Holidays with family

Discussion in 'General' started by megkc03, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Our families are local. They both live in the next town over. We spend Christmas Eve with his parents(they have my parents too, as well as sister and BIL). Christmas Day we host dinner later that night.

    Dh was saying we see everyone on Christmas Eve, why do we need to see them all again the next day?

    We never have a holiday that is just the five of us. I see his point. But what do our parents do? They'd do nothing. All I think is, "how was your Christmas dinner?" "Oh-I made a grilled cheese." KWIM? Lol! And I mean really-they want to see the kids anyways.

    So-if local, do you see the grandparents/family both days?
  2. kim01

    kim01 Well-Known Member

    My s/o has never really been close with is dad. He only lives about 1 mile away, has to drive by our house to get to his. And we only see them 1 time a year. His dad is normal compared to my mom. My dad also acts normal its my mom that has her issues. We have to have separate times or them (my parents) b/c of how she acts. we do see both my parents on both days just different times.
    I was thinking earlier last week next year i want us to go away. what would it be like to just have "us". i also have a sister she comes over both days as well but stays all day to see both parents.
    we usually do "shifts" , the boys have started to voice their disappointment in how we have been doing it. I hate that one of them is missing out on the event dinner. Divorced crazy parents are so much work.
  3. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I am going to come at this from a little bit of a different angle here.  I totally get the desire of having a chill holiday without the big family to do, because I get it-it is stressful and time consuming.  My father died 6 years ago in Jan.  DH's parents are also deceased.  It's just my Mom.  And I am her only sort of local kid who lives an hour away.  So my Mom spends Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with us.  She's the only living grandparent my kids have and I want them to have as much time with her as possible.  If DH's parents are the same, if they were alive, I would not have a problem seeing them both days.
    I guess really it depends on what works for your family. If you know your parents will do absolutely nothing for Christmas dinner and are uncomfortable with that (and I understand how you feel, I don't think I'd like the idea of my mom, for example, having Christmas dinner alone) then maybe do a family pot luck or have everyone bring something over so the cooking is not all on you.
  4. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    It depends on the year.  Some years I've opted out of christmas eve parties because we've needed some downtime, and I knew that I would see everyone on christmas day.  Some years we see everyone both days.  Some years we are out of town with the inlaws and will celebrate christmas with my family another day (like this year).  Last year my sister decided to stay home for christmas and have a quiet christmas with just her husband.  We saw her on christmas eve and I totally respected the fact that they wanted to just spend the day at home.  So I guess I agree with Nancy, it depends on what works for your family.. and might be different each year :)
  5. Oneplus2more

    Oneplus2more Well-Known Member

    We go to my ILs on Christmas Eve and my mom's on Christmas afternoon. Christmas morning is just for the five of us. 
    If hosting on Chrstmas day takes a lot of attention away from just enjoying the day for you & DH - can you get your sister to host next year? Is there a way to make it less time consuming - turn it into a potluck, push back the arrival time of the guests a few hours, make it shorter,  etc.?
    To answer your question - I do see your DH's point. Would it go over better to skip Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day? Maybe your parents could just do something with your sister & her DH, unless they are close enough to your ILs that they would be comfortable still going there without you guys?
    I get where Nancy is coming from, OTOH, there are only so many Christmases when the kiddos are little and really into it. Mine already are out of the Santa phase **sniff, sniff**
  6. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Oh I totally get Nancy's POV. And it's what I told dh. We only
    Have them here for so long. I mean, we see all four of them on a weekly basis, multiple times a week. My sister lives two hours away(as does my brother). My parents would go to my brothers, but because my sister will be here, my mom said no. Lol.

    I was just curious if you saw your parents both days. Dh thinks that is excessive(he also works with his father). We also have dh's bday, and his parents anniversary, and his mom wants to do something for his birthday, etc. It's just *so* much in an extremely short period of time lol.

