Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To not want to drive 2 hours on Xmas Eve ?

255 replies

Foalma19 · 25/11/2019 14:11

My family (mother and sibling) usually come to us for Christmas. They live a 2 hour round trip away and neither can drive. This means each year DH and I collect them and take them back a few days later.

This year my mother has to be in work for 8am on Boxing day. I agreed to get up early and drive her back so that she could be in work on time and still stay for Christmas. I wasn't hugely thrilled at the prospect but thought I'd suck it up for the sake of family harmony.

However, now it's been announced that my sibling won't finish work on Christmas Eve until 8pm. Neither myself or DH wants to make the 2 hour round trip (plus however long stuck in traffic on the motorway) at that hour on Christmas Eve.

Are we being unreasonable to leave them to have Christmas by themselves?

By way of explanation we have young children so Christmas Eve is pretty busy once they are in bed sorting gifts etc. Going to them is not an option, hence why we always collect them and take them back. I don't know if they could get a train that late and it would take several hours so I don't think they'd be keen. As non-drivers I don't think they really appreciate that a 2 hour round trip can be a pita for us.

So what's the verdict?

OP posts:

JuniperBeer · 25/11/2019 14:11

Is there a reason they can’t get a train to a station near you for you to collect?


Singlebutmarried · 25/11/2019 14:12

I wouldn’t.

What’s the public transport like.


Muchtoomuchtodo · 25/11/2019 14:14

They make the effort to get to you or they don’t come.


Foalma19 · 25/11/2019 14:15

As I said I don't know if they would be able to get a train that late and it would take several hours (3 changes I think). So they probably wouldn't consider it.

OP posts:

charm8ed · 25/11/2019 14:16

I wouldn’t, Christmas Eve evening is the best bit of Christmas.


JuniperBeer · 25/11/2019 14:19

Well have a look at trains first before discounting it. Maybe meet them half way?

If you really don’t want to drive, what’s the alternative? They don’t come for Christmas?
I guess it depends on how much you want them there.


charm8ed · 25/11/2019 14:20

How about a taxi?


hellsbellsmelons · 25/11/2019 14:22

Hell no - don't leave your DC on Xmas Eve.
That's the best bit.
You'd have to leave at 7 and probably wouldn't be back at home until 9:30-10pm!
No way. That's a special time. Time to be with your kids.
I think they need to do it on their own this year.
Why don't they drive?


Foalma19 · 25/11/2019 14:30

Half way would be central London so that's not an option.
My mother has just never learned to drive and my sibling just doesn't seem bothered either. This would all be solved if my sibling did drive as they could come and go when they please. We have the conversation every year but I can't force someone to learn to drive when they can't be bothered.

A taxi would cost a fortune over that distance on xmas eve. They would expect us to pay and there's just no way.

To explain a bit more about the dynamic. It's always my job to solve my mothers problems and my sibling, although a grown adult, is still treated like a child.

OP posts:

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 25/11/2019 14:33

I think you need to ask your sibling either to finish work earlier' or make their own arrangements to get to you. They still have time.

You've already compromised with an early start on Boxing Day.

Shame, but it does sound as if it's you and DH that are doing all the running around.


Foalma19 · 25/11/2019 14:34

I would like them to be there (though I think more because it's tradition than because of their company) but to be honest it all feels like a lot of effort on our part for what will amount to just a days visit. They usually stay a few days, spend time with the children etc.

I only have a few days off work and I don't really feel like spending it running around driving people about. It won't be hugely appreciated either as they take it for granted. As non drivers I just don't think they think much of it.

Having said all of that the FOG is still kicking in!

OP posts:

Tensixtysix · 25/11/2019 14:36

Errr...NO! They can have Xmas by themselves. Also it would mean that you wouldn't be able to have fun on Xmas eve or Xmas day, as you'd have to stay tee total (unless you are).


onthecoins · 25/11/2019 14:39

Fuck that. Tell the they're very welcome to come if they can make their own way there and back. They're grown adults.


EL8888 · 25/11/2019 14:39

I wouldn’t be getting involved. You will have a 101 things to do and deserve to enjoy Christmas Eve. They need to take some responsibility to getting to you. Sounds like you have sorted everything else out


Crazycrazylady · 25/11/2019 14:41

I'd definitely tell them I can't do Xmas eve. Tell them they are very welcome but you understand completely If they feel it's all a bit much.


GhoulWithADragonTattoo · 25/11/2019 14:41



nozbottheblue · 25/11/2019 14:42

Seems to me the time has come for you to have Christmas on your own this year and for Mum and sibling to make their own arrangements.
Because of the choices they have made about their work and leave (which they may not have had much control over) it is just not possible for them to come to you this year. You don't want to be missing this lovely time with your little ones, particularly if what you do for others is not appreciated.
Maybe invite them for an alternative Christmas/ special weekend to spend time together, to soften the blow?


AaandBreathe · 25/11/2019 14:43

I wouldn't. Tell her/them the offer of driving back Boxing Day still stands, you'd love to have them but they will have to make their own way there (or to closest train station).


Serendipity79 · 25/11/2019 14:43

"Dear Mum. Given that sibling is working until late on Xmas Eve and you are working early on Boxing Day morning we think its best if we do Xmas separately this year. Lets sort out a few days post Xmas when you could visit"

And then enjoy Xmas with your kids! :)


ViaSacra · 25/11/2019 14:45

You would not be unreasonable to tell them they need to make their own way to and from your house.


HoneyBee03 · 25/11/2019 14:45

It's really kind of you to offer to drive early on boxing day but with a late trip out christmas eve too I'd ask them to make alternative plans. I know people who don't drive and they just take it on the chin if they miss out on nice things because of it, it's just how it is. You can't do all the running around. Perhaps if you say no to lifts more often one of them might consider driving lessons?


WhatWouldTheDoctorDo · 25/11/2019 14:45

YANBU at all. We do a fair bit of driving around at Christmas to accommodate people but that would be a bit much for me. And with young children, there's just too much to do (ime) on Christmas Eve to have to add a 2 hour round trip in. I'd ask them to look at public transport.


Weepingwillows12 · 25/11/2019 14:46

I would just say you cant pick up that late as you will be busy then. Suggest getting to you by taxi or public transport but leave them to figure it out. Maybe your dsis can swap shifts or something (for boxing day)


yearinyearout · 25/11/2019 14:47

It's a no from me, YANBU. I doubt there will be trains running that late on Xmas eve, I think you need to tell them it won't be possible for them to come. Is it feasible for them to come for the weekend before or after Christmas to swap gifts/spend time with the children?


Justmuddlingalong · 25/11/2019 14:47

Hand the responsibility of them getting to you back to them. Hosting them and driving them home is a big enough gesture. The least they can do is get to you.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?