41 answers

On a Scale from 1 to 10, How Rude Is This?

My brothers and my husband and I are ALL sick and tired of our family's feuding over the holidays. I'm super laid back; the girls spend every other holiday with their dad, and I'm okay with that.

But when we do have the girls, it's like WWIII. My aunts and my mom argue over who's house Thanksgiving or Christmas will be held at (2 hour drive to the aunt's house)... my SILs family want to see them, MY inlaws want to see us... point is, we're all spread so thin, we all want to hide!!

So this year, my brother wants to have Thanksgiving at his house. We both know this will NOT go over well with the rest of the family. I asked him if he minded if we opted out (he lives pretty far away, it would be VERY tough with the kids, plus my kids are allergic to their cats)... he told me no problem, he completely understands.

I was thinking of telling my family that, for Christmas, if they want to see us, come see us. Ditto for the inlaws. I want to invite everyone to come between, for example, noon and 5pm, I'll provide finger foods and munchies, and all sorts of drinks and snacks the whole time, if you can come, great, if not, whatever that's fine too.

Is that rude? I only ask because we already know Thanksgiving is going to be a disaster (heck, my husband and the baby and I might even hang out at our boat club so we're not even home)... I don't want to add insult to injury for Christmas day, but I really want to avoid a huge hassle too.

What do you think?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

WOW, thank you all, you have absolutely NO idea how relieved I am hearing all this.

To answer the question 'why would it be rude?', you don't know my mother ;) I feel a lot better about it though!!

And someone asked, yes, I am the ONLY one with young children...

Featured Answers

NOT RUDE

I've never gotten the idea that grown adults WITHOUT kids should stay home, while young families are schlepping tired kiddos hither and yon. Other way around, people!!!

2 moms found this helpful

I say do it. Not rude at all. A lot of people are doing it this way when they have multiple family members from all sides. Makes it less of a hassle. It'll give you time to actually enjoy the holidays and not be stressing over it all. If people don't like it, they don't have to come by. But if they do that, they are opting out not seeing ya'll. Their loss. So yes go for it!

1 mom found this helpful

I finally bowed out of family Thanksgiving b/c of the drama. I host my inlaws and see my family at my aunt's house on Christmas. We hold in-law Christmas whenever is convienent between the 23rd - NYE. I don't think it's rude. If they can't get it together and stop fighting, then you do what works for you and don't press them to come or hold it against them if they don't. I just told my family I wanted to host Thanksgiving here. They are always welcome to come, but I would no longer attend at my uncle's house.

More Answers

I agree with the person who said the idea of what's basically an "open house" on Christmas Day won't really satisfy anyone because they would have to drive, some for what seem to be long distances, to you, and then be part of a casual open house, when clearly the expectation on their part will be for something more. Will you be miffed if any of them do come but then hang around the entire time, 12-5, because they feel "that's our Christmas Day"? Or are you picturing this being a true open house, where folks might come for an hour, two hours, and leave, and other guests turn up a few hours into it, etc.? If it's the latter -- that's not really going to happen on Christmas Day, based on your family's past, is it?

However! The idea of an open house is a great one. Why not do it on Dec. 26? Or Dec. 24? Let everyone know you're having a family Christmas at home but hosting an open house another time. There is way too much pressure on Dec. 25 in this country -- in other countries, Dec. 25 is very quiet and then there is a lot of visiting around to friends and family on the 26th and even later, right up to New Year's. Less pressure on folks to be in a certain place for JUST Christmas Day.

3 moms found this helpful

It's not "rude" but remember it's out of the realm of "normal" for your family.

For Thanksgiving, the allergies and distance is good enough reason to stay home.

For Christmas, I probably wouldn't say something like "if you want to see us, come see us" though! That will tick some off.
Send invites or evites for a Holiday open House on xzy from abd to def and then brace yourself! They won't like it! Some may decline (as you are to your bro's invite) so that HAS to be OK with you. Be prepared.
The only way the "holiday givens" ever change is if someone steps up and challenges, then CHANGES them! Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

So, it's never rude to invite your relatives over to your house and change the tradition up a bit. It sounds like you have the younger children, and therefore more complicated to travel with..