    As for Christmas Day, it will be just us(and my sis and BIL lol), in the morning. I told me mom ppl could come over after 3 and then we will eat around 6 or so. And she said, "well your sister will be here! I'll be here way before that!" :faint:

    I just realized after thanksgiving, that I don't actually spend time with my three kids and husband at the holiday because I'm constantly doing something. It's me, it's my personality, it's me looking for validation or something. I don't mind hosting, ppl over, etc....but I'm starting to see dh's point of needing to take something off of our plates. Tis the season! Lol!
  7. lharrison1

    lharrison1 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    We get every other Christmas with my folks-they are local but we alternate with Seth's family (not local).
    We just do Christmas day...breakfast, then presents then early dinner, done.  We do open presents just us at our house before we head to my parents for breakfast.
    I'd feel bad leaving my parents out on Christmas day if they didn't have anything else to do.  Can you invite them over for lunch so maybe you'd have the morning to  yourselves and then not be pressured to do anything big?
  8. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    We haven't been super local for a long.. LONG time.  But we do our own Christmas early, usually the weekend before (we're doing ours this coming Sunday), then start the traveling.  When we were closer to home, still a 3 hour drive, we would do our Christmas on the 22nd or 23rd.  We do Christmas Eve with my mom and Christmas with my Dad or my husband's family (whoever we don't see, we see the next day).  (My husband's family is Jewish so Christmas doesn't play into their plans with us.)
    I can see both sides of the story and I would hate to leave my parents alone on Christmas Eve or Christmas day if I can avoid it.  (Hence our upcoming 11 hour road trip.. ugh.)  So maybe try having your Christmas a couple days early?  
  9. Oneplus2more

    Oneplus2more Well-Known Member

    Are your sis & BIL staying with you? Could they stay at your Mom's next year & not have people arrive until 4:30 - 5:00? ( Is it too late to change it for this year?) I personally would not like not having time for just our nuclear family.
    Other than that, find a way to cut out some stress and prep time & hosting duties to allow yourself more time to just enjoy your kids and DH on Christmas. What if you went crazy and ordered pizza?  ;)  Maybe your mom would arrive later if you gave her a list of things to cook at home to bring? win-win hahahaha
    I wonder if DH would feel better about seeing everyone both days if there was a block of time set aside for just him, his wife & his children?
  10. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day has always been just our nuclear family. We want to have our own traditions for these days, we want the days to be all about the kids and we want as little stress as possible (e.g. we have very simple meals which our respective parents would surely deem not festive enough, we want to be at home, go to our church and have lots of time with the new toys instead of spending hours in the car etc.). We usually see my parents for breakfast on Christmas Even and they spend Boxing Day with us and then we go to my parents in law for New Year's.
    My parents (now just my widowed dad) are local, DH's parents are not. After my mom died we had a long soul-searching discussion what we would do with my dad but we decided to keep things the way they always were. I always feel a bit guilty but my parents understood because they did the same things when my brother and I were little. If we did something with my parents or now with my dad on Christmas Eve or Day my parents in law would surely expect us to join them the other day or the next year - they keep inviting us anyway and don't really understand why we won't come.
  11. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    We have most of our family local except for DH's dad, who is about 8 hours away.  We do Christmas Eve with my parents and brother and their kids.  Then Christmas morning we have just us and the kids for Santa and presents.  A few hours later, my parents stop in and we have a simple breakfast (eggs, ham, toast, easy stuff).  It's important to my mom to see us again, so we tolerate it.  About 1:00, we go to DH's grandmother's for his mom's part of the family.  Those things are pretty routine. 
    DH's dad isn't a consistent time but he usually comes up a day or two after Christmas and we have a meal and presents with him and DH's grandmother who is 100 (yes, 100).  It's a lot to squeeze into a few days, and then on 12/28 our boys have a birthday, too.  Pretty much we are exhausted!!  Honestly, it would be easier if one side of the family was NOT here and we could alternate years.  But I'm glad we get to see DH's grandmothers.  At their ages, we never know when they will be gone.  I don't have any living grandparents and haven't for years.
  12. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    DH's parents and my brother are in town. Everyone else lives out of province. Now that my siblings and I are all in long term relationships, we've decided that everything leading up to Christmas is for our "other" families, and the years we are able to get together, we claim the week between Christmas and New Year's for "our" family. It works well for us. Christmas morning is just for our immediate family.
  13. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    When we are in town, my parents are usually with us because they have nowhere else to be. I don't mind on Christmas. A few times they've actually left in the middle of Christmas day, or gone to visit other relatives without inviting us, or whatever. So I keep my expectations low. This year I set something up with friends who were cool with letting them come over too. 
    When we go to Kris's family, we see everyone EVERY FRIGGING DAY while we are there. And I mean EVERY FRIGGING DAY. His mom wants to squeeze in as much visiting as possible because we don't go there often, so she plans dinners with mostly the same group of people, eating leftovers. And we have to drive all over Ontario to visit these people in their homes. It's a major ordeal to spend a couple of hours with friends while we're out there. Last year we were there for nearly two weeks, and I am not kidding that we went to 9 family events in 9 days. As an introvert, it makes me twitchy just to think about.
    However, in a perfect world, I'd have it like I grew up. We'd do Christmas eve with my mom's side, go to midnight mass, come home and open presents at 1 am. Then, we'd go to my other grandma's on Christmas day. Both holidays were filled with lots of card games. Then it was over, and we were free for the week. I know I am idealizing it and it was probably stressful as hell for my parents for other reasons, but I loved it. I hope my kids grow up with the same warm feelings.
  14. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    DH's parents are in town, and mine are about 90 mins away. We have always alternated--one set for Thanksgiving, the other for Christmas. Christmas Eve is just for us.

