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Family at Christmas

(78 Posts)
marblerun Wed 18-Nov-15 16:23:02

Advice please

My daughter has always alternated Christmas with me and with the "other grandparents" The years she is not with me I find very hard but I do realise she is doing it to be fair. This year is "my" turn but they have just found out that SiL's brother will be over from Australia with his family and as they never get to see him because of the expense and distance have said that they would like to go to SiL's parents this year instead of coming to me. My head understands this. My heart doesn't. I'm devastated but don't know how to handle it for the best

kittylester Wed 18-Nov-15 16:26:19

I think you have to let them go with a happy smile unless you offer to host the whole lot. I think that's what I would do. Or could you host a boxing day bash? Try not to let it come between you.

janeainsworth Wed 18-Nov-15 16:29:05

Can you not spend Christmas with them at their house or wherever they are staying, marblerun?

annsixty Wed 18-Nov-15 16:30:18

Just accept that is a one off and arrange to have " two Christmas's" so you don't lose out. Sometimes compromises have to be made. Don't be a " dog in the manger " over this or you may make everyone uncomfortable. Your D will appreciate the gesture you have made.

tanith Wed 18-Nov-15 16:31:37

I agree with the others you have to smile and say its fine even when it clearly isn't. Some good suggestions from kitty and jane there.

shysal Wed 18-Nov-15 16:35:45

I always say the family must go where they want or feel they should. I then host a lunch for everyone between Christmas and New Year, on a day to suit them all. I remember how awkward I used to feel in their position.
marblerun, just have your quiet Christmas, knowing that you can probably celebrate with family at a later date. Are you on your own? If so, you might find they invite you to join them.

loopylou Wed 18-Nov-15 16:57:48

Smile bravely and say that you hope they have a lovely time.

You're very lucky she spends alternate Christmas' with you, I'm very much of the opinion that it's lovely if the DCs come but if they chose to stay at home or do something else then that's fine.

I'd hate it to be done as a sense of duty rather than through a real desire to be here.

We always hope to see then sometime over the festive season, and generally that works out really well.

marblerun Wed 18-Nov-15 17:36:50

Thank you - I know that you are right I have to do this with grace but it is so hard. Two years running without seeing the GC open their gifts is difficult to bear.

I can't go there as it's 200 miles away and they will be bursting at the seams - if it was local it would be fine but sadly it's not. The brother is here for the whole period so they are going from Christmas eve to New Year. As I mentioned I do understand and they don't have the money to go and visit in Australia themselves so this time is rare and precious. But being on my own at this time of year is hard (I'm divorced) and although I can spend time with friends it just isn't the same

sarah12345 Wed 18-Nov-15 18:25:41

I dont wish to sound unkind but really I think you are very lucky to see your dd and dgc every other Christmas usually. Think of your dds inlaws who dont see their son and his family very often at all. How can you be devastated. As I said I dont mean to be unsympathetic but I think you need perspective. I say this as a mum who has a son who lives in New Zealand

loopylou Wed 18-Nov-15 18:32:51

I'm yet to see DGS open presents on Christmas Day!
If I were on my own I'd have an 'alternative ' Christmas or go away or some rather than be alone and resenting my DD being elsewhere.
Can't you plan something different just for you?

Tegan Wed 18-Nov-15 19:07:30

She's devastated because until recently she thought they were spending Christmas with her and it's natural to feel upset, especially when she's got to put on a brave face and say how much she understands [which she does]. If you look forward to something you can't help but feel disappointment when it all falls through; doesn't help knowing that other people can't see their family sad.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 18-Nov-15 19:12:22

Can't you keep your presents for your grandkids back until you see them after Xmas. Then you would see them open them.

I do feel for you.

sarah12345 Wed 18-Nov-15 19:16:42

Disappointment I understand. Marblerun sounds like a nice lady who obviously has brought up a kind and thoughtful daughter. I just think devastated is a bit strong in the circumstances. Only my opinion and coloured by my own circumstance. I truly hope you manage to enjoy your Christmas Marblerun.

downtoearth Wed 18-Nov-15 19:18:22

just a suggestion in our nearest little town they have a christmas lunch in the assembly rooms for people on their own is there any thing like that near you marblerun as a guest or a volunteer I hear that these can be really happy occasions as people go there through choice and make the most of it.

