing Day

Batten down the hatches, lock the doors & bar the windows Xmas day. No-one and I mean no-one gets to see us Xmas day - that's for me, Dh and DS. Phone calls to thank for pressies and to wish Happy Christmas by all means.

This is how it has always been and this is how it shall always be according to the laws of iklboo grin

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Wed 19-Aug-09 14:16:06

Iklboo- just out of curiosity, what do you do on xmas day? I'm unsure what to do with our evening as I don't want it to be sort of 'boring'. I was thinking I could start a tradition of getting DH a stand up comedian dvd each year, and we could watch it at the night and have a drink?

lynniep Wed 19-Aug-09 14:16:31

You know what. I dont think YABU at all. Just do it. Its your christmas too.

We have this dilemma every year. We spend the whole of DH's week off travelling to one set of parents then the other. Its not a holiday although it is nice to see them. Parents/siblings are inevitably offended about where we spend xmas day. DS gets secretly fed sweets (not so secret - I do know when people give him chocolate!) and gets manic.

This year I'll have a brand new baby and whilst I dont want to go through all the palaver, on one side we have a very ill dad, and on the other we have a terminally ill dad who possibly won't be around. So no idea what we're going to do. But the idea of just going to the pub and having a meal with a peacefully sleeping baby (yeah, right, lol) and a toddler who sits still for more than 5 minutes (hmm) sounds wonderful!

MaybeAfterBreakfast Wed 19-Aug-09 14:28:09

YANBU at all.

I'd tell people your plans now (or soonish) rather than close to Christmas when emotions seem to run high.

branflake81 Wed 19-Aug-09 14:46:59


I hate this "Christmas is for families" thing, ie implying "family" is only you, DP and DC.

Your parents don't stop being your parents just because you've grown up and I think it's insulting to suggest that now you have this new little family unit they are no longer needed.

OK, they might be a PITA (aren't all families) and Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the odd row.

GirlsAreLoud Wed 19-Aug-09 14:52:48

Did you start a thread before the event about taking DS to see the in-laws in the pub? Not that it's relevant at all! I just think I remember it.

and no, YANBU.

wishingchair Wed 19-Aug-09 14:54:23

Year before last we had christmas on our own and it was lovely. Not sure I would like to go to a pub with my 2 DCs ... the stress involved in making sure they're behaving and not disrupting anyone else's christmas wouldn't be fun for me. Plus they would just want to play with their new toys so wouldn't appreciate having to spend 2 hours sitting still in a boring old pub.

My view is Christmas can be whatever you want it to be. You can eat whatever you want to eat, go wherever you want to go. If you invite people round to yours then they are coming to YOUR house so you do Christmas however you want to.

As for what to do in the evening ... once we've got the kids to bed it is same as always ... chat, crappy film/dvd, more booze, turkey sandwiches, maybe force everyone to play a board game, fall asleep on sofa. Ah Christmas!

Calbourne Wed 19-Aug-09 14:58:37

So pleased you started this thread. I too am fed up cowtowing to family obligations and navigating various sensitivites. I like your plan Iklboo.... might just steal that for myself. Family life is different from when our parents were raising families. We work very long hours and need to batten down the hatches to preserve some quality time for ourselves once in a while.

Let everyone know in advance and it is sorted...

2rebecca Wed 19-Aug-09 15:01:26

I think now you have children you and your husband get to decide where to spend Christmas. Too much charging round on Christmas day just causes stress. I'd do what you want on the day itself and ignore the moans. If your family really care about you then they'll be happy to leave you to your small family Christmas if that's what you want. I can't imagine ever telling any of my family that they "must" see me on Christmas day. It's not as though any of them sound as though they will be on their own and lonely.
I think large family Christmases are great if that's what you want, but that you shouldn't feel as though you need a doctor's note to get out of them if that's not what you want. The op isn't saying she won't see the rellies over the xmas and new year period, just that she wants a bit of peace on the actual day itself. Sounds fine to me.

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Wed 19-Aug-09 15:03:34

Good God everywhere I've spoken to has said £65 for xmas lunch! I think that's steep. Got some saving to do. Fortunately DS is good in restaurants because he loves his food so he just enjoys sitting eating grin

My ideal xmas would be me cooking for both sides of the family, but our house is too small so it's just not feasable.

Girls- maybe, I can't remember in all honesty lol. It was just stress stress stress and I cried at the end of the night.

cheltenhamgal Wed 19-Aug-09 15:07:19

YANBU for the past six years I have been up north to my families but last year I decided that I was fed up of all the travelling, with bags of presents on the train, all the petty arguments and not being able to spend time doing what I fancied doing. So last year I spent Christmas at home, Christmas Eve my dd and I went to a pantomime, Christmas day was just her and I, Boxing Day we spent all day in our PJ's watching DVDs and then went up to see my family the following day. It was fab !!! and as a result I felt much less stressed and more like I had had a proper break

CMOTdibbler Wed 19-Aug-09 15:08:03

Dh and I have had a firm policy since we were together that there is no tradition about Christmas - we have chosen to do all sorts of different things over the years, and enjoyed all of them in different ways. Possibly one of the best was when we tiled the kitchen and ate black forest gateau for Christmas lunch grin

So, do what you both want imo, and family will have to lump it. Sounds like they wouldn't be happy any way you did it

2rebecca Wed 19-Aug-09 15:13:41

I'd just do a small xmas dinner of your own rather than go out. Less stressful if young children. For less than the sort of money you'd spend going out you can get ready prepared veg and a nice small bird or hunk of meat. We listen to classic fm's carols and then go for walk or watch tv or play scrabble/games/ whatever kids have for xmas if in.

