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Sharing Christmas

(154 Posts)
MarySunshine Wed 07-Dec-16 20:55:40

Just wondering how others share out the Christmas cos Im feeling pretty upset right now about how ours is being shared out.
This year is baby's first and I would like to be a part of it.
DIL comes from a very close family who go OTT at Christmastime.
Until baby came along DIL used to stay overnight Xmas Eve with her family and my son used to stay with me. He would then go to her house after dinner and spend the rest of his day with her family and that worked out well for us for the last five years.

As I have to work Boxing Day, we arranged that we had 'an early Christmas' on Xmas Eve and I stayed with them overnight and came home Christmas morning. DIL's family could then spend the rest of Christmas Day and Boxing Day with them and we would all get to share the baby's first Christmas.
My son has now changed this and said they will come to mine instead on Christmas Eve but go home early evening as her family are now staying Christmas Eve at theirs. They are staying until the day after Boxing day.
This means I am going to be on my own for the whole of Christmas Day, while her family get to stay at my sons flat for Christmas.
Her family live nearer to them than I do, its just they cant put me up as well. When I said I was happy to stay on the sofa for the night I was told her Grandad would be sleeping on that and her Mum and sisters in the spare room ..

I want to say something. In fact I have said something but all my son said to me was well you know what her family are like .. He says if I am too upset then he will come and see me Christmas morning but I dont want him to miss out on being with his baby.

Just wondering really what others have done in a similar situation.

tanith Wed 07-Dec-16 21:04:15

Families eh! I'm afraid once partners and children are added to the mix it seems that someone will feel aggrieved at arrangements for Christmas or other celebrations.
Could you not join them for lunch on Christmas Day? and then spend a few hours with them.
Maybe you may have to accept it this year and hope you can make a different arrangement for next year. Please try not to feel too bad towards your son he's between a rock and a hard place trying to please you all and not upset anyone.

rosesarered Wed 07-Dec-16 21:12:38

You said it yourself... they are a close knit family.Your DIL's parents will always come first, it's just a fact of life.If you have a daughter then you would come first.This should not mean that you are cast into the outer darkness(so to speak). I would accept your son's offer of coming to see you on Christmas morning, he sees his baby every day, and his house is full of relatives to play with the baby.Perhaps next year will be different for you, and you will be asked to stay overnight.Sleeping on a sofa is something to put off unless in an emergency.Don't make such a fuss that your DIL will be angry and resentful with you.

Deedaa Wed 07-Dec-16 21:20:21

We are splitting Christmas this year. Previously DD and DS and their families have come to us on Christmas Day, but the children are getting too big for everyone to fit round the table and DH can't cope with the noise of everybody. DD and her family will come for lunch on Christmas Eve and DS and his will come on Christmas Day. Then we go to DD on Boxing Day for GS2's birthday. Complicated but hopefully it will work.

rosesarered Wed 07-Dec-16 21:27:39

We do something similar Dedaa as it was getting too much on one day.

merlotgran Wed 07-Dec-16 21:38:55

Isn't it hard to please everyone?

Muggins here is going to have three weeks of hard slog because DD2 and her family are coming the week before Christmas because some of them have to work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and they're too far away for a day trip.

We're spending Christmas Day with DD1 and the boys but she has to work until quite late Christmas Eve so guess who is going to be doing all the food prep?

DS and his family are coming down for New Year........

Roll on summer grin

Faye Wed 07-Dec-16 21:40:30

I can imagine you are feeling upset Mary, though you still were going to spend the day on your own. I can't think why your son didn't insist that you were invited for lunch in the first place. I could never have sat eating Christmas lunch knowing my mother was on her own.