    Since MIL died, DH's family has gotten all weird and decided they don't get together for Christmas, only for TG. Since one of my sisters (the other is 2000 miles away) was having my parents for the holiday we weren't having them, we have continued to alternate. Last year that meant we had Christmas to ourselves, and it was fantastic.
    My stepdaughters are out of the house, my boys are out of the house, and my girls will be 13 in 6 days. Most of us are pretty scattered. We did a big reunion in May, and that was four days of seeing everyone every day. Pretty stressful. I can't imagine doing that every year. (I am another introvert.) When I was growing up we lived 1500 miles from the town my parents came from, and all their siblings were everywhere, too, so it was always just our small family at Christmas. I never missed seeing grandparents--I don't think the idea ever occurred to me when I was a child. Grandparents were for summer!
  15. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Our families are close but we plan ahead and not on a certain day due to some possibly having to work Christmas. I prefer Christmas Day just to ourselves and usually my parents and in laws respect that. This year we are doing early Christmas with my parents (12/20) and then will do in laws after Christmas bc sil has to work that week. Last year I was a little miffed because we had to wait around until dinner time to go to inlaws when in reality, my kids were done with the day kwim? I would keep things simple Christmas Day or eve with your parents if you want to do the fancy hosting one day:)
  16. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of families around here do Christmas Eve with one of the parent's family and Christmas Day with the other.  Dh's family is "Jewish" so we don't have 'another family' to split the holiday up with.  Last year we made the execuative decision to just stay in our Nuclear family and it was SPLENDID!!!  My mom stresses me out so it was nice to stay home.  Of course, I do get the million invites to come up even after I say No and the 'inviting themselves to our house.' 
    Maybe invite them to your house?  But I think it is important to celebrate by yourselves sometimes!  My opinion.    Good luck!
  17. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    we alternate years for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day between my parents and the IL' side is anywhere from 10-15 people and Tony's is just his parents. and his brother and SIL...I can't imagine NOT visiting for Christmas...
    that said Christmas Day in the AM is for opening presents and a decent breakfast
  18. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I'm jewish.   Every year we do a hannukah party with DH's brothers and MIL.  If I host, my parents are included but if BIL host they usually are not since they both live in small brooklyn heights apartments.    Since I usually do thanksgiving, BIL hosts hanukkah.  I used to have a huge hanukah with DH's aunt and uncle, as well as cousins.   I have a big collection of hanukkah latkes platters since I used to get one every year as a thank you for hosting gift.  
    If I'm not having my parents over for a hannukah party, they will make no effort to see us.  They don't invite us, and since DH doesn't want to drive the 1 1/2 with typical traffic ( so could be longer or shorter depending on traffic) we don't invite ourselves.  
  19. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    We always had big family Christmas's growing up.  It would have been down right dull without it.  Christmas Eve was with my mom's parents/family and Christmas Day we went to my Dad's huge family.  I loved it.  So many fantastic memories.  I never missed just having "mom and dad" time. I mean really I saw them every day.  I didn't always get to see the rest of the family.  I actually wish my kids had the bigger family Christmases like I did.  Unfortunately we have lost a lot of family over the years.  Probably another reason I really appreciate family around the holidays.  You just can't make up that time with loved ones. 
    Now I travel to my mom's (my father died a few years ago).  So its just us, my mom, my grandmother, brother, SIL and my nephews.  Its still fun.  I can't imagine it just being me and the two kids.  We still celebrate on Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day is a down day.  The kids play with their new toys and we make a big Christmas Dinner. Typically the same people for Christmas Day. If its nice out we go to the zoo. 
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