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Christmas woe

(50 Posts)
Treelover Wed 20-Nov-19 11:47:12

Since I’ve been alone I have spent Christmas with my daughter and her husband with my and their dogs. They prefer not to come to me because my daughter likes to be in control and things done perfectly. She lives in a massive house with massive grounds, I stay over just that one night of the year. So I can have wine etc walk the dogs and drive back home (2 miles away) the next morning.
It’s all beautifully done.
This year my sos family of five decide they want to come Christmas Day instead of day after or day after that. I leave my dogs behind (because DIL doesn’t like dogs) and as they live a good hours drive away the whole visit takes place within a few hours with a high tea in the afternoon. ) no alcohol lots presents for kids; very focussed on them.
So now daughter says great ‘let’s get it over with’ all done in few hours on Xmas day; I don’t get to have a drink or have dogs with me relaxing Xmas evening and annual stay over. I’ve just replied ‘yeh get it over with’ and she has said thumbs up. She knows im bit upset but as she said it’s not your birthday!
It’s tough being alone most of the year but most difficult at Christmas. DIL has never been friendly and we’re never invited to theirs. She only concedes visit to me as gran at Xmas and once in spring /summer ; at my house in the summer at my (his only sibling. She has no children) daughters at Xmas. It’s how it is. But to actually say no, come another day to son who wants to visit Xmas day with their three children is very hard!!! What do you think? Does any of this make sense to anyone else?

dragonfly46 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:52:52

Personally I would rather spend a few hours with the whole family than a slightly longer stay with DD.

Smileless2012 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:58:45

I would try to to worry about this Treelover, there are a lot of things that happen with family members that are difficult, sometimes impossible to make sense of.

Enjoy Christmas day with whoever you get to spend it with and for as long as the 'day' lasts.

grapefruitpip Wed 20-Nov-19 12:07:53

When you ask if it makes sense.....I think your opening sentence is important " Since I've been alone".

I wonder if Christmas is becoming a focus of something deeper.
Could you possibly step back a bit, keep it simple. There are 365 days in a year.

Since it is nearby, could you do a pop in, be all cheery with prosecco under one arm and fun gifts for the children under the other.

crystaltipps Wed 20-Nov-19 12:36:18

Could t you stay over with your DD in her massive house anyway, after the kids have gone- have the evening with her( and a drink) ?

Gonegirl Wed 20-Nov-19 12:41:16

I don't quite understand all of that, but it seems very sad.

Don't understand why daughter said "it's not your birthday". That sounds so mean.

When do you "leave your dogs behind"? I thought son's family wanted to come to yours on Xmas day?

I just can't work it all out. Perhaps I'm being thick.

Gonegirl Wed 20-Nov-19 12:42:10

Is the son's family going to the massive house, or to your house?

Yehbutnobut Wed 20-Nov-19 12:49:54

Tell you son that you have already made arrangements and they can stick to the usual day as this suits you best.

Don’t be bullied.

Gonegirl Wed 20-Nov-19 12:55:46

If you are all going to the massive house, I don't think you should leave your dogs behind. Dil will just have to suck it up.

Baggs Wed 20-Nov-19 13:15:30

You could have a drink, with your dog for company (which seems to be important to you), after you get back from the Let's Get It Over With do at your daughter's.

That's if I've understood all the complications of the story.

The tone of your post suggests to me that you and your daughter (control freak is intimated) don't get along very well. It's sad if that is the case but you might just have to lump it and muck in with how other people in your family want to do things. Christmas spirit and all that.

rubysong Wed 20-Nov-19 13:26:14

Do the afternoon tea, children, no dog/alcohol thing, then nip home when they have gone, collect the dog and the booze and return for the evening and sleep over. Everybody happy, enjoy!

FlexibleFriend Wed 20-Nov-19 14:15:40

So you and your dog normally spend Christmas day at your Daughters who likes everything just so.
Boxing day or the day after Your son and family usually come to you BUT this year they want to come Christmas day.
Your daughter is ok with this at it gets it all over on one day BUT you prefer spreading it out and seeing them on separate days. ( I hope this is right)
Please yourself if you don't want to get it over with on Christmas day SAY SO. Your the one who spends most of your time alone, so be selfish for once and please yourself and tell them why and they might be more considerate in future. It shouldn't be hard, they really are not more important than you. You can say it nicely by saying but I look forward so much to seeing you and if we all together I'll have less time with you individually and that's hard for me.

Gonegirl Wed 20-Nov-19 14:35:11

Sod Christmas spirit Baggs. OP needs a bit of loving care from her kids.

Gonegirl Wed 20-Nov-19 14:36:48

Your daughter's dogs will be at the massive house, so yoursmight as well be too. Do NOT leave those dogs behind.

pinkquartz Wed 20-Nov-19 14:43:10

The part I am confused by is when the Ds and Dil come at Xmas do they stay with you?
If so then your dogs are there?

So why can't they come with you to the massive house?
I think also they are being mean to you.
Can you tell them that it means a lot to you that it stays as it it was, cos you do get lonely?

PamGeo Wed 20-Nov-19 15:15:12

I could be wrong so apologise if I've misunderstood as I've read the post a few times.
It sounds a bit like all the ladies in the family are very similar strong minded individuals.
Your daughter likes things just so and to be in charge and you enjoy the one day/evening a year you get to spend with her.
Your daughter in law comes to see you approximately 3/4 times a year with her family and you say 'she's never liked you'. You also say that the family time spent over Christmas is 'no alcohol, lots of presents for kids; very focussed on them' confused isn't that what Christmas is all about ?

