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... I already know I am but I guess I need to hear it....

51 replies

Dollygirl2008 · 08/10/2018 14:11

Christmas arrangements with the ex. 1 DD who is 9. We've been apart for the last three years and he has remarried with 3 step children.

I've always had her Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and then he's collected her Boxing Day. However, this year is his year so the idea is that he collects her Christmas Eve and then I go and fetch her Boxing Day. I'm really trying to appeal to his better nature and see if I can have her Christmas morning so that she can do all the Father Christmas stuff at home, but he's having none of it....

I'm sad. I know the right thing is to suck it up but I'm on my own and feeling a bit sorry for myself about the whole thing. I think I might see if I can collect her Christmas night.......

Tell me I'm being a selfish cow and to get a grip!

OP posts:

Ginkypig · 08/10/2018 16:36

My parents divorced when I was around 5 years old.

They did year about and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
I'm thankful to both of them that they managed to be able to put the child's relationships with the other parent first and made that a priority.
As an adult (and now a step parent) I understand quite how difficult that must have been and the strength they had to put their own feelings second to their child's needs.

I loved both my parents and I liked being able to spend time with both sides of the family (grandparents etc) especially during Christmas when seeing family is important but also it's a time when it's more likely that other family will be around to see them if that makes sense.

As the years went on we sometimes did part of Christmas all together because as the years passed their friendship grew and my father and step father also go on well but that's different from most (and your) families situation. It worked for us as a family but probably wouldn't for the majority so I'm not suggesting that to you.


Dollygirl2008 · 08/10/2018 16:44

@Wheresthel1ght thank you - that's a really interesting post from her stepmothers perspective. He's never asked for her at Christmas - this is the first year.

I know you're all right and I am sucking it up. This will also probably the last year she "believes" (if she even does still!) so it will be nice for him to get that. I've made it clear he has to do all the bells-and-whistles stuff that I do such as stocking, food for Santa etc (mind you, I wonder if I do that more for me than her!!!!).

OP posts:

Wellpeeved · 08/10/2018 16:44

We used to split it so Christmas Eve / Christmas morning with one parent then Christmas dinner/ Boxing Day with other. Then alternate. We lived quite close though.


mumsastudent · 08/10/2018 16:45

there are lots of good Christmas markets (Birmingham, Rochester, Bath, Bury St Edmunds) before Christmas - she is getting to the age where she would enjoy them - this year take her to one & have fun & start a new Christmas memory - my adult dd's & I do this now - well recommend it! & take a leaf out of Scotland's book & celebrate Hogmanay! or as on the continent celebrate on Christmas Eve.


Moneypenny007 · 08/10/2018 16:48

Be very careful. I know a family who do year about... it's all great except the xh always insists on sorting Santa himself... fair enough. Santa never lands though. They have had a few mornings and just no gifts.
Make sure it's clear about gifts.


tolerable · 08/10/2018 16:49

will stepkids also be there?it'll be way more big build up with lots of kids than one..


juneau · 08/10/2018 16:53

My parents divorced when I was six. Thereafter, we had Christmas Day with one parent and Boxing day with the other alternately every year. It was the only fair way to do it. If either of my parents had been on their own (they weren't - they both remarried within a year), then I'd have felt sad for one that was alone. Is there really no one you can spend the day with? If the answer is no, then I suggest you plan a nice day for yourself with whatever will be a treat for you - a long walk, a nice film that you haven't had a chance to see yet, things that you like to eat, etc - and then plaster a smile on your face and wave your DD off to enjoy Christmas with her DF. It will be hard, but don't deprive the two of them of spending Christmas together - it's his turn and it's only fair.


Wheresthel1ght · 08/10/2018 16:54

Then please let her have this one with him. She deserves to have memories of Christmas with each of you. It must mean a huge amount to him for him to have asked having not mentioned it for 3 years. Try and look at the positives of what it will do for his relationship with her to build those memories with her.


woolduvet · 08/10/2018 16:56

Maybe thinking of the future, have a few options of what could happen next Xmas.
Half the day at each etc
Talk about it with your dd and ex then everyone will be as happy as possible


diddl · 08/10/2018 17:06

So you've had three Christamases with her-because he never asked?

This is the first time he has asked-does it happen to be the first time that there is also a wife to do it all??!!


Missingstreetlife · 08/10/2018 17:10

In Portugal, and I think some other European (catholic?) countries they have presents and dinner at home on Christmas Eve. That leaves Xmas day free for church or relatives


Wheresthel1ght · 08/10/2018 17:10

Please don't do the half and half thing. My step kids hated it. They don't get to play with toys/games, can't settle, don't feel like they are actually spending time with either parent, feel like they are constantly being shunted about and just don't get to enjoy their Christmas day. And we live less than 2 miles apart.

