Holidays
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Holiday Drama

I'm mostly posting as a vent, but the drama involved in Christmas is making me want to go Scrooge and not celebrate! First, I'm married with a newborn baby. My family is small, as is dh's. He's an only child, so it's basically his parents and maternal grandparents for holidays. My family is myself, mom, sister, and my mom's sister and her husband. Every Thanksgiving, we host everyone. Our families get along, and it great. In previous years, Christmas Day is typically brunch in the morning at dh's parents and dinner at night at my mom's. In the past, Christmas Eve we've split. We both have longstanding family traditions that we both love, and neither of us, me especially, wants to forgo spending time with our family. So generally, dh would go to church with his family and then do dinner with them, while I do church and dinner with my family. After he's done, he and his parents come to my mom's for gifts, dessert and company. We've been married a year but this was the compromise even while we were just dating. This year, dh and I mutually decided that because we have a baby, we will not spend Christmas Eve separately at all, not even for dinner. We already decided to go to church with my family, (that's our parish anyway). After that, we hoped to host Christmas Eve at our house, that way everyone could be together. My mom's house is too small to host his grandparents in addition to everyone else. His parents can't host everyone for the same reason. Well, I asked my mom about hosting and she got really funny about it, like she doesn't want to do that. It's so frustrating because she'd be even more upset if we skipped out on spending it with her altogether. This is the only solution I can come up with. What's more frustrating is that previously she'd say things like, once you have baby our Christmas traditions might change. Now she's being a complete baby about it - my sister's words. I came straight out and told her that we want to celebrate with everyone together, and she said "Whatever, I don't care", but she clearly cares a lot! The thing is, I don't think she'd be happy regardless. Like if we did all of Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas Day with the other, I feel like she'd still be upset. Ugh! How frustrating!!
Disneygeek77

Re: Holiday Drama

  • Well to be honest, I can see where she is coming from. When my sister got married, she wanted to host or she wanted her in laws included to all of the holidays. We did that for a few years, but after a while it got old and I would think " god, can't we celebrate one holiday without them ?" Yeah I understood it was easier for her, but she wasn't the only one in this family and ya know... it's our holiday too and sometimes we just wanted a small intimate gathering with just our family. So my husband and kids started to do our own thing. I think my sister got the point. She still hosts thanksgiving and invites everyone, but we aren't expected to spend all of our holidays together. I mean, yeah you could host Christmas eve, but again you aren't the only one in this family. I know you don't want your mom to get upset, but please don't get upset with her if she doesn't want to spend Christmas eve with your in laws from now on. My suggestions are 1. Spend the 24th just you and your husband and baby and start your own traditions 2. Switch christmas eve's every year. This year with your family, next year with his. 3. Do your usual christmas eve thing on a different day like the 23rd or the Saturday before christmas.
    englishtrish1
  • I know I'm not the only one in the family, and I know she likes hosting. I feel bad hosting and "taking it" from her. But the thing is, I had mentioned an alternative of switching Christmas Eve's every year, and she's upset with that idea. She apparently doesn't want me missing any Christmas Eve's. And she likes having my in laws over, and they come over Christmas Eve anyway, just after dinner. She just can't fit his grandparents too. She wants to and always says she wishes she had a bigger house. She's also always complaining that our family is too small. I just feel like the perfect solution is having it somewhere where everyone can fit. I know I'm an adult and shouldn't care if my mom is mad at me, but I do. Can't help it. And sometimes my mom is really hard to please. Also, deep down, I know 100% she'd prefer having everyone together at my house over me not being there. And I know this because she's said things before to his effect. Not just about Christmas, but anything.
  • Hmmmm, maybe you could ask her to co host ? She comes over early and helps make food or brings over her favorite decorations or christmas plates ?
  • Jpl35 said:
    I know I'm not the only one in the family, and I know she likes hosting. I feel bad hosting and "taking it" from her. But the thing is, I had mentioned an alternative of switching Christmas Eve's every year, and she's upset with that idea. She apparently doesn't want me missing any Christmas Eve's. And she likes having my in laws over, and they come over Christmas Eve anyway, just after dinner. She just can't fit his grandparents too. She wants to and always says she wishes she had a bigger house. She's also always complaining that our family is too small. I just feel like the perfect solution is having it somewhere where everyone can fit. I know I'm an adult and shouldn't care if my mom is mad at me, but I do. Can't help it. And sometimes my mom is really hard to please. Also, deep down, I know 100% she'd prefer having everyone together at my house over me not being there. And I know this because she's said things before to his effect. Not just about Christmas, but anything.
    My advice - open up a dialog with her.  Don't just throw out one idea here and another idea there.  Sit down with her and gently say "DH and I aren't going to split up anymore.  You yourself said this once- that traditions will change.  The time is here."

    Then express to her that of course you want to see her, you don't LIKE that things have to change, but... that's the reality right now.  Then tell her you want her input.  Lay out the options for her.  "Here are the choices I see".  Then give her time.  Say "Take a day and think about it.  Andif you can come up with something I'm not thinking about, great!  But think these things over and let's talk about it again tomorrow.". 

    By seeing everything laid out and then having time to process it all- she'll hopefully realize "o.k. - it's simply not going to be the same.  And if I want to see her (you) every year, I have to be flexible.".  And being given some space to think about it, hopefully your next conversation will be "O.k. - it seems like X will be the best.". 

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