Iklboo Wed 19-Aug-09 15:20:16

Xmas day -

wake up at ungodly hour as DS is 3

Get up, come downstairs and open all the pressies. Phone rellies to say 'thank you for lovely £1 shop umbrella, how kind' etc

Make breakfast - something fun like pancakes

Assemble/play with toys (ours included grin)

I start the lunch - not fans of turkey so get something we can shove in oven & forget about - last year we had stuffed venison

Play some more, watch tv

Eat lunch, we all have a nap wink

Make something for tea, bath DS and put him to bed, probably around 8pm

Me & DH make inroads on the alcohol - watch a film or maybe play a silly board game, wii etc

DS shouts down for us to stop being noisy as he's trying to get to sleep hmm

Phone out for a pizza/kebab/curry for supper

And so to bed........

SausageRocket Wed 19-Aug-09 15:21:14

We usually go to BIL2's house on xmas day and DH's fasmily all come to us on Boxing day. It started off that way and has pretty much stuck (for 8yrs).

I've only got my Mum, family-wise and she lives 1h45m away. I have said to DH that I'd like to have xmas off without having to do the inlaws thing, they are lovely but I've had enough hours before the rest of them and I just want to go home and be left in peace, but DH agrees in principle but then changes his mind because it'll offend his brothers and it'll be boring. What is so wrong with spending the day in PJ's vegging out together just for once ? Dh thinks it is pointless and boring but I get very fed up of the having to be sparkling and witty for 48 hours straight and then (insult to injury) having to go to work afterwards (I only get xmas day & boxing day off as stat hols, the rest of them either don't work or get 2 weeks off over xmas). Dh looks so gutted and the kids love the tradition so I put up with it and end up feeling rather resentful that his family seem to tale precedent every year and mine gets 'oh we'll see them at some point over the break' (Mum is pretty self sufficient and her and her DP spend time chilling out together, she is not pushy about seeing me). BIL2 (xmas host) takes it as a given now that we'll be there. Don;t get me wrong, it is lovely that he wants us there but I do feel a bit miffed that our attendance now seems to have become something of a 3 line whip.

Grr. I am not normally a doormat but on this issue I seem to back down everytime.

The kicker is that this year we are doing xmas day (BIL2's request, me not consulted) and so I can't just suggest to DH that we leave when I've had enough, they will all be in my bloody house. No escape. All 14. Thankfully DH is cooking so I shall prob just get plastered.

lovechoc Wed 19-Aug-09 15:35:27

I couldn't give a toss about relatives, we've been having Christmas just DH, myself and DS now for two years in a row and it's the best thing ever. We get to do what we like, make phone calls to wish others merry christmas, but that's about it.

Just do what you want for a change. I just personally can't be ar*ed with trying to please others, so please myself instead (and DH and DS).

That sounds utterly selfish now that I've typed that out, but if it's what makes you happy then go for it. Especially if you are pregnant, you need as less stress as poss at Christmas time.

Good luck on what ever decision you choose

lovechoc Wed 19-Aug-09 15:39:13

meant to add, that I buy in food for Christmas lunch a week before hand (mainly frozen foodstuffs) and we have a leisurely time at home on Christmas Day just the three of us. It also saves arguments on trying to please my parents or ILs ('who's house is it this year' argument).

GossipMonger Wed 19-Aug-09 15:45:42

I would do a meal at home courtesy of M&S if I was you!

Imagine what you could do for the same price as the meal out?! £130+!!

Something yum like coffee and croissants at 10am.

M&S roast duck/goose/whatever
Prepacked veg and gravy
Delish pud

Nap in the afternoon.

Good film

More wine.

Cheese for dinner

Early night!!

Bliss. smile

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Wed 19-Aug-09 16:15:18

Hmm... I've really warmed to the idea of cooking christmas lunch myself. I could defo get M&S food considering how much it'd cost to eat out.

Bacon Muffins and pastries for breakfast

Some kind of yummy roast meat with trimmings for dinner (we both hate turkey and have to eat it every year).

Indulgent pud.

Meat sandwiches, dips and fancy crisps and cheesy crackers for tea.

Sounds perfect. Glad I posted this now!!

Isn't it amazing how many of us end up tryng to please everyone.. and how many of us are deciding not to do it anymore!!

TheDMHatesMe Wed 19-Aug-09 16:22:02

YANBU at all and second the M&S suggestions.

Have a lovely time!

ijustwant8hours Wed 19-Aug-09 16:22:50

I've always wanted christmas day to be just us. Haven't managed it yet though. Last year I was very pregnant (DD born jan 2nd) and invited the inlaws to stay christmas eve night out of guilt, the idea being they would leave pre lunch. They didn't and I had to cook lunch for everyone (I find cooking for people really really stressful). It was all OK in the end but now it means I have to invite my family this year!

I do believe that christmas is for all the family - but that can be the days around christmas day....

lovechoc Wed 19-Aug-09 16:29:49

I think to have Christmas Day on your own as a family unit isn't a big ask, and you can visit relatives Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or any day on the run up to the New Year. I'm sure no one will be offended. My family understand my reasons and know travelling places with a toddler isn't great, when they could be playing with their toys on Christmas morning.

Sounds fab having M&S lunch, if you are going to do it at home, you might as well do it in style!! wink

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