I would only suggest, that if you do invite the others over, for Christmas, and they make that long 2 hours drive that you don't want to make, you should serve more than munchies and snacks. I would need a real meal..so order the pre-cooked turkey meals at your local grocery store if you're not up to cooking.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think it's rude, but I wouldn't go into all the reasons for it. Just plan it, host it graciously and never mention your motivation. That's the part where feelings could get hurt.

We had to organise the situation pretty early on and we fell into a good rhythm. Christmas Eve was always at one grammas house and Christmas Dinner at the other. Thanksgiving we alternated years. Now that one gramma has passed on, Christmas Eve is at my house and Christmas dinner is at the other grammas.

2 moms found this helpful

Totally not rude. You may make your family mad because you're not just bending to their wishes, but it's not rude.

We don't travel for Christmas anymore either. If family wants to come see us, they can.

2 moms found this helpful

NOT RUDE

I've never gotten the idea that grown adults WITHOUT kids should stay home, while young families are schlepping tired kiddos hither and yon. Other way around, people!!!

2 moms found this helpful

Sounds like a great compromise. How can that be rude?

2 moms found this helpful

Well I think it depends on what's up with everyone else. Do your IL's have other grown children and grandchildren to see? Do any of your brothers or your husband's siblings have kids? If there are other families with kids involved, you have to take that into consideration. If you're the only family with kids and everyone wants to see them AND you have room to accommodate guests, then it makes sense to offer to host at home.

Then...you really can't have people over from 12-5 on a holiday in which they need to travel to your home and not serve Dinner. With a capital D. Because to provide munchies and finger foods during that time period you're basically saying "if you want to come and see us, you can't have a proper dinner anywhere because you'll be at my house and I'm not making dinner" and that doesn't sound very hospitable, right? I mean do you really expect them to have a nice breakfast at home, have munchies at your house and then go home later in the evening and cook or eat a sandwich or something?

So I'd say that if you have the room to host, if it doesn't cause logistical challenges for other families with young kids and you plan on serving an actual meal, go for it! If those conditions aren't met, though, maybe you can try to fit in with one of the original plans. I can assure you that my mother would blow a gasket if we weren't letting her host Thanksgiving OR Christmas, which is what you're doing to your Aunt and Mother if you brother does Thanksgiving and you take Christmas. Not necessarily rude - they might WANT a break - but if it's something they really value doing, it could be hurtful to suggest two changes of venue in the same year.

1 mom found this helpful

i think its reasonable, I understand how hectic it is traveling arnd, my parents live over an hour from my ex's family and we travel to both each holiday, now even more since we're not together, But I'm still doing it each year, b/c while my parents were driving arnd all hectic to and from families for the holidays I was bonding with my cousins and aunts and uncles and it made the holidays specail (we can stay home the rest of the year=) and they are memories I love... so I still opt for the hectic holiday season

1 mom found this helpful

I have 3 kids, 1 family since my husbands is in India, and I hate hosting any type of party... I have a big dilema. My mom passed away in 2008 and ever since its been a feud between my sisters and brother who is going to do what. After a few years of my sister hosting it, she always was sure to make us understand what a hassle, inconvience, and expense it was (even though it was potluck style and she was never pushed into making food only to provide a few essentials) We all decided NO body wanted to go there. She was so angry when another sister offered, that she didnt show up for any holidays in 2010. This year she has made sure she is going to Australia for the holidays. WOOT Merry Christmas for US... lol that aside so now no one has offered this year, and it looks like its my bag, so I am offering but I am not going Gonzo like my mother used to. I dont even have a great x-mas tree. Thanksgiving is going to be what I make of it and I am not really caring about what others think since I am doing it the should be grateful right? I would be if I didnt have to do it. LOL So its going to be interesting this year to say the least... so Rude?? NOT AT ALL!!

1 mom found this helpful

I think it sounds pretty reasonable. I would talk to your mom first and let her know you won't be attending Thanksgiving so she doens't hear it through the grapevine and get upset. Basically the same with Christmas, just tell her Mom, it's really rough for us to be torn in some many directions so this year I'm really looking forward to hosting an open house at our house. I'm sure it will turn out okay and you have to do what works. You are trying to include the family and not shun anyone so I hope it won't be a big deal!

