A Question about Christmas logistics re: your kids + family

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Posted 11/27/2012 by ratqueen in NSBR Board
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ratqueen
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Posted: 11/27/2012 8:48:42 AM
Okay, so I'm asking for a friend, but *really* I'm actually asking for a friend. My Christmas plans are already made.

We both have little kids now, she has twins who are nearly two.

Her MIL has always done Christmas day at her own house - whole day, whole family, no one gets to opt out. MIL's house is an hour away. So the entirety of Christmas day is devoted to this. Pre-kids it was not a big deal, but now that the kids are old enough my friend (I'll call her Joy) wants to start forming Christmas traditions for her own little family instead of spending a good chunk of the day in the car with two toddlers and not being able to do anything ON Christmas.

So she contacted MIL and told her this, and MIL pretty much freaked out. Then Joy and MIL were able to have a real conversation, and Joy explained that she just wants the chance for her littles to have their own holiday traditions. Joy is happy to have the family come to her house if they want to, or to go to MIL's on Christmas eve/day after, but she wants to stay home on The Day. They left it that MIL would think about it for a few days.

Then yesterday FIL shows up unannounced to Joy's house in the middle of the day. He proceeds to tell her that she is destroying Christmas, MIL is beside herself, Joy is going to be seen as breaking up the family and also as a "villain" in the family. It went on and on. Joy wound up retreating in tears.

So - when your kids got to be just big enough that Christmas traditions started to matter, what did you do? Did you stop doing whatever HAD been the family plan? How did you decide and get family on-board? I feel terrible for my friend, she's so upset over the whole thing.

ETA: while MIL's house is an hour away, the remainder of the family is all quite close to Joy. So *everyone* travels the hour+ to MIL's.



Marzbar71
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Posted: 11/27/2012 8:53:24 AM
I think Joy's husband should have been the one to make the call.


Marzee

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Posted: 11/27/2012 8:55:12 AM
woah.

DH and I agreed that we would spend ANY day at ANYONE's house, but that CHRISTMAS DAY was to be spent at home so that my son wouldn't have to spend HIS christmas traveling when he has a bunch of new toys at home.

ANYONE is welcome to come to OUR house, but WE will not be travelling.


As to the whole "FIL came over and said she was ruining xmas" - that would SOO not happen here. Not because my MIL/FIL are non-confrontational, they are VERY confrontational - but I'm confrontational and agressive lol, so?

I think Joy needs to EMBRACE her new villain role and realize that she's doing it for her kids.

Did her MIL/FIL travel on xmas day ? Did THEY have a chance to create memories & traditions with their little family?

It's not as if Joy is saying they don't want to be with the family, she's saying she wants her KIDS to enjoy their day.

KatieBPea
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Posted: 11/27/2012 8:56:51 AM
I'm all about family, but think that flexibility on all sides is key when it comes to holidays. I don't think that her request was unreasonable and going by their response, her in-laws sound very rigid.

Also wondering where "Joy's" husband is in all of this.



basketlacey
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Posted: 11/27/2012 8:56:53 AM
We actually set up new traditions when we were first married (both of us are the oldest and were first ones married in our families). Both sets of parents (who knew they would be grandparents one day) wanted time with us that was uninterrupted by other commitments. We spend Christmas Eve morning and afternoon with my in-laws. We start around 10 with brunch and stay until evening mass (usually around 4-4:30). We spend Christmas day at my parents. Once we had kids, we asked my mom to push back the time so we could have time for Christmas here at our house first.

If I were Joy, I would ask MIL if they could start a little later so she has the morning at home with her family. They can possibly head to MIL's house around lunchtime and stay until around bedtime. Would that be an option? I would perhaps have a different suggestion if MIL was 2 plus hours away but a one hour drive each way doesn't seem too much to ask. I know my mom would be crushed if I now suggested we wanted to stay home all day on Christmas and could she move our family (the family I grew up in) celebration to the day after.



