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Which son for Christmas?

(77 Posts)
Jillybird Mon 18-Nov-19 23:00:52

I appreciate that if you have no children or are looking forward to a bleak Christmas this will seem a wonderful problem to have and I apologise now if it upsets you. Perhaps just pass on by.

I just don't know what to do for Christmas. I must decide quickly as plans are being made. Older son has three children and a lovely wife with whom I have spent every Christmas for the last sixteen years, either at their house or at mine. I dearly love my grandchildren and feel very close to them. (Yes, I know I'm lucky). Number two son has no wife and no children. (A succession of long-term girlfriends has led nowhere.) We have all been invited to spend Christmas with my sister, my nephew, my niece and her children who live a short flight away. Older son says they can't afford it because there are five of them and what would they do with the dog, ( I am their dog-sitter and I would be away too). He also says the children would prefer to be at home. Younger son is definitely going - he is close to his cousin and loves small children - she has a 3yr old and a 5yr old. I am torn between them. I feel sad that my younger son has no wife, no girlfriend to travel with and I know he wants me to go. I am becoming disabled and struggling to carry a suitcase so it's unlikely I'll ever go again on my own. I like to see my sister from time to time and I'm very fond of my niece but I can't help feeling my heart torn in two. I want to be in both places with both halves of my family.

Although I have read other threads on here about Christmas with people saying "it's no big deal It's just one day, etc., etc.", to me it IS a big deal. It's a special magical time and I have visions of me being in one place with one son and half the family and feeling wretched because I miss the other son and the other half of the family. I adore my grandchildren.

I repeat, I know I am spoilt, but this is keeping me awake nights worrying (from 2 am - 6am last night.)
Should I go or should I stay?

BlueBelle Mon 18-Nov-19 23:29:26

It is a dilemma isn’t it But as you’ve spent the last 16 years with one child I personally would think it’s time you were with the other one and what a good opportunity to have someone to travel with to see your sister
Can you not have new year with your older son and family
There’s no point going if you’re going to be miserable but what is there to be miserable about Two loving sons
Has your younger son never spent Christmas with you at your older sons Christmas celebrations over the last 16 years what does he usually do ?

Hetty58 Mon 18-Nov-19 23:37:21

I agree with BlueBelle as you should go while you're still able to or you might regret it later.

NotSpaghetti Mon 18-Nov-19 23:53:11

Yes go!
Have fun. You have enjoyed past years with one son and now it’s your pleasure to enjoy it with the other.

DillytheGardener Tue 19-Nov-19 01:08:27

I agree with the other two posters. You’ve spent the last 16 with the eldest and now it’s the youngest ones turn. Also with your mobility decreasing make sure you make the most of what you can do now. Go have a wonderful Christmas with your sister and youngest son.

Nansnet Tue 19-Nov-19 02:23:37

I agree with the others too, you should take the opportunity to visit your sister with your younger son. Your older son has his own family around him on Christmas day, and will no doubt still have a lovely day, even though he may miss having you there.

Things change. After spending every Christmas with both of my kids since they were born (both now adults, one married with our first GC, the other in a relationship), this year, my hubby and I have had to make a difficult decision about where to spend Christmas. My family are now spread far and wide and, as of this year, it's no longer possible for us all to be together over Christmas/New Year. I think there comes a time in most families, once your kids grow up and have their own families, you have to start alternating, or doing something completely different. You've been lucky enough to spend the last 16 years with your older son and his family ... doing something different this once isn't going to spoil your relationship with him. Just explain to him that you may not have the opportunity to go again, and you would like to visit your sister and it will be much easier for you having your younger son to help with your luggage, etc.

I do totally understand how you feel, and I've been kept awake myself worrying about what my hubby and I should do. But once we'd made the decision, and told everyone our plans, I felt a whole lot better! We're actually looking forward to doing something different. I still feel sad that we won't all be together, but I'm looking at it as the start of new traditions.

Go to your sisters and enjoy a different kind of Christmas ... you can always go to your other son's again next year.

grannyactivist Tue 19-Nov-19 02:26:10

Golly, it would be a no brainer for me. Your younger son must be delighted at the prospect of finally getting to spend a Christmas with his mum. I'd be packing my bags in anticipation.

I'm in the position of having two similarly placed sons and am fortunate that they are best friends; the unmarried son is always included in his brother's plans and joint Christmases are the order of the day. Fortunately I have the loveliest daughter-in-law who also has an unmarried brother and she has ensured they have invited both brothers to spend time with them at Christmas and even go on holidays with them.

Sara65 Tue 19-Nov-19 07:55:25

Yes go, your son and daughter in law will be fine without you, your grandchildren will miss you for sure, but you can FaceTime them.
I too have an unmarried son, and I always feel a bit sad for him at Christmas, go and enjoy.

sodapop Tue 19-Nov-19 08:57:28

I agree with everyone else too. Seems like its unanimous jillybird. Tell your family what you have decided and why. They will understand and you will be able to sleep. Enjoy Christmas.

