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POLL RESULTS: Home for the Holidaze: (8 comments)

POLL: Home for the Holidaze

Friday, December 16, 2011 - 12:00 AM


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Q: The holidays are here and once again I'm dreading them. My husband's parents are divorced and each insists we visit them on Christmas. My parents are together and, of course, they insist we come to dinner so they can enjoy their grandchildren. My husband's brother always hold a big Christmas Eve bash at his house, which is two hours away, and any suggestion that we skip his party so we have time to prepare our own house for the holidays is viewed as an insult. My husband and I both work and all this makes this time of year a nightmare. We usually end up fighting and if we cut any visits short our families lay a guilt trip on us. Help!

POLL: What should she do?
 
15% (259) Put her foot down. Cut some or all of this stuff from the agenda!
 
3% (61) Grin and Bear it. 'Tis the Season to be Miserable
 
1% (31) Hubby wants to go? Let him. Get that egg nog from the fridge and chill to "The Year Without a Santa Claus"
 
78% (1281) Explain that the kids' Christmas comes first. Making the adults happy is going to have to be a little earlier or later on the calendar.
1632 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Bruceski
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Posts: 6

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May 2011
Re: Home for the Holidaze (Score: 0)
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - 01:15 AM (#60656)

My answer kinda depends on whether the folks you're dealing with are reasonable or not. Even reasonable folks can be resistant when shifting a "tradition".

If reasonable: Explain to the parents that you can't manage to be everywhere at Christmastime, find different holidays to be special family time with each of them (dependent on budget and travel requirements). For example, my parents always fly out here for Thanksgiving, then they head home and are available should my cousin visit them for Christmas. Easter/Passover, 4th of July, there are all sorts of things that are traditionally family holidays or can be adapted as such. Make sure neither of your husband's parents gets Christmas proper if they're the kind to compete. As for your Bro-law, if reasonable I'd suggest finding a time for you or your husband to "confide" in him that you're run so ragged this time of year between all the parents. A shared difficulty that will help you be more sympathetic when you just want a quiet evening at home rather than another big party. Particularly if he also has kids to handle.

If unreasonable: Put your foot down and take control. Make sure they all know you're having the same discussion with everyone, figure out (with your husband) what you can stand and tell them what it is.


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Amanda
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Posts: 30

Registered:
Oct 2008
Re: Home for the Holidaze (Score: 0)
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - 01:17 AM (#60657)

Christmas doesn't all have to be done on Christmas night. If his parents absolutely can not be in the same room together, then they'll have to see you all on a day other than Christmas or one can come over for breakfast and the other for a late lunch so you leave dinner open for your family and still get time with both of his. The Christmas Eve bash that his brother throws two hours away is definitely an obligation that you can't break because he does it every year. If you can, try preparing the house for the holidays before you leave instead of after the party so you'll have more time. As for the guilt trips, you should know them well enough to turn it back on them "Well, if you guys would work with us on the schedule, we'd be able to spend more time" or just promise to spend more time with them later. I know that's easier said than done, but familial peace comes at a price.


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abb3w
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Posts: 46

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Jan 2008
Random art criticism (Score: 0)
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - 01:29 AM (#60658)
Mistletoe has WHITE berries, and smooth-edged leaves. Though holly is also a seasonal decoration, I don't think the joke flies as well.
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Stevarooni
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From: KCMO

Posts: 64

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Jun 2008
Re: Home for the Holidaze (Score: 0)
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - 03:03 AM (#60659)

Christmas is about family. Immediate family first; that's what the morning/early day should be about. If they're going to "make the rounds", that's going to have to be scheduled past that. Best would be to alternate years so that you guys aren't burnt out, and each sub-family gets a turn.


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Murgatroyd
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Posts: 300

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Jan 2008
Re: Home for the Holidaze (Score: 0)
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - 04:41 AM (#60661)

After this Christmas is over, announce that there's going to be a new arrangement. Tell everyone that your kids come first. So you won't selfishly impose your agenda on them, and you won't ruin their Christmas by carting them all over creation instead of letting them enjoy the holiday.

Tell everyone that Christmas Day is now your kids' special day. For next Christmas Eve, you can invite both families over to your place for dinner -- pre-empting your brother-in-law's party with an announcement a year in advance! Stress that it will be a quiet, low-key affair that will end at a relatively early hour because the kids need their sleep. If certain family members choose not to attend, tell them you'll miss them ... but they had plenty of time to plan ahead, and it won't be your fault if they don't show up.

If anyone gives you static about the new plan, tell them again that it's for the kids, and remind them that children grow up all too quickly.

If they still give you a hard time about it, initiate Operation Guilt Trip.


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Mahray
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Oct 2009
Re: Home for the Holidaze (Score: 0)
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - 07:55 AM (#60663)

Take a year off (well, a Christmas off). Plan a holiday for just your family, make it nice and fun - a long way away from all the relatives. Then you can start planning out where to go each time, maybe alternate or work with the different days. But it is important to take the time just for your family first.


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Laine
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Dec 2011
Re: Home for the Holidaze (Score: 0)
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - 12:01 PM (#60669)

My family's solution has been to do a year rotation - odd years are spent with my family out of state, and even years are spent with my husband's family locally - thankfully, his parents are in town, and then his other siblings crash as they see fit. It's worked well so far the past four years! If his parents lived far away, we'd probably do a three-year rotation - one with my folks, one with his, and one where we say forget everyone, we're staying home.


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DanialArin
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Posts: 92

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Apr 2009
Re: Home for the Holidaze (Score: 0)
posted Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 06:04 AM (#60674)

Growing up, my mom's family was relatively close, while my dad's was a few states away, which made things easier. We got together with my mom's extended family (one of my mom's brothers hosted a big family get-together for major holidays every year) for Chanukah (advantage: over a week to do stuff in, evening gift exchange rather than morning; disadvantage: kids still in school) and my dad's folks for New Years (we'd fly out after the main Christmas rush and come back January 2nd, spend a couple days each with my grandparents and my dad's two siblings).

While you don't have these particular complications simplifying your life, there is a useful point here. There are two holidays here in close proximity, each of which traditionally has a "night before" attached. If the two extended families insist on demanding you devote the one to them and only them (and one dividing their demands three different ways), then the simple answer is give one family Christmas and the other New Years, and alternate which is which each year. If that's not good enough for your in-lasw, then suggest that the three-way split is getting to be too rigorous, and in order to affect balance, you might be able to tell both parents-in-law that they can see their grandkids at your brother-in-law's party, giving your husband's family equal time in total with you and your kids to your family.

This year in particular, both Christmas and New Years occur on weekends (noting they're always a week apart). When that *doesn't* happen, there's still a weekend in there somewhere, so unless you or your husband work on weekends, that can optionally make the intervening weekend the "catch up" days for family members upset about getting lost in the shuffle.

(As another alternative, you might try to make arrangements with your brother-in-law to throw his party at your house one year, logistics permitting. You get everyone to visit you for a change, rather than making the road trip, and maybe your husband's family could help you with the decorating.)


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