1 mom found this helpful

I put my foot down many years ago and refuse to travel on holidays. Besides the fact that the weather often doesn't cooperate in this area of the country, I always had the youngest children, and always had to travel to two or three different places every stinkin year. Luckily, I also have the largest family, so we started hosting, and they either come or they don't. If they don't, we mail their gifts to them. Thanksgiving is forever safe, as I always host a few friends who have nowhere else to go, so that is always my excuse when one of the out of town relatives starts whining that we don't come to see them anymore (not that they have ever been to see us!). That day is already promised to people with no family, so if the relatives want to spend Thanksgiving with us, they have to come here.

You have your own family now, you get to make your own traditions. If it's too much for you to travel to see them, they will have to understand that, especially since you have come up with a really nice alternative.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think its rude at all.
I mean look you guys are doing all the traveling every year. Why not just stay home with your kids and husband. If anyone wants to stop by they can do so. If anyone has an issue with it just tell them this is our first holiday together as husband and wife:)

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think it's rude at all - it sounds really enjoyable to me. Stick to your guns. They may balk a bit this year, but if you continue it next year, they will get over it! Enjoy your holidays!

1 mom found this helpful

I say go for it!! I don't think it's rude at all. In fact, I might steal the idea! I love my family to pieces, but with so many "sides" to the family, we run ourselves ragged over the holidays trying to see everyone.

1 mom found this helpful

I say do it. Not rude at all. A lot of people are doing it this way when they have multiple family members from all sides. Makes it less of a hassle. It'll give you time to actually enjoy the holidays and not be stressing over it all. If people don't like it, they don't have to come by. But if they do that, they are opting out not seeing ya'll. Their loss. So yes go for it!

1 mom found this helpful

It's called "protecting yourself" and it's not rude. It's a wonderful skill we can learn!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think that is rude at all. Last year we said on Christmas day we are staying in but you are more than welcome to come to our house if you like. We got together with grandma and grandpa and auntie and her children a few days before Christmas to exchange gifts and had a family gathering on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day we stayed home and things went smoothly and no one was offended (in fact I think they may have been relieved).

1 mom found this helpful

I wish I could help you. For my family, we traveled 300 to 800 miles every Thanksgiving and Christmas to visit with my grandparents. They lived 40 miles apart and we stayed in their homes for at least a week, depending on how much time off my dad could get off. The only time I don't remember going to my grandparents for those holidays is when we lived in Germany.

Now that I'm the grandparents, my kids come to my house every other year. They go to their spouses parents homes every other year. I smoke a really good turkey and ham and every one has a good time. I have a couple of grandkids that are afraid of my little dog so we put the dog outside or in our room so the grandkids can have fun.

Why don't you ask the grandparents and aunts and uncles to put together a schedule so they agree on who is hosting Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for the next decade. Then you and they will all know who is hosting and where. Cuts out the drama and the rivalry.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful

No, I think that is exactly what you need to do! Good luck with it!

1 mom found this helpful

Not rude at all. You are taking care of your family needs and still offering a time for them to come see your family. I consider it a 0 its--smart and the best option especially since you have past history of being fought over etc. GL

M

1 mom found this helpful

Not rude at all. My husband and I both have split families and like you they all want us to come to their house for holidays.
My husband told them all, once our oldest son was born, that we would not be hauling our kids around Christmas Day ~ they get to stay home and play with their toys ~ and you adults can come anytime Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to see us :)

1 mom found this helpful

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not rude at all & 10 being insanely, well, insane, I would give this a 1 for sure. It sounds like you have exactly the right idea. If they want it, they will come *said in spooky Field of Dreams fashion*

I did this with my family once & they came to us, but still to this day talk about how angry they were. So, we compromise & go up after we've done gift-opening at our own home & generally come home the same evening instead of like they wanted which was to go up on Christmas Eve, spend the night & all day Christmas day with them so my children honestly didn't get to spend one single waking minute of the Christmas holiday at their own home.

1 mom found this helpful

The open house was going to be my suggestion before I read that was what you were thinking. If you family doesn't like it, tough, and if it's rude, than I'm rude too because that's how I would handle it. We moved away from family and I thought it would be easier to visit with them in the same neighborhood, (My parents and my in-laws are 1/2 mile away from each other). It's awful we are always stretched way to thin, one is always upset and thinks we spend more time with the other. I understand your pain.