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ratqueen
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Posted: 11/27/2012 8:59:08 AM

I think Joy's husband should have been the one to make the call.



Joy's husband didn't make the initial call, true, but Joy and MIL have the kind of relationship where they talk directly to each other even about important stuff. When FIL showed up yesterday Joy's DH was home and he backed her up about staying home.


I think Joy needs to EMBRACE her new villain role and realize that she's doing it for her kids.

Did her MIL/FIL travel on xmas day ? Did THEY have a chance to create memories & traditions with their little family?

It's not as if Joy is saying they don't want to be with the family, she's saying she wants her KIDS to enjoy their day.


This is very close to what I told her. MIL would have fought like a tigress to keep her kids home at Christmas to make her own traditions, which is exactly what Joy is trying to do. Joy doesn't know exactly when or how the transition happened for DH and his sister when they were kids, but they definitely stayed home on Christmas day.



cocoanmom
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:02:05 AM
Her DH needs to back her. She deserves to make her own traditions with her children. Pick 364 days to get together with Grandma. The MIL is really over stepping that it has to be THAT day.
I hope your friend sticks to her guns and makes her own little family happy.

basketlacey
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:03:11 AM
hmm - seems I am the lone dissenter so far!

I guess I should add to my earlier comments - my kids LIKE going to their grandparents' houses and seeing their cousins. So if I put my foot down to stay at home, it wouldn't really be for my kids.



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keriwestpartdeux
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:04:24 AM
I agree with being able to establish family traditions in your own home. For us, we stay home Christmas morning and invite anyone that would like to join us. All of the grands come by and have breakfast and visit for a bit.

Thankfully my mother does Christmas Eve and my husband's side of the family does Christmas dinner. There were always little hitches in the plan, but it eventually worked it's way into this "schedule".

I'd hate it if any of the family members insisted that they have the entire family for such an extended amount of time. It's selfish and unrealistic.



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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:05:52 AM
Joy needs to stand firm and let the chips fall.

I think Joy's husband should have been the one to make the call.
I disagree. Joy is part of the family too.

ETA* Where does Joy's family fall into all of this? When do they get to spend time with them?


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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:06:58 AM
I think Joy and her DH need to get on the same page and hold strong. In the 6 years we've been married we traveled to his family one Christmas and my family once, now we stay home. We are open to having people come to us and we are open to travelling on the 26th but I want my kids to wake up in their own beds on Christmas. That said if we lived in the same town as either of our parents I'd be cool with going over for an afternoon but not a whole day!



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ChristieMc
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:07:08 AM
I think it's wrong and selfish of the MIL to try to impose her plans on everyone. Just because that's the way it's been, does not mean that's the way it has to be. Expecting that they will give their entire Christmas day to spend according to her plans is a bit much. I think Joy and her DH should do what they feel is best for them and their children, and MIL can either get on board or not. I would think it is better to have the time with them on the day before or the day after, than to not have it at all. If they keep up with the "you're ruining Christmas" stuff, they might not get any time.


Christie

ratqueen
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:07:59 AM

I'd hate it if any of the family members insisted that they have the entire family for such an extended amount of time. It's selfish and unrealistic.


I agree. And Joy has been very clear that she's happy to have any/everyone come by for short or long visits on Christmas Day, but that she wants to stay home.

And just to reiterate - Joy's DH IS backing her up. But his relationship with his parents is... ummm... close. And Joy can't remember any other time that he's stood up to his dad, so Joy's DH is really doing his best.



BEF2008
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:07:59 AM
We had a similar issue with MIL. She held Christmas Eve hostage for years.

Like your friend, it didnt matter to us pre-kids. But then we were the only ones with little kids and we had the furthest to travel. We felt like we spent all of Christmas on the road or rushing to get on the road.

Our ultimate "excuse" to her (I.e. The only one she accepted) was that we wanted to be able to go to church on Christmas Eve. (We practice a different religion than her.). Once we said that, the other siblings chimed in and said the same. Next thing we knew, ALL the siblings were saying they didn't want to come on Christmas Eve anymore. The "golden child" suggested moving our family Christmas celebration to the 26th every year, with the promise that all would always be there every year.

