W.S. asks from Roanoke, TX on December 22, 2008
Got Married Now What? 2 Sets of Parents to Please on Christmas Day.
Hey, I was wondering if anyone had an idea that I have not thought of. Who to eat with etc. Christmas has become one big guilt trip and people pleasing.
Trust me, I know some people out there have no one to spend Christmas with and I know we are blessed that we have so many people to spend it with and are loved. Buat.. I just feel so selfish about this. I just want to stay home and not have to leave for the day!!!! Sick of traveling, sick of being here and being there. Sick of trying to please everyone. Now one thing right away. I much prefer going to my Moms house.
It does not smell like moth balls and is not like 100 degrees in there. His parents are much older and it's kinda boring over there. (I know,, selfish again)
His parents are comaplaining that we always spend more time with my Mom on Christmas day. We always get with his parents on Thanksgiving and I did not even see my Mom this year on Thanksginving day.
We always see his parents on Christmas day after we eat and stay for a while at my Moms. Which I hate also because my brother and my neices are there and I hardly get to see them. Once I am there, after a few drinks, I hate havng to leave and go somewhere else. Just want to settle in. The doing Christmas all together is not an option. (won't go there) My husband had an idea that we could go over there Christmas eve, spend the night and open presents Christmas morning and then leave later to my Moms. That would be weird but I guess I am open to it, I guess I can get used to the moth ball smell and stay outside when I am over-heating. I just though Christmas was supposed to be fun. I think I just need an attitude adjustment. Don't know how to change it. Maybe I should just take off for the holidays and them all battle it out. When it's over, come back. LOL
I know I am being totally selfish. I can't help it. Maybe it's because I am just tired tonight and dont know what to do.
P.G. answers from Dallas on December 22, 2008
Hi W. - I didn't read the other posts- though I caught the beginning of one and I agree - Christmas for you now is about your Immediate Family - You, Hubby, Kids. Everyone else is secondary. You have to do what's best for you and your family. Set a new tradition for everyone. Christmas Day is for you, hubby, kids. Both sets of Grandparents can switch each year from having either Christmas Eve day, or Day After Christmas (Boxing day in England :)
Same for Thanksgiving - I say let them cook and have them decide if they want to have you for Thanksgiving or "Leftover Day" (day after :)
You don't say how far away you live from each other - it sounds like reasonably close from your post. You can't please them all, and they need to grow up and be the adults. It's just a freaking day on the calendar, anyway. What matters is sharing the love during the season.
Our families are in PA or FL, and we decided not to travel this year, as we did much too much at the end of 07/beginning of 08. I'll miss everyone, but not all the drama and trauma of travel, so I totally understand where you're coming from.
Good luck! Get your husband involved in the solution, and enjoy!
R.E. answers from Dallas on December 22, 2008
I haven't read the other responses, but in my opinion, I don't think you're being selfish. To me, Christmas is more about letting the kids have fun, not making adults happy. We did the two families on Christmas day for a while when we first got married and it never seemed like we got a Christmas. Then, once we had kids, we put our foot down and said we no longer are going anywhere on Christmas day. I wouldn't want my kids to get all their new presents and then spend the day travelling and sitting at other people's houses. We also wanted to start our own traditions. The way I see it, once we got married and had kids, we became our main family and the rest (our siblings and parents) became extended family. We just agreed that no matter how much guilt either side put us through, we would hold our ground. If my husband gave into his mom, then we'd have to go to my parents and vice versa. The way we've compromised is this. . . We see my husband's family the Saturday before Christmas. We get to gether with his siblings / parents / cousins and have a big meal and exchange gifts. On CHristmas Eve, we get together with my family and exchange gifts and eat together and then all go to church together. (My inlaws don't go to church on Christmas Eve and I insist we do, so that's why we always spend that day with my family and not alternate). Then, Christmas Day, we stay home. Grandparents are welcome to come and visit the kids or even spend the night Christmas Eve to see the excitement. My parents usually alternate coming to our house for the morning and my sisters in the afternoon. My inlaws don't care to come, but I invite them every year.
