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Impossible sister at Christmas time(19 Posts)
Going to try to make this short.
I live in North West with my DP and DS. My sister lives with her DP in the same town as our Mum, in the South East. Our Dad lives in Cornwall.
For last 4 years, since Dad moved, the same issue.
Sister will not have Dad to stay and Mum is only invited to go over for a few hours on Christmas Day.
We end up having Dad at ours for Christmas, otherwise he'd be home alone at Christmas, and I can't see why family shouldn't be with family.
Dont get me wrong, we love having Dad with us. Just would be nice to alternate it each year....one year we have Dad, the next Mum, and vice versa for my sister.
You'd think it would be easy.
Every time I talk to my sister about it, she comes up with a million and one excuses.
Don't know what I can do apart from have a row with her, but its not like I can "force" her to do alternate Christmas's.
What do you think?
Sounds like there is a problem with her relationship with your dad that you don't know about. Can't you have your dad over on Christmas eve and Christmas day, and then your mum for Boxing day and 27th?
I don't see why she should? If you want to, fair enough, but pushing her to be a host is not on IMO.
What are her reasons for not wanting her dad there?
I think, you think your Dad shouldn't be alone at Christmas - which is fine but that's your opinion not your sisters.
It sounds like she has really different ideas about what you do at Christmas to you. For you it means mum or dad staying over, for her it doesn't. Your mum and dad may also have different ideas to you - do you know what your mum thinks about going over for a few hours - she might be perfectly happy with it, or your dad - he might not mind being on his own at Christmas. Christmastime spreads over a couple of weeks -do you have to have him on 25th December or would some time over the period be just as good?
If he really wants to spend time with your sister, it's down to him to organise it with her, rather than you do it for him, and they may have history you know nothing about.
Unfortunately families and Christmas change and what's right for one person isn't necessarily going to be right for the whole family. Unless there's more to it than you've said, your sister may not feel she is unreasonable.
Thanks for your responses. I'll address a few things....
My sister and Dad have a very close relationship, if anything, its Mum she has an issue with. Excuses have ranged from "there's not enough room" (we don't have any spare rooms, Dad books himself into a local hotel which works well for all of us). The plan this year was going to be sister going to his for Christmas, but that fell through as they couldn't find anyone to look after the dog.
Dad would be alone at Christmas. Through his choice, he's a loner. He hasn't got any friends or family near to him. If we didn't invite him, he'd be by himself. He gets so excited to have our invitation.
She has told me that she would much prefer to spend Christmas with Dad than with Mum, but it just never happens. She has never given any reasons why she doesn't want him to stay, like I said she does want him to....she goes on about not having any space (she lives in a 3 bed house, with 2 spare rooms).
I absolutely agree about "pushing her to be host". If she didn't want to see Dad or have Dad at Christmas, then I would leave it. But she doesn't say this, she says the opposite. In fact, she says that she doesn't want to host Mum for Christmas, but every year she does.
And yes, maybe it is my opinion that my parents shouldn't be alone at Christmas. I've never asked her how she feels about it, and I should - thanks. I'm more than happy to accept this.
However, it makes it hard when my Mum and Dad both want to be able spend Christmas with family. Mum is now getting really upset that we don't see her at Christmas. But I just can't let Dad be alone. My problem? Maybe. But when my sister says that mum is a "burden" at Christmas and she'd rather see Dad....why can't it be sorted?
My suspicion is my sisters DP doesn't want either of our parents with him at Christmas, not my sister.
Mum hates going over for a few hours. Last year she ate her Christmas dinner then was told by sister "ok, I'll take you home now". It's upsetting Mum.
Dad says that he'd spend Christmas alone (he hasn't actually mentioned that he'd be happy to do so though)....but I can't have my Dad without family on Christmas Day.....I know this is my opinion and not shared by all. Just saying how i feel about it.
My Dad and sister have tried organising it before, but it's never materialised. It's clear from Dad how much he enjoys being with us at Christmas.
I feel torn.
You can't change you sister or her DP, esp if he is really behind this. My DH is lovely but would be v at the thought of having my mum to stay at Christmas. Equally I wasn't impressed at the idea that I had to buy all my in-laws presents. Families grow and change and new members have different preferences.
Could you alternate your mum and dad yourself and have one for Christmas and one for New Year? Or Easter? Or birthdays? Or just an occasion you've made up between you?
Neither of your parents can expect you to be superwoman or split yourself in two or magic your sister's DP into someone else. You aren't responsible for all those people's happiness so relax a little
I think you need back off and let other people organise themselves.
Maybe your sister's DP doesn't want your parents with them at Christmas - and that is between your sister and her DP. Perhaps they've both agreed on that, and that's perfectly ok. There is nothing at all wrong with not wanting guests at Christmas. Or perhaps they're arguing about it - still not your business. You really need to stop backing your sister into a corner where she feels she has to come up with excuses.
I think you need to invite who you want, to be with you at Christmas. Some years you may presumably go to stay with other people, or have your dp's family to stay, or have no one to stay? Does your dp want your family to stay every year?
Thanks again for replies.
Maybe I should to speak to my sister about how she feels about Christmas. I don't think I've asked her exactly what she wants. I wouldn't want to force anything on her, I'm just going by what she says...but maybe I need to ask her more direct questions.
We did have Mum at Mothers Day last year. But when both Mum and Dad want to come to spend Christmas Day at ours, its hard to know what to do.
After all, my sisters DPs relatives spend Christmas with them at last minute. If that is what my sister wants then so be it.
Its just hard when she moans to me about having Mum rather than having Dad.
And yes, my DP's view is that no family member on his side or mine should be by themselves at Christmas. I've asked him several times about it, and he tells me that he really enjoys having my Dad and would love to have my Mum too....so that doesn't appear to be an issue.
I assume your Mum & Dad wouldn´t want to be together with you?
But if you invite your Mum to you-would your sister let your Dad be alone?
If your sister isn't willing or able to 'do her bit' you'll have to either invite them both, or alternate years?
kinkyfuckery - wouldn't be able to invite them both, so would only leave option of alternate years. Yes, I know this is my issue (well, and my DPs too) but I'm not happy with one parent being alone.
Thing is, if we invite Dad (which we have been doing) then Mum will see Sis, albeit for a short time.
If we invite Mum, Dad will be alone.
Its a hard decision for me to make.
Is it your decision though? Your mum and dad are both adults and presumably capable of organising their own lives. They were adult enough to split up and face the consequences of this. Not being able to visit together at Christmas is one of those consequences both for your mum and your dad.
At the moment it sounds as if you are their parent, rather than the other way round.
If it helps, I will never invite my parents round for xmas, my MIL, SFIL, BIL + and GF come around and I love that.
If any of my sisters told me i had to have my parents here I would tell them where to shove it.
Yes xmas is about family etc but if she feels it would ruin her xmas then why make her do it?
I appreciate its hard for you to choose but maybe if you have your DM for xmas then DF could come for new year or boxing day. but try to be fair about the fact she may just not want to see them for xmas.
Invite your mum this year. Three hours at your sister's then getting kicked out sounds rubbish!
Invite your mum, invite your dad. If you feel so inclined invited your sister and her DP.
They are adults allow them to accept or decline as they see fit, but don't try to impose your ideals on your sister.
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