One unexpected bonus is the kids are less wired by the 26th because (a) travel time is more relaxed, (b ) the huge excitement of Christmas morning is passed and so it's somehow a nicer get together. Plus, you know how you always feel you go to so much preparation and it's over in a day? It's not over in one day anymore. We have our own Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, then we get MORE family celebration. With a less resentful us, too!

Maizie
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:08:29 AM
So, before kids we were willing to participate in any other family holiday functions if we could (barring work/travel schedules). Once we had kids though, all bets were off. As parents we now get the right to create our OWN family traditions for our children to grow up with. We are willing to attend events that are NOT on Christmas but on Christmas and Christmas Eve we stay home. They are young for so long. We've decided those traditions are that important to us and we were willing to upset folks if needed. I am sure it upset a few folks, but honestly -- we are not going to waiver and we are okay with that. We are not rude about it. Folks are welcome to visit later in the day on Christmas and stay for dinner, but that eve and morning are for US!!



mamato1
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:10:38 AM
If I were Joy, I'd extend an olive branch if she and MIL have had a very good relationship up to now.

I'd stay home Christmas morning. We'd have breakfast together. Two year olds usually still take naps. I'd load the kiddos into the car at nap time, drive over and have Christmas dinner with the in-laws. The kids get their naps, MIL gets to see the kids for Christmas. Joy doesn't have to make Christmas dinner. Joy, her dh and her kids get to create a lovely Christmas morning tradition at their home AND a lovely Christmas dinner tradition with their family. Joy can bring the kiddos pajamas and change them and then head home when it's bed time.

Win/Win.

I wouldn't encourage Joy to "embrace the villian" role. I mean, she could. Look, life is about compromise if you want to be peaceful. If Joy's in laws have treated her with love and kindness, it may behoove Joy to compromise. I compromised. It wasn't hard and it meant a great deal to my husband's family. It was a small kindness that i'm not sorry I extended.



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gritzi
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:12:33 AM
Your friend and her DH have to be in agreement and stand with their decision to keep their kids at home.

Pre-kids we would go to my parents on Christmas Eve, the IL's for Christmas breakfast and back to my parents for a huge family gathering that afternoon.

Once we had kids I no longer had immediate family nearby so there were no issues. We spent Christmas Eve with the IL's and Christmas Day at home. My parents would visit the day or two after Christmas and spend a week.

I think it's reasonable for Joy & her husband to want the kids home for a while on Christmas. If a compromise would be an option then perhaps Joy & family could opt for the IL's house around 4. That would give the kids time to open presents, hang out at the house and then go see Grandma/Grandpa and family.

ratqueen
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:12:42 AM

ETA* Where does Joy's family fall into all of this? When do they get to spend time with them?


Joy's mom usually does Christmas Eve, but Joy's family is *far* more flexible about the whole thing. They're just excited to get to watch the grandkids enjoy Christmas... for them it's about the kids and not the grownups, kwim?

I'm relieved with the pea response so far. This is more or less what I told her yesterday but she is just feeling so beaten up by the in-laws right now. She IS standing firm so far about staying home, but I don't know what else her in-laws are going to think up. Usually she and the in-laws have a great relationship, but that's because usually she goes along with what they want It really hurt her to have FIL come and say those things to her yesterday, especially knowing that he came because MIL more or less put him up to it.



bethany1023
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:13:05 AM

This is very close to what I told her. MIL would have fought like a tigress to keep her kids home at Christmas to make her own traditions, which is exactly what Joy is trying to do.


Keep repeating this. What happens if they simply stay home on Christmas? Is MIL going to come and physically remove them from the house? She'll deal, and perhaps the rest of the family will come to realize that it's not all about MIL and that they can create their own traditions too.