Splitting the day isn't about what the kids want or feel and everything about what the parents want ad feel. It is just wrapped up in the perception of "oh aren't we great because we share the day"

It is not what is best for the kids at all


HappilyHarridan · 08/10/2018 17:12

I have known families where the ex wife joins the ex husband and his new wife and children for Christmas dinner, so that the children from the first marriage can see both their parents and no one misses out. I don't think they thought they were taking being a grown up too far, they just thought it was a nice thing to do for the kids and everyone was pleasant to each other. They did it for years and never caused any problems.
Not saying that's what you should do op, but just pointing out that it isn't impossible like some on this thread are implying.


Witchend · 08/10/2018 17:16

Not the same but we've established a tradition that if we're away for Christmas (about 2/3 of the time) we have a full Christmas day when we get back. That's when they do the stocking, we have our own meal and we open our presents to each other.
The first year we did it, we did a special trip to a Father Christmas to "ask him" if he could do it. Dd1 was old enough to understand and play along for the younger.

But actually they love doing it-they then get 2 Christmases and they get just as excited about the second one.


InfiniteVariety · 08/10/2018 17:22

The village hall thing is a brilliant idea for a large family! Everyone gets to see everyone else in a big space and leftovers get finished - genius!!


Dollygirl2008 · 08/10/2018 17:26

@diddl haha no wifey has always been there (oddly enough, the same day he left me but that's a WHOLE other story!!)

Yes - the step sisters are all older and teenagers so it will be very different for her, but lovely all the same I'm sure.

SOrry if I've not been clear - I certainly wont be on my own all day - only the morning. I've got extended family coming to me so my house will be chaotic - just not with my DD

Yes. It's important that she has Christmas with her dad. I don't want her growing up thinking I stopped it for her

OP posts:

Dollygirl2008 · 08/10/2018 17:28

yes @InfiniteVariety - it's a great idea. People can come and go as they please, it has a small kitchen so any warming up/cooking can be done. The children can play with gifts in lots of space and the adults can either interact, or can sit down in the "quiet" end if they've had enough! We lay all the food out on long tables. I highly recommend it!

OP posts:

diddl · 08/10/2018 17:34

" haha no wifey has always been there"

Ah well at least he hasn't been waiting for one to come along just for Christmas then!

Odd that he didn't ask before but I suppose if it was going to be alternate he's only missed one!

I'm guessing she's well used to them all so it won't be like being thrown in at the deep end iyswim.


DuploRelatedInjury · 08/10/2018 17:40

When I was little we alternated going to my dads either late Christmas day afternoon or on Boxing day morning. As we got older we just went on Boxing Day. The only Christmas mornings ever spent with him were if he stayed at ours (before they split, my parents didn't live together). Same for my step siblings, they always at least started the day at home.

Honestly, I would have hated to be away from my DM on Christmas morning. I wouldn't have wanted to wake up away from home. If your daughter wants to spend Christmas in her own home surely that should be what she does?


Bananasinpyjamas11 · 08/10/2018 17:43

Yes you do need to just accept it. I spent my first Christmas on my own without my boy - other family were with their step families, so I was completely on my own! I had lots of other invites however I think it would have felt worse being pitied. It was actually okay! Not as bad as I feared.

But do loads of fantastic festive activities leading up and after. Special stuff. You’ll be okay and hold your head up, letting your kid go is a very loving thing to do for him. He will appreciate it more than worrying if you’ll be okay.


Duchessgummybuns · 08/10/2018 17:47

I’m not having my daughter Christmas Day morning this year. It’ll be weird but all the more fun when she does arrive in the evening from her Dad’s.

I’m dying at the PP suggestion to “grow up” and have Christmas together Grin


Hoviscats · 08/10/2018 17:54

I know it must be so hard but I am glad you know that letting her dad have a 'turn' is the right thing to do :)

I really mostly came on to say (from my own experience as a child of a very poorly handled and acrimonious divorce) please don't go down the route of splitting the day. Its the worst of all options imo. Also I expect your dd will feel horribly guilty leaving you so anything you can do to positively reinforce what a great time she and you will both have is so important.



loubielou31 · 08/10/2018 18:13

Don't count on this being the last Christmas of believing. Dd11 is still a believer! Having older (half) siblings who play along has totally helped with that. And they also get to still enjoy putting our the mince pie for Santa and get wrapped up in the whole excitement via their little sisters. It is gorgeous! So I reckon you will get a santa Christmas next year too.


Fatasfook · 08/10/2018 18:30

Just shift your Christmas Day to the day after Boxing Day! Pretend Boxing Day is Christmas Eve. Sorted.


BellaLand · 24/12/2018 14:42

you are not being selfish, it is normal but I think maybe ask her what your child wants, often as parents we want what we want, but do not consider our children. Also, if he has kids and he is not on his own I think it is perfectly understandable that you feel that way and perhaps your child understands this and as you said, you can just arrange to take him there later in the day... it could also be a chance for you to relax or do some voluntary work or whatever you want, but No you are not being selfish . some people find it hard to be on their own. but remember, happiness is a choice and an attitude. :) god bless.

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