Elegran Wed 18-Nov-15 19:22:49

ummm - she didn't say that her DD's inlaws don't see them very often she said "My daughter has always alternated Christmas with me and with the "other grandparents" so as far as we know the honours are even.

Can you Skype them, marblerun ? That could lessen the disappointment of not seeing them.

trisher Wed 18-Nov-15 19:25:21

It is partly shock marblerun, you had been thinking they would be with you at Christmas and now they won't. You just need time to adjust. Try to put yourself in the place of your DDs MiL. She probably sees very little of the DS in Australia. Be gracious and let her have both her DSs for Christmas. Try to smile and assure your daughter that all will be OK. Perhaps you can arrange a special treat for yourself and your DGGs during the holiday so you have something to look forward to (Panto or something)

WilmaKnickersfit Wed 18-Nov-15 20:03:19

I feel for you too. flowers My Mum asks me at least once a week at this time of year if we're still coming to them for Christmas - and there's only one time in my life we didn't spend it together. Your daughter probably knows you would be disappointed and wasn't looking forward to telling you.

Some good ideas have been made, especially using Skype. We Skype my brother and his family every year now and I know that helps my Mum with being so far away. Going out to the Panto when they're back is a great idea too. Lots of pantos run well into January, although it could be a bit expensive if you pay for everyone.

annsixty Wed 18-Nov-15 20:14:56

Elegran It isn't often you don't understand as you are very bright but I think the poster Sarah meant the inlaws rarely see the family who are coming from Australia, not the OP's D and family. Have I got that right?.

sarah12345 Wed 18-Nov-15 20:36:55

Yes Annsixty and Elegran, I meant the inlaws rarely see the family who are coming from Australia.

rosesarered Wed 18-Nov-15 20:44:09

Make it a loving gift to your daughter marblerun she will be very grateful to you for it. I never see my DGC open gifts , they live locally so we see them either Christmas Day, or Boxing Day, usually for lunch, but just for a few hours.I think that relatives from Australia make it a special time for your DD and family and inlaws.

etheltbags1 Wed 18-Nov-15 20:49:32

My dd wont come for Christmas as her partner wont, so they stay on their own I go in the morning and see DGD open her presents, however as his parents live nearby they usually call in to see them on the evening. I do think DD should be more assertive and insist that they come over to me alternately but I don't want to cause trouble, they have in the past came on boxing day but last year she came alone, depends if he has been drinking or not.

Hope they come over this year as im keeping some of DGD presents to be opened at my house. I love them lots regardless

rosequartz Wed 18-Nov-15 21:24:13

marblerun I have rarely seen my DGS open his presents at Christmas because they are so far away - we don't visit at Christmas because it is their (very) busy time of year and far too hot for us anyway.

However, we are lucky to have other DGC nearby so we can share Christmas with them. I do hope that you can share your Christmas with someone, if not then I hope that they can visit at another time and you can have a lovely time together whenever that is.

Re the Panto - local amateur pantos can be brilliant and far less expensive than the theatre.

annsixty Wed 18-Nov-15 21:26:18

I think many of us don't see our GC open presents I certainly don't. One GD I have never seen on her birthday and she is 13, I have seen her brother (16) on two birthdays and 3 GS 14,6 and 4 I have never seen on their birthdays, the youngest I did not see until he was 13 weeks as we don't "relate" to his mother. We live with all this and love our GC and get on so well when we are with them. It is a sign of modern times and family life now.

marblerun Wed 18-Nov-15 22:06:47

Thank you for all your messages. I think it's as much that I'm on my own and it's not an easy time of year to be on your own. I will see friends of course but it's not the same as a family Christmas or even Boxing Day. But some good points and the last thing I want to do is cause Ill feeling. I suppose the fact I'd been looking forward to it made it more disappointing

Tegan Thu 19-Nov-15 00:02:05

A hug and flowers for you marblerun. I didn't see much of my family last Christmas and I felt pretty miserable about it. On a scale of things that can go wrong in ones life it's not up there at the top, but it makes you feel a bit empty.