1 mom found this helpful

No, offering to host a holiday open house is not rude. It sounds like a wonderful idea to me.
In my opinion, when you have young kids especially, it is important to set some boundaries in regard to family time at the holidays, otherwise you spend all your time running around trying to please everyone else and your family doesn't get to enjoy anything.
My husband's mom lives in Chicago, we are in Montana. We have just stopped going there for Christmas, it is too much for the four of us to do, nevermind the cost involved. My MIL, as well as any other family from either side, is invited to come to us, whenever and for as long as they would like during November and December to see us. We visit people at other times of the year, but Christmas is at our home, where we can relax and let our kids enjoy our family traditions.

1 mom found this helpful

Not rude at all. People expect me to haul my 3 kids around too, but luckily my family that lives closer than 4 hours is all about 10 minutes away. So it's doable if we have time. They know I don't force it though. I prefer holidays at my house. No pets to mess with, more seating, etc. We have a tradition started when my oldest was born that Christmas Eve is when the families exchange gifts. I also grew up that Christmas Eve dinner is taco's. So we do that at my house now too. Our living room is huge and there is enough room for everyone to spread out and open their gifts without dogs running around :). Do what you have to do to make you all happy and everyone else will learn to deal!

1 mom found this helpful

Not rude but you will probably get complaints (do it anyway it it is the best fit for you). In my family we don't have the big extended family gathering on the holiday, we do it the Saturday after. We have done this for decades and it really cuts down the stress and drama. My parents and my grandmother live just under an hour apart on a normal day but on a holiday in the New York area it can be 2 or 2.5 hours of sitting in traffic. No one needs the insanity.

1 mom found this helpful

Not rude. They need to get over it. They need to realize you are putting your family and your stress level ahead of just trying to please everyone - and that is a GOOD THING, a very responsible thing to do.

(Another reason I am so glad that my in-laws live very far away and that my husband's a tight-wad so we don't go there often, and thankful too I didn't have kids with my ex-husband.)

I imagine your life is stressful enough with the in-laws, ex, and your parents and grandparents and aunts, etc. I think it's a great idea for you to say "This is what we're doing this year. Take it or leave it."

1 mom found this helpful

I have not read any other responses, but in our family, the holiday celebrations got spread out quite a bit. There was Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's (mom's side), then a party that Saturday night at my cousin's (dad's side). There was Christmas Eve dinner at another aunt's house (mom's side), Christmas Day at an aunt's house (dad's side), dropping by on Christmas Day to see my grandmother on my dad's side (because she refused to leave her house to visit with anyone else), then there was the day after Christmas at my great aunt's (mom's side). And then there were the years that it was our turn to host one holiday or the other. So nobody was getting their panties in a twist about having EVERYONE together ON ONE DAY. And that's why I don't think you are rude at all to opt out of the drama. People get all worked up about everyone being together at one person's house on the holiday itself, and really, it shouldn't matter. I say share the wealth a little and keep in casual and stress-free - family time on the holidays should be as enjoyable as possible and sometimes that means everyone needs to do what works best for them.

It's only rude if you're a crazy person ;-p

You gotta do what you gotta do to keep your sanity during the holidays. We once were in 4 different places on Christmas day. Never again.

i would just say that you would like your children to enjoy an old fashioned christmas at home - where they can get up and pad around in their pjs while opening gifts, etc. it's nice to be home for christmas. send out cute little invitations - you can get cheap ones printed at vistaprint or similar or just make up your own online. cheerful invitations that invite all to your "holiday open house" christmas day from 12 - 5, etc., etc. send them out early (now) so everyone knows your intentions. that's that. if someone calls to complain, say as sweetly as you can "I'm sorry you feel that way but this is what we've decided is best for us this year. perhaps we can work out something different next year. i hope you will still consider dropping by but if not, we will definitely miss you."

1 - Not Rude at all. Personally, I agree with you decision. I have six kids. Believe me, I know what a hassle it is traveling with children (even the 2 hours to the aunt's house).
We have the only grand-kids on my husband's side of the family - and yet we are the ones expected to travel for the holidays (from Maryland to Indiana). We decided years ago to go the route you are taking, and our children have really enjoyed the holidays more for it. Sure, they wish they had more family visit during the holidays- but they hated the traveling as much as we did.

