Christmas and New Years.(38 Posts)
How do you, in your family, work the arrangements for Christmas and New Years?
DH not allowed DSD on Christmas Eve/Christmas day. Nor NYE. It's ridiculous.
Instead, we are tied to an alloted slot to see DSD on Christmas day, which DH has to share with his parents, and is simply for collection of presents, with DSD's mum making remarks on the quality. DSD has had presents from her mum that morning, and each of her mum's parents & their partners, so is generally fairly disinterested by the late afternoon.
If we dont take the alloted slot, DH is accused of not making sufficient effort. (DH has never not taken it, but and suggestion that it might not suit causes ructions).
For the last few years we have taken the slot, and when we have DSD a couple of days later, do a sort of mini-xmas day at our house. Has worked fine pre-DC and while DD was a baby.
This year we may go away to my family who live several hundred miles away - I imagine DH not being available for his slot will be unpopular, but we've arranged Christmas around DSD and her mum for several years on the trot now and this year we will have 2 DC, and so at some stage we are going to have to break with that tradition and do what works for us, too.
DSD's mum will never allow DH to have DSD for a Christmas and would make any attempt to change that so deeply unpleasant that DH seems to have accepted this. It doesnt affect me a great deal but I am for him.
Could have written that myself MadamG, although we have been allowed to have DSD once on NewYears, but it seems the more fun she has here the more her mum doesn't want her to come.
Last year DSDs mum said we could have DSD for new year this time, so we have booked a hotel right near the London Eye, but i can't see it not happening, and much the same as you DP just accepts it. Then we'll go with out DD and he'll be very distant and sad 70% of the time because he misses DSD.
oh gosh, sorry that doesn't make much sense, I was half talking to DP as i was writing it. I meant...
Last year DSDs mum said we could have DSD for new year this time, so we have booked a hotel right near the London Eye, but i can't see it happening, and much the same as yours, DP just accepts it. Then we'll go without DSD and he'll be very distant and sad 70% of the time because he misses her.
nothing to do with step anything but I moved on from my dd's father and since (because he's an ass!!) I've dropped dd tohis grandparents (because his parents are also utterly useless) at 9am on Christmas day then I pick her up again at 11am..... and carry on with a nice day
DD and DSS have alternate Xmas weeks with each parent - from 23rd to 30th Dec - its written into DSS's contact order. Both DCs are with the parent who doesn't have Xmas for the rest of the school holidays (inc new year) - in two blocks wrapped around the xmas week.
That's despite living less than a mile from DPs ex and less than 5 miles from DDs dad!
We have an absolute sham of a situtation. I have no children of my own, DP has two.
In the 5 xmases since he got divorced he spends xmas day with his ex and their children, opening gifts, eating xmas lunch (sometimes his parents are invited too), playing games etc etc. It is hugely stressful for everyone involved and I believe that his ex manipulates the situation to make things difficult for me and DP.
On the bright side, every year we have the children from boxing day until new years day which works well for us. We have a really nice new years eve which we hope will become a tradition in years to come.
This xmas I have absolutely no idea what I am doing and have (selfishly) told DP that if he doesn't sort it out I'm going on holiday from the 23rd-30th. I'm giving him till mid November to sort it out...
DSD is grown now so chooses what she does at christmas/ new year, but...
We went through all the, 'ExP can come over on christmas day but SHE can't, and by the way I'm going to give you a time to arrive thats right in the middle of anything YOU were planning, or I might cancel or rearrange at the last moment, anything really thats ruins your day'.
Mum would also, every year without fail, make the 'gift phone call' - 'You can buy daughter xxx for christmas' or 'you need to give me half the cost of the xxx I'm buying daughter for christmas' (plus all the bollocks about 'daughter needs to bring home all the presents she got at yours), until DH lost the plot and told her he would be buying daughter what daughter wanted/he was not paying half to anything he had no discussion in beforehand etc.
All this happened every year without fail.
So,we started to have our own christmas day several days before the real day with stocking on the bed the night before, presents, turkey, visiting relatives etc. We even diverted the phone to messages so ExP couldn't ruin the day.
But, we always had DSD on new years eve as, 'thats the only time I get to go out' - yeah right!
Really interesting to read this thread, since we are pondering the Christmas issue this year.
No problems re: co-operation from the ex, who we get on great with. More a problem of geographical issues, limited holiday from work for DP and I, and the fact that DP and I are both only children. The households involved:
1. Me and DP (in France)
2. DSS and his mum and their family (in France 20m drive away from us)
3. DP's parents (in France, 8 hour drive from us)
4. My parents (in the UK, so a 9 hour drive from us, which includes crossing the Channel)
5. My grandmother (in the UK, no other family except me and my parents, in pretty good health but v. old and unable to contemplate making the trip to France)
...DSS has, until now, always split Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/Boxing Day across his two parents. But for that to work, it means DP and I are pretty much tied to staying here, and our parents coming here too...but it's impossible for my grandmother, so the reality is that my parents stay in the UK to spend Christmas with her, and I can never see my parents over Christmas.
We did all try going to the UK one year, but we arrived on the 23rd and had to get up at 3am after Christmas Day to start the drive back to France to get DSS back at his mum's for Boxing day. Really not great.