I don't think Christmas is a day of goodwill and there are more upsets and hurt feelings at that time of year. If I was you I would think this is the time to pull back and say ok, the inlaws come first and more than likely always will now there is a GC in the picture. It's time I made alternative plans for Christmas because it probably won't get better in the coming years. flowers

cornergran Wed 07-Dec-16 21:50:50

I don't know what the answer is for you mary but whatever you decide the important thing is not to hold resentment. Your son sounds to be aware of your feelings, he is doing his best. One part of our family will be hundreds of miles away, we actually encouraged it, we will have lunch with the other and then come home as the afternoon and next day are booked by our lovely daughter in law's family. It sounds as if you are on your own which is of course much harder. Is there a compromise? As suggested by tanith could you go for lunch or is it too far away, or would you feel uncomfortable? The little one won't know it's Christmas Day, so you could consider a second Christmas perhaps, we still do that. i do understand how upsetting it is, I had similar feelings some years back until I thought it through. I hope a compromise can be found.

FarNorth Wed 07-Dec-16 21:51:47

Coming to yours on Xmas eve probably means less work for your DiL as you will be preparing the meal, rather than her.
Also, maybe her mother and sisters will do a lot, or even all, of the cooking while they are there, to help her?
So maybe doing it that way will give her a much more relaxing holiday,
(When I was a new mother, I wouldn't have wanted to entertain any relatives for xmas dinner.)

MarySunshine Thu 08-Dec-16 07:39:54

Thankyou for all your input here. This time of year sure does come with its own set of difficulties for each of us!
I'm not really bothered about the Christmas lunch and being there for the whole of Christmas Day as Im a bit of a Bah humbug when it comes to the festive season.What has upset me was originally I was to stay there Christmas Eve. It seems that my son hadnt talked this over with his partner, and hadnt realised her whole family were going there Xmas Eve. So I kinda feel that Ive been 'kicked out' so they can stay longer! They are there for Christmas Day and Boxing day I really think it unfair that they are now there Christmas Eve too.

Faye you have really hit the nail on the head re the other side of the family. DIL and her family have always been this way and are very OTT in every celebration and event that arrange. Until baby came along I was quite happy to stay in the background, but I love this baby as much as her Mum and family do and I am entitled as his Nan to spend time with him too.

Its hard not to feel a resentment at this as this isnt the first time Ive been left out of family plans. I know my son is doing his best to find a compromise but I also know DIL will win as since baby came along she has become boss of all plans!

kittylester Thu 08-Dec-16 07:53:43

I think it is the problem that has been aired on here lots if times. Mum's gravitate to their own family.

We always made sure everyone got their fair share of Christmas and, luckily, our daughters are the same. DS2 always has Christmas at his partner's parent's as it is also his bil's birthday.

I've just had stern talk with my brother who has organised Christmas so that his daughter and new baby are with them for a week. I pointed out to him that the baby 'belonged' to the other gps too. He seemed shocked.grin

ninathenana Thu 08-Dec-16 11:42:33

I have never spent more than a hour or two with my GC over Christmas. When D was allowed to bring them to open their presents from us. That's if it was a year they were UK.
They moved back to UK (military stationed in Germany) when 1st GS was 8 mths. and now have 7 and 4 yr old. His parents and brother moved to Germany whilst D and exH were out there. So when they returned to UK D &Ex and GC would either spend Christmas with his parents in Germany or D's in-laws would come to UK and stay with them. We were never invited to spend time over Christmas with D and family + in-laws, even though we lived in the same town so could have gone for a meal and returned home.

Anya Thu 08-Dec-16 11:48:55

Tell your son you don't want to break up the time he spends with his new baby, but if he does find he's able then you would love him to pop over on Christmas day. Perhaps he (and baby) might need to 'get out of the way' while things are being prepared?

At least show him you understand the position he's in but leave the door open for him. That way he'll appreciate your understanding.

kittylester Thu 08-Dec-16 12:13:30

Good advice Anya.

Louizalass Thu 08-Dec-16 15:16:41

Actually, Mary your son might well have suggested spending Christmas morning with you so that (a)he gets to see you on his own and (b) he gets a break from, what sounds like, a bit too much of his in-laws!