This year I gave in and we are traveling for Christmas...BLAH! 6 years ago I gave up on the whole travel for the holiday...stuck in the middle of Kansas in an ice storm for three days! With two dogs and a 6month old. NEVER AGAIN!

HA...eating my own words! Will travel by car and plane in three states in 10 days!

So no, it's not rude to tell them to come to you...I've done it! They either come or don't...never hurt my feelings!

i think hollidays are for family. wether you choose to spend it at home with your own family or out with your family or his. i think it rude to assume that you would spend every christmas at my house. although i would hope you would want to and would being your mom or other significant family member. in this case though as long as everyone was within an hours drive i'd maybe see about visiting each one every year on different days not including christmas day or thanksgiving day. on those days i'd think real hard each year where i wanted to spend it and with who. the winter break for kids lasts about 2 weeks...i'm sure these folks can see you sometime during that period. both my mom and hubbies mom live maybe 15 minutes from our house, along with both of my grandmothers. every christmas day and thanksgiving we make at least 2 house visits and see the whole family. our kids are still fairly young at 11 and 6 but one day we are going to decide that staying home is more enjoyable. that or the visits will be shorter. as it is we spend the whole day those two days away from home. i love the chance to visit with family all day but if i didnt or if family made it unfun with their argueing about where i was i'd probably just stay home too.

Sounds like a great plan to me. Have fun and stick to your guns!

People who have kids should stay home on Christmas and family can come to them. It isn't fair to drag kids all around on Christmas day. We do the "drop ins welcome" also-
We do it yearly, so there is never a surprise.
The first year we did it (after travelling everywhere the first two years) was a shock and people gave us flack. But they are our kids, they deserve to stay home, play all day, nap, eat, enjoy time with you. People can come to them. Or skype.

I hate traveling for the holidays.
My Mom lives in snow country (12 hours away) and does not want family risking their lives with the weather to travel and would rather have peace and quiet.
We have our own holidays at our own house and will phone my Mom for special days.
My Mom feels this is ideal.

NOT RUDE!! Any parent with grown children should be going to one of their children's homes, or their friends homes. It is incredibly lame, insensitive, lazy, and selfish for any parent to expect their grown children and their grandchildren to have to leave their homes after opening gifts, etc. to go spend time at a grandparents house, even if they love those grandparents and enjoy spending time there. You have your OWN family and you should do what makes YOU all feel most comfortable and happy on these special days. Holidays should not be about guilt and stress and any parent who tries to make their children feel those things is really not being a very loving parent, imo.

R.:

I've not read the other posts so forgive me if I repeat.

No. It is NOT rude at all. This would drive me insane.

With my ex husband we alternated Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families. If one got Thanksgiving, the other got Christmas. Then we moved to Europe and that settled that!! :)

As it stands now? Bob's family is split - dad and one sister in Boston and other sister in Georgia. My family is all on the west coast. So we stay home for holidays. We have traveled to California for Christmas - 2006 - however, to fly a family of 4 is not cheap. Thankfully, my parents understand this. We have traveled to Boston too. Which was almost as expensive as flying to CA...because we had to pay for a hotel....gas..urgh..

I would get with my brother and say - this is our plan. If you don't like it? Sorry. But enough is a enough. We are adults here. We understand it's a holiday and it's GREAT when family can spend it together...it should NOT be a fight. This is the schedule we have set up. If you like it, great. If not. We're sorry.

Sometimes, it takes the kids to make it work!!

I finally bowed out of family Thanksgiving b/c of the drama. I host my inlaws and see my family at my aunt's house on Christmas. We hold in-law Christmas whenever is convienent between the 23rd - NYE. I don't think it's rude. If they can't get it together and stop fighting, then you do what works for you and don't press them to come or hold it against them if they don't. I just told my family I wanted to host Thanksgiving here. They are always welcome to come, but I would no longer attend at my uncle's house.

Are we related? Are you me? No I don't think it is rude. Our families have sharing issues at the holidays and we have considered going to Disney for Christmas. At least you are making your family available to them. Everyone may find that they love the new tradition.

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