My advice would be to work out a compromise and don't go see anyone on Christmas day (of course, you can invite them to your house if you want). Maybe work out a schedule where one year, you spend Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas Eve with the other. We alternate Thanksgiving every year between my husband's family and mine because trying to go to two places is just crazy with the kids. Or have a big family thing on New Year's even. It can be done!
T.O. answers from Dallas on December 22, 2008
Use your power to get what you want. The power of GRANDCHILDREN!
Tell the parents that starting next year Christmas time you will be staying at home. Tell them they are welcome to come visit at your house. But Christmas happens at your place because of the grandkids.
Holiday Dinner is another issue altogether... we've all had to eat our share of double dinners and suffer through the moth balls (oh, I wish it were mothball smells at my in-laws, that'd be an improvement).
When we visited our parents (both ours are out of state) we'd host a Christmas Eve dinner either at a hotel or at the guest house of my family for all our friends and families in that town. It was our deal, we hosted, we invited and everyone sucked it up and played nice for a few hours with the grandkids. You could do that at your house too. That way there's no pressure to run to anyones house Christmas Day.
Grandkids rule, trust me. When I figured out the power they instilled in me with my parents I was overjoyed.
J.S. answers from Dallas on December 22, 2008
As a child of divorced parents (with 3 remarries in there), I know a thing or two about splitting holidays. Also throw in my in-laws & their family when I got married. It became even worse when we had our son.
YOU CAN'T PLEASE ANYONE. You have to take the bull by the horns & tell them, "I'm sorry, but we're staying home for Christmas." Don't feel bad...it's sucks having to travel for the holidays all the time. Believe me. It's your family, & you make the decisions...not your mom or in-laws.
S.L. answers from Dallas on December 23, 2008
i stay home for xmas. end of story. i will travel for thanksgiving or new years, but not xmas. if you want to be with me, then you come to me. i traveled one year for xmas and was miserable minus all MY traditions. it didn't even feel like xmas at all. do i see my family more than his? sure but his lives out of state so that's my excuse. they are happy to get us for a few days after xmas or on thanksgiving.
P.R. answers from Dallas on December 23, 2008
What we do it have Christmas Eve at his parents and Christmas Day at my mom's. We wake up and open our stuff at home and then go to my mom's for the rest of the day. You can't please everyone! Just try to talk to your husband and maybe you guys can just do your own thing alone on Christmas and visit the family members on another day. Good Luck!
C.R. answers from Dallas on December 23, 2008
Here's what we do, and I'm telling you this because I see that you have two kids.
Christmas is not about fun, it's about LOVE. Yes, it can be loads of fun, but the root of the day is LOVE.
BUT, once I became a mom I had a rule. My kids will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home. PERIOD!!
So, my husband and I do this. We alternate years for Thanksgiving. One year with his family, the next with my family. Christmas Eve dinner is with my family. Christmas morning is at our house, but anybody is welcome to join us there. Christmas lunch is with hubby's family. This spreads out the LOVE and doesn't stress us out as much. We just found that running around all day from one place to another was too much and we spent more time in the car than we did with family.
Ok, I do agree that you are being totally selfish. Why would you want to keep your husband from his family? As soon as you get married you give up part of who you were before, it has to be that way for the marriage to work. 50/50, a partnership. Sit down with your husband. Tell him how you feel about the Holidays and then set a plan for next year. Give everybody fair notice to what your plans are and don't let anybody push you around. My hubby and I have been so much less stressed out now that we set our rules. We know exactly where we are going and who we will spend the day with and everything.
Your families may be upset about this at first, but they will come around and understand. You, your hubby and your kids are your family and ultimately they come first.
Good luck and have a Merry Christmas!
C.W. answers from Dallas on December 23, 2008
I know how you feel. I much prefer being with my parents for Christmas and stuff too but hubby hates the drama at my parents. We go to my parents house on Christmas Eve so the kids can open presents that nanny and papo got for them. Christmas is my time with the kids and we are usually doing the parent swap later on Christmas Day. Of course, we still have hubbys family we have to see. Very understanding and we usually have Christmas with them on New Years Day. A little strange I know but it definately works for us. Maybe trying to set up Christmas on seperate days like that so it isn't so stressful for you but everyone gets to have Christmas with you and your family.