Good for her DH to stand up to his dad, I know how difficult it can be when your spouse and your parents have a disagreement. It puts you in a terrible spot, so really, Kudos to him for standing strong.

Woobster
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:14:00 AM
Can Joy and her family to to her ILs house in the afternoon? That would let the kids wake up and do their Christmas thing at their house and give them some time to hang out and play with their new stuff. Then they could pack up one of their favorite toys and take it to Grandma's house to play with in the afternoon.

We don't even have kids, and my DH and I still agree that (when I don't have to work) we want to spend Christmas morning at home. We usually go to his parents' house for Christmas dinner in the afternoon/evening. My parents are states away and I never get enough time off around the holiday to travel to see them.

basketlacey
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:15:34 AM

If I were Joy, I'd extend an olive branch if she and MIL have had a very good relationship up to now.

I'd stay home Christmas morning. We'd have breakfast together. Two year olds usually still take naps. I'd load the kiddos into the car at nap time, drive over and have Christmas dinner with the in-laws. The kids get their naps, MIL gets to see the kids for Christmas. Joy doesn't have to make Christmas dinner. Joy, her dh and her kids get to create a lovely Christmas morning tradition at their home AND a lovely Christmas dinner tradition with their family. Joy can bring the kiddos pajamas and change them and then head home when it's bed time.

Win/Win.

I wouldn't encourage Joy to "embrace the villian" role. I mean, she could. Look, life is about compromise if you want to be peaceful. If Joy's in laws have treated her with love and kindness, it may behoove Joy to compromise. I compromised. It wasn't hard and it meant a great deal to my husband's family. It was a small kindness that i'm not sorry I extended.


I agree with this post 100%!



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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:16:38 AM
Joy's first mistake was making the call to her MIL. That needs to be her husband's job.

And for the record, I totally agree with Joy on this one. I love having my own family traditions and I don't like being dictated by other family member's plans.



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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:16:41 AM
I like mamato's suggestion - home for the morning, family in the afternoon. I do Christmas Eve up big and we do nothing on Christmas Day. I'll tell you, around 2:00? I wouldn't mind packing everyone up and sharing the joy a bit.



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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:19:40 AM
When DD was almost 3, we instituted a "we're staying home on Christmas Day" plan. We were the only family members with a child, so to us it was logical that people could come to us for at least a few years. She was the only grandchild on both side of the family and everyone lived locally at the time.

My parents and DH (at the time) families threw a fit and all refused to come to Christmas.

And you know what happened? DH got transferred three months later and we moved. Both families wasted what was the last Christmas that we all lived locally to each other.

But . . . from then on, we hosted Christmas most of the time and everyone came. we held our ground and won that battle.

Once DD was old enough that Santa wasn't an issue, then we were much more flexible on the holiday.

Honestly though - kids aside, there's little that irritates me more than one family member demanding that it MUST be the same way every.single.year without regard to the fact that there are other families and in-law situations to take into consideration.

Tradition is nice, but not when it's served with a side dish of guilt.


Carla




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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:20:35 AM
We always spent Christmas eve running between DH and my parents house (they only lived a mile apart, so not a big deal but a hassle none the less).

Christmas Day dinner was at my parents. Christmas morning we stayed at home. When DS was born, we invited the grands to spend the morning with us and to see DS open his gifts.

She is well within her right, the only thing I would have done differently was to start talking about it much sooner, instead of a month before the holiday.

FYI - I did not spend a Christmas in my home until I was 17. We spent *every* holiday 4 hours away at my grandparents home. It was great because we had about a bazillion people there, cousins sleeping everywhere but at 17, I wanted to be HOME.

My parents were accommodating and we started new traditions then. My mom never said if it bothered her or not to make the change.



basketlacey
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:21:19 AM

because IMHO she was beat up by the inlaws. That's just a crappy thing to do to come and confront someone about this.



Is it possible that the FIL was just trying to stand up for HIS wife? Maybe he wanted to make sure his son and DIL understood how much this meant to MIL?

In the end, this is Joy and her husband's decision. They have to decide what's best for their family.