Riggie Tue 19-Nov-19 10:37:51

In your position I think I would go

nettyandmasey Tue 19-Nov-19 10:40:03

I alternate my Christmas with daughters and grandchildren with her in-laws. This year I will be with her. My other husband also with a granddaughter wants to spend Christmas at home so are not going. I am secretly quite happy as will be lovely to spend Christmas with them individually, as last year I didn’t see either which was hard. Next year it means I will spend Christmas with my other daughter which will be lovely. This year we will do our Christmas on 27th.

jaylucy Tue 19-Nov-19 10:40:44

I'd go with your son with no kids etc to your sisters.
As you said, you are beginning to struggle with travelling and as he is happy to go - ample chance to have an unpaid porter!
Why not have an extra Christmas with your son with kids either before Christmas or at New Year?

icanhandthemback Tue 19-Nov-19 10:41:02

Go. YOLO! You Only Live Once! That is the motto of our family and we try to appreciate these sorts of decisions in that context.
Talk to your older son and explain how much you love having Christmas with his family but would like to embrace this opportunity whilst you can. You never know, his wife might be thrilled with the thought of having a Christmas off without feeling she has to stand on ceremony for the in-laws!

anti Tue 19-Nov-19 10:45:44

I can understand how you must feel, but seeing that you have spent the last 16 years with your eldest son, I think it's a wonderful opportunity to spend it now with your youngest and seeing your sister and her family. I a man sure your older son will understand and why not already arrange a family get together for when you get back, something to look forward to! Enjoy it!!

optimist Tue 19-Nov-19 10:50:39

Agree with Bluebell

grandtanteJE65 Tue 19-Nov-19 10:53:40

Please, do accept your sister's invitation and go there with your younger son. You are already having problems travelling alone, and don't mention whether your sister has too.

This is a good chance to see her.

Frankly, I am a little surprised that you have spent 16 Christmases with your married son, apparently without his brother. Perhaps I misunderstood, and it isn't any business of mine either, but to me it sounds as if it is high time for a change.

M0nica Tue 19-Nov-19 10:54:14

The answer is obvious. You have spent 16 Christmases with one son. Now it is the younger's turn - plus the opportunity to see many other members of your family, if you are finding travelling getting less easy, grab the oppportunity to see them again while you can.

MollyG Tue 19-Nov-19 10:59:08

Toss a coin, as it lands you’ll know which one you want in your heart, go with that x

Kathy1959 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:03:39

Definitely go, you’ll regret it if you don’t. You’ve spent plenty of time with your older son, I’m sure he’ll be fine. There’ll be more Christmases, but this opportunity may not come up again, or next year, you may not be able to travel. Enjoy!😊

Kerenhappuch Tue 19-Nov-19 11:05:32

My sons are in similar positions, and it turned out that my younger son felt quite left out because Christmas always revolved around the grandchildren.

Your younger son can't put on a 'family Christmas' for you, but you and he can enjoy one together and have a wonderful time doing something different.

I'm sure your grandchildren will understand that it's Uncle X's turn to have Christmas with granny this year.

sarahanew Tue 19-Nov-19 11:09:24

I think you should go. You may not be well enough to travel there again. You are not chosing between your sons. Everyone has been invited and it is your sons choice that he and his family will not be going. You will have plenty more Christmases with them I'm sure

DotMH1901 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:09:52

I think you should go - you say that your health isn't the best and it would probably be the last time you travel so why not go with your younger son. I am sure your older son and family will understand and perhaps you could have a second Christmas with them either before you go or when you return?

Oopsminty Tue 19-Nov-19 11:09:58

Well here I come being awkward.

I read your post and immediately thought you had to go to son number 1 that you've celebrated with for the last 16 years.

I was thinking of the children.

I have so many memories of wonderful Christmas's as a child. With my Grandparents.

Had they suddenly decided to go somewhere else I'd have been devastated.

I can see your dilemma but I'm in Camp older son

Good luck with whichever choice you make!

wildswan16 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:15:17

I think you should go with your younger son. It is an opportunity not to be missed. I'm sure you could have a pre or post "Christmas" with your much loved grandchildren. (They might even like that as they could get two Christmasses)!

ReadyMeals Tue 19-Nov-19 11:19:57

I think you should go to the one you usually spend it with. You're part of their Christmas now and all your future Xmas's are therefore assured. Break the pattern now and you may find they enjoyed xmas without you and want to do it that way more often. (Sorry just being blunt for clarity not brutality). Or the children will be sad you're not there where they feel you belong at xmas. Can I assume that the younger son is not actually being excluded from the family christmases and could join you at your other son's house if he wanted to? I'd not like to think of him as the one who is always left alone at xmas.