I think DP is going to speak to his ex pretty soon to see if a different arrangement can be worked out, like them having DSS on alternate Christmas periods sometimes. But then I feel guilty because it's DSS making the sacrifice, and I wonder if what should really happen is that I should go off to the UK by myself sometimes to spend Xmas with my parents and grandmother. I'd actually be really interested to hear opinions on this...
Natasha - how old is your DSD? Does she make the plane journey alone?
We have ds son from some point on Xmas day and all of boxing day. Without fail though, dss's mum changes the arranged time that we've arranged all our plans around she always says its because she hasn't had lunch ready in time, but we always have to eat before we're ready as if we were late all hell would break loose. The real reason is that she sends him to his ex step dads ( who buys him the expensive presents) in the morning and he gets back late. Last year though, amazingly, she didn't change the time, but when I asked Dss about his Xmas dinner, he hadn't had any! He'd come back from his ex step dads and been collected by me straight away! Luckily there was enough left overs at my mums to rustle him something up albeit re-heated but really, if she didn't want to give him Xmas dinner, he could have come earlier and had it at my mums, I mean it's Xmas dinner ffs!
Last year, DSC's mum had them until 29th and then my DP had them 29-31 (not including the night but that's cos I wasn't really involved with the kids then). They have spoken about their long term plan as being alternating Christmases (and prob NYE too) as well as Easter. We read somewhere that kids having to move about on Christmas Day itself can get draining at the time but also set up this kind of tradition where the poor kids may be travelling the length of the country in their 20s and 30s to ensure they continue this tradition. Seemed potentially messy even for their childhood so I'm glad that DP's ex has stuck to the plan. Arrangements have been made for this year only this week and he has his DCs from 9am Christmas Eve to 9.30am Boxing Day and then again from 9am 28th -6.30pm 30th (which is basically his EOW again) His parents are staying with us on 28th and mine (who the kids have met twice and like) on 29th. Think it should work OK. fingers crossed.
We used to have it written in the court order that the parents took it in turn for Xmas & New Year. So one year they would come to us for the second week of the holidays ( to include New Year), then the next year we had them for the first week including Christmas.
Now they are older they go where ever they want for Christmas Day. Generally their mums as they get the guilt trip still. We just catch up with them at another time.
We get the lot. Both my DCs and DP's DCs as neithet of our exes seem fussed. Bit odd really and partly it makes me a little sad for my two that their Dad doesn't want to bother with it but mainly it's great to have them all. DSC do a full fake Christmas with stockings and turkey a few days before with their mum.
My ex and I alternate new years - as both of us used to prefer to be child free when they were too young to stay up. DP seems to be allowed to choose if he has his or not for new year. I don't have mine this year and would rather he does the same and go out but not sure he's convinced...
Problem I have is the extended family. My niece in particular likes to see her cousins and feels that she's rather been dumped for the DSC instead
It's hard when you're still blending as a new family to have the space to include the wider family
DC will have christmas morning with me and then I will drop them with ex and his family and drive 100 miles with 3 hulking dogs in the car to have dinner with DP and his children. We dont live together, but we do both live very near to our exes, to make things easy for our respective DC. Following year it will be the other way round
At least I dont have to cook
We alternate each year and DC's spend Xmas Eve with me and then go to their Dad's for Xmas dinner the next day. XH only lives a few minutes away and the DC's are happy with this. They usually spend New Year with me as we have a bigh family get together lasting a few days and my XH usually goes out anyway.
My fiancee is having a bit of a nightmare sorting this out with his ex at the moment and has gone fom telling him he will never have his DC's for Xmas to now saying they can stay with us for a few days (gulp)
Pretty amicable here. Alternate Xmas and new year, so we get one or the other with both my DCs and DP's DCs. We have them all together. This year we have Xmas with them, and new year without. I prefer this way - last year we had no DCs at Xmas and all of them at NY. Xmas was rather quiet, odd and sad TBH.
alternate christmas day. new year usually whoever it falls on dependant on whats been planned, pretty ammicable and works well both years for different reasons.
Waiting for the court to decide what we should do just a few weeks before Christmas!
Dp and i can't plan a thing because we might have to drop everything for the steps.
I'm going to make my own plans which won't include dp or dsc.
One year we have the DCs overnight on Christmas Eve until mid Christmas morning, then back to us from mid morning Boxing Day. Then New Year is whoever doesn't have Christmas day has DCs on NYE. The next year is the opposite. Has worked for last three years, we accept it may change as the DCs get older though and at some point we'll let then choose. Furthest we need to travel is 35 minutes though.
Wow there's an awful lot of cooperation on this thread - gives me hope!
DP has been told by exP that he will never have the children for Christmas. She is very certain about this (they don't get on).
We don't live close enough for a visit on Christmas Day, and besides, I think there's too much acrimony for to be a pleasant option. It's a point that will hopefully be addressed in the upcoming mediation, as DP (and me!) would love go have them for Christmas!
Feel for you theredhen - same here. Luckily have understanding bosses and families who can put up with the uncertainty. Still, as my grandma used to say, Christmas happens when we're together - and that's certainly been the case the last few years, had some great '2nd Christmas days'! But when you know you're not with the kids because their mother thinks their father and time with him is totally unimportant to them and utterly expendable - puts a bit of a downer on things!
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