I think you're in need of some quality family time so maybe, just a suggestion, can you invite your son and daughter for a coffee and just have an honest chat with them to say how you are feeling ?
Your DiL is focused on her children just as you were, you wouldn't want it any other way would you ? Her fear / dislike of dogs could be a huge thing for her and not just an excuse, it's not a personal attack on you if she doesn't want to be around dogs not everyone does. She does however, love your son and his children and I'm assuming she makes him happy which is good isn't it.

Enjoy Christmas with them and whilst with them, make arrangements to spend more time, quality time with them for the coming year. Have some plans of your own, see if you can involve yourself with the grandchildren and get to know your DiL. Good luck with them

Treelover Wed 20-Nov-19 21:04:45

Thank you all so much for your time and care. It is complicated to explain and some bits got lost I realise. Son and family live 50 miles away and they come and go back same day. I would love them to stay over but it has never happened since they have had children. I remember investing cot etc at first but DIL won’t. No point making too much over it.
The Xmas day is full dinner. I get on really well with daughter. She has an old dog I have two in their prime - they can be a bit silly with new people for five minutes then they settle but since DIL had the children she has put foot down. This means it is nigh impossible for me to visit them 50 miles away too (since I had a mild stroke I don’t like driving far by myself) and having to arrange for the dogs to be looked after.

I asked what their Xmas plans were and suggested they came over Boxing Day or day after and son suggested Xmas day... there’s the rub.
..Daughter and I walk the dogs every day. Very close which doesn’t mean she is not very blunt etc...
So the ‘not Xmas day’ means they drive over early pm, I drive over, (sans dogs) we have a lunch or tea, presents exchanged, I drive home, they drive home, daughter and husband collapse (again)
and add to the fact that SIL’s parents (in their eighties and no shrinking violets) will also be there Xmas day ...
I know some families do much bigger things and are really laid back and easy going..I wish we were but we do our best 😬 does that explain some of it more?
And I do agree that DIL has the power and the right to call the shots over her children and I have the right to be with my dogs and my daughter has the right to please herself too and her husband’s mum has mild dementia and his step father is deaf and just trying to get no one upset is an art. And she has got a large house which she has lovingly restored and everyone loves it ..and everyone likes going there...I think we’ll try for the split, thanks again for your insights still not sure what is the best.
I hope being a granny isn’t all about being physically near because I do exchange regular pics with them and little pressies etc and son sends me videos of them (5 7 and a baby. ) I do hope I’ll see them more as they get older.

PamGeo Wed 20-Nov-19 22:01:59

I don't think you have to be physically near to be a good granny Treelover, we're lucky enough to have technology on our side these days thank heavens for FaceTime and WhatsApp .

I hope it all works out for you all and it's good that you share your love of dogs with your daughter, my 2 are what I call buffoons/staffie cross so I understand the excitement when greeting people and the initial madness.
I do know of someone that had an extremely bad experience as a child with a dog attack, not herself but she was witness to it and it has left its mark on her trust.

Gonegirl Wed 20-Nov-19 22:15:40

Well, I'm still none the wiser. Sorry can't be of help. Hope you all enjoy Christmas no matter where you all spend it.

Treelover Wed 20-Nov-19 23:13:00

Sorry Gonegirl, but I do appreciate your comments, especially the one about not leaving the dogs behind. And promise will do best to have good time - you too x

crystaltipps Thu 21-Nov-19 05:15:13

If it’s a massive house then the dogs could be kept out of the way when the children are there?

BradfordLass72 Thu 21-Nov-19 05:52:44

It sounds as if Dil is a rather a soul-less besom, not just controling her life but wanting to control yours too.

I wouldn't fancy Christmas with anyone who told me she wanted to get it over with and by implication, me too.

How does she think that makes you feel? If she thinks at all, which I doubt.

Don't allow yourself to be a duty that has to be got out of the way as quickly as possible, you deserve better.

And why doesn't your son give her the hard word and point out that you're his mother and deserve love and respect?
Surely she doesn't control him too?

I'd go to your daughter's if I were you and take the dogs, they love you unconditionally.

Let the dil pull her own cracker.

Just tell her, you've already got it over with.

Yes, I know, Treelover you poor thing, you risk losing contact with the grand-children if you do any of this but I do hate what I see as 'elder abuse' - because controlling someone, especially at Christmas, and deliberately making them feel unhappy and unwanted, is exactly what this is.

Sara65 Thu 21-Nov-19 07:03:46

I’m not sure I’m really understanding everything, but if you’d rather not have your son and family visiting on Christmas Day, say so.
I know that the dogs are an issue with your daughter in law, and I don’t blame her for that, but if your daughter has a massive home, couldn’t you all go there, and put the dogs in another room or outside?

polnan Thu 21-Nov-19 09:42:09

what have we made, done to Christmas... so much pain and anguish... time to change it how it used to be, how it should be.

Gonegirl Thu 21-Nov-19 09:50:35

I still think you should stick out for exactly the same Xmas day you and your dogs usually enjoy so much. Tell daughter you really enjoy it and you will miss it so much if it doesn't happen this year.

The others will have to come a day or two later. Make it your choice.

Good luck anyway, x