Other than that, it is a pity that you couldn't at least have Christmas Dinner with them. Not very charitable of them not to have thought of it rather than leave you on your own.

My two 'children' live abroad so the problem never arises.

mrsjones Thu 08-Dec-16 15:47:38

You could ask your son & dil to come to you for New Year's Day and then you would have the baby to yourself without the "in laws". It's best not to make too much fuss about Christmas as this could annoy dil and make the situation worse. It is hard but she will always lean towards her own family first and you will never change that.

MarySunshine Thu 08-Dec-16 16:12:17

Originally I was to spend the afternoon/evening on Christmas Eve with them and that was to be our Christmas. I was okay with that and I thought I was being fair in offering to 'take the back seat' as I know her family prefer Christmas more than I do.
Because there is 25 miles of forest between our two homes and I wont drive that route in the dark, I was going to stay the night xmas eve which was extra nice for me. But DIL arranged for her family to arrive Christmas Eve which is why I cant stay and why my son said he would come here instead on Xmas Eve.
I was looking forward to waking Christmas morning and seeing the baby with his presents and now her family will be doing that while Im waking up alone and missing out.
And btw.. Her family live a lot closer to them than I do so there's no need for them to stay.
I think I am going to have no choice but to point out that the baby 'belongs' to this Nan as well!

FarNorth Thu 08-Dec-16 16:48:16

MarySunshine, you said "It seems that my son hadnt talked this over with his partner, and hadnt realised her whole family were going there Xmas Eve."

That being the case, it's not as if a plan was overturned by your DiL. She had no idea that you and your son had planned this so is only guilty of maybe being a little thoughtless towards you.

Could you not have the overnight stay on New Year's Eve?

(I don't think you should point out anything.)

KatyK Thu 08-Dec-16 16:50:35

My DD, SIL and DGD are spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my DD's friend and her husband. Not sure what happened to Christmas being a family time sad

FarNorth Thu 08-Dec-16 16:57:20

I must be weird in not thinking it at all important to be with family other than partner and children (when they are young) for Xmas.

I have often had Xmas with relatives, and often not. No-one got upset one way or the other.

KatyK Thu 08-Dec-16 17:08:32

I must try to adopt your attitude FarNorth smile

MarySunshine Thu 08-Dec-16 17:42:17

Far North It was as I said and not talked over properly between my son and his partner. However, her family are going to be there Xmas day and Boxing Day, so why should it be me 'kicked out' on Christmas Eve. We had talked about this and I offered to let her family have this Christmas there as Im really not into Christmas in the way they are. But I would still love to wake up up and spend a little time with my Grandson on his first Christmas.
I guess I am upset because I get to see my Grandson for a few hours once a fortnight while she spends three days a week with her Mum, and as I had a few days off work it would have been lovely for me to spend the night at theirs..

New Year is not an option because I am working over the New Year.

Thanks for all the input though .. There are many of you who will also have 'difficult' Christmas's... On the bright side of mine at least I wont spend hours doing the dishes smile

lizzypopbottle Thu 08-Dec-16 17:45:20

I'm the same, FarNorth. I have no religious belief so Christmas Day is just another day. If I'm invited out, that's great. If it's someone else's turn, that's fine. If people are coming here, excellent! I'm not jealous of my daughter's in-laws and I always tell all three of my grown-up children that it's always good to see them at any time of year but there's no pressure from me at any particular time.

If I'm alone on Christmas day, I'll get up late, spend the morning in my pyjamas, eat whatever I like, walk my dog, treat myself to a lazy evening, maybe have some luxury spa treatments on hand. I won't indulge in feeling sorry for myself.

hicaz46 Thu 08-Dec-16 17:49:48

Could you not stay at a hotel nearby on Christmas eve? We have done this before now as families do not always have room to accommodate everyone.

grabba Thu 08-Dec-16 17:50:10

Both my daughters are spending this Christmas day with their in laws. The in laws invited them. They didn't ask what we were doing or would we like them for lunch. We are now all getting together on Christmas eve.