In my house, while my kids come first, we don't completely discount what works for everyone else (grandparents, siblings, niece and nephews). I draw the line at the more extended family. We fit those in where we can but I choose not to stress about them.



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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:21:53 AM
We spend Christmas Eve through Boxing Day at my mom's house. End of story. THAT is our tradition. THAT is our kids' tradition. We all love it.







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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:25:34 AM
For us it is a non-issue since we lived so far away from home that Christmas visits wasn't feasible. So we have always done Christmas at our house.

But I will tell you how my siblings and parents, who live in the same area have solved the problem. My mom recognized the importance of the family unit to have their own traditions and she wanted to encourage it, so she has a big Christmas party on the Saturday closest to Christmas. That way Christmas Day my brothers and their families can do whatever they want and no one has to feel bad. Maybe my parents will see them on Christmas day and maybe they wont. It depends on what everyone feels like doing

But that only works because my mom is a reasonable person who doesn't need Christmas to be all about her. I'm afraid your friend Joy has years of misery ahead of her.


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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:27:41 AM
My mother had us all show up Christmas eve and stay until the evening of Christmas day. We opened gifts Christmas eve. When I started having kiss I realized this wasn't going to work for me. I wanted my kids to believe that Santa brought the gifts. Everyone shows up at my parents house Christmas eve and we show up in the early afternoon of Christmas day. Well, that's how it used to be anyways, I no longer have a relationship with my parents but it is unrelated to Christmas.

Dalai Mama
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:28:19 AM

Joy's first mistake was making the call to her MIL. That needs to be her husband's job.
This seems to be a popular philosophy but I don't understand it. Either she's part of the family, or she's not. Nothing says 'outsider' more than having your spouse deal with everything involving 'his' family.


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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:30:23 AM
MIL and FIL are so out of line that they can't see it anymore. Why doesn't friend ask them what they did when they had little kids? I'm guessing they didn't go to their MILs house all day long. Traditions end and shift as generations grow. That is life.

We stopped going on Christmas day when our second child was 2. There were 12 of us opening presents nonstop for 4 hours and he had a meltdown when he couldn't play with anything. Right then (well later that afternoon) I told dh that we were doing Christmas morning at our own house until our kids were grown. ILs were welcome to come to our house (which they never did). The end.


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ksuheather
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:38:49 AM

Tradition is nice, but not when it's served with a side dish of guilt.


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cmcshari
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Posted: 11/27/2012 9:55:50 AM
My husband and I are the oldest on both sides of the family and also had the first grandchildren. What both of our families did was compromise since they both wanted to have their families together on Christmas. One family hosts lunch and the other dinner. Each year we would alternate houses. We had Christmas morning by ourself at our home.
Over the years, as the younger siblings grew up, married(and then several divorced)-the family has gotten larger and more complicated. So, now his side of the family(his sis) always hosts lunch and my side does dinner.(now at my SIL).
When our twins were babies, we spent a few hours at each house-coming home for baby naps, unload and reload the car etc

My husband owns a retail store so Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas activities are difficult. We spend that evening as a family with church, dinner, looking at Christmas lights(when little).

In over 27 years of Christmas, we have only had 2 that we have been somewhat at home. One due to MIL flu(so they all came to our house) for that meal and last year as my nephew was at the clinic with a high fever and strep-told SIL to please keep the kid home since he was contagious. Didn't want the elderly parents to be exposed. We ended up the next evening hosting that side of the family and sick kid still came but he had been on an antibiotic for 48 hours.

My kids have never complained about house hopping on Christmas day and never being home. It is the tradition they have grown up with and they knew that when they got home that night that they got to stay up late and play with their toys. 'Course when they were little and on the way home from the 3rd Christmas of the day, someone would ask if they were going to open more presents at home.....umm, I think 3 is enough!

Ultimately, both sides need to compromise. My parents have always been considerably older than my DH-this year we will start a new tradition and invite my mom over for Christmas Eve dinner and probably back over the next am so she doesn't have to spend it alone as my dad passed away in Aug.

SweetPeasMom
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:06:01 AM
Before dh and I got married, Christmas Day was crazy. He'd come to my house (I lived at home) and do Christmas with us. Then we'd leave and get to his mom's house around 11. We'd stay there for the majority of the day (like close to 6pm). Then we'd head to his dad's house for a short visit. And sometimes back to my mom's. This went on until we had dd (our 2nd). Once we had kids, my mom and fil came to our house in the morning. But then we'd leave and again spend the majority of the day with my mil and her family. I sort of resented the fact that I didn't get to spend a Christmas meal with my mom and having to spend the majority of the holiday with mil, when in all actuality, she never makes the effort to see us any other time of the year (that's a whole other post).

So when our kids were 4 and 2, dh told mil we would be coming on Christmas Eve day, spend the day there and that she was more than happy to come see us on Christmas morning. She wasn't happy. She came that year around dinner but hasn't come any other year since (my kids are 10 and 8 now). I had to put my foot down 2 Christmases ago and let dh know that I wanted to leave by 5pm so we were home in time to have the excitement of getting ready for Santa to arrive (normally we hadn't been leaving until around 9pm and then the kids were passed out by the time we got home). IMO 10am-5pm was plenty of time to visit. We were home that year by 6pm and let me tell you, the excitement they had was invaluable! We asked each other why we hadn't done that sooner.

It's her family now - her kids, dh and herself. They need their own traditions.


Wendy



karmatir
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:06:56 AM
We don't have kids (and half the time I work on either CE or CD or both from 6 am to 6 pm) so our tradition changes every single year. This year both DH and I have off the 23 to the 25 and are able accommodate everyone over all 3 days including ourselves. And his family already has some traditions in place that compliment my family (CE dinner is his family time, CD is up for grabs) though no one lives close anymore.

Anyway all that rambling when my point was that as a kid we always did CE and CD morning at home. Sometimes CE was with my day's family but they moved out of the area when I was still small so that didn't last long. We'd get up early on CD and opened presents, do breakfast, etc and then spent the afternoon and evening with my mom's family. I loved it! I loved seeing all cousins and my grandparents. I have no idea how my parents felt but we did this every year of my childhood except for the year we got flu on Christmas. That was my last Christmas with my grandfather still alive and I'm still angry that I had to miss it. But I looked forward to it the entire Christmas season.


~Missy

Maryland
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:09:12 AM
As long as she is being fair (meaning not neglecting her inlaws to do stuff with her parents) then I think her idea is fine. It didn't sound like she was doing stuff with her parents, just that she wants her husband, kids and her to be together doing their own thing. She should see her inlaws/parents before or after Christmas like she said. Then like she mentioned that inlaws can stop by on christmas day is good.

I would think the mil/fil would love to have them there Christmas Eve. That way she gets their full attention, and they can spend quality time together instead of when the inlaws are busy with the rest of the family.

We just give in and travel 5 hrs. to husbands family for Thanksgiving (that's their big family thing). Then travel 4 hrs. to his parents the weekend before Christmas, then 5 hrs. to my parents for Christmas. It is a ton of work, but keeps everyone happy. We have never had Christmas at home (kids are 9, 13 and 15). We have had Thanksgiving at home once because daughter broke her wrist at an 11:00pm indoor soccer game the night before Thanksgiving last year. It's fun to see everyone! it's just stressful for me to prepare for the trip!


bridgyree
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:11:20 AM
We don't have kids, but I'm preparing for someday if we do. I got tired of running and trying to make everyone else happy on the holidays and in the end being miserable because we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the car. Christmas Eve is spent with my family. We usually start around 6 and go until about 11 or so. Christmas Day we were having lunch with the inlaws but finally decided that we are staying home until 4. They are more than welcome to come for lunch but it's our turn to relax. We lounge around, watch A Christmas Story a thousand times in our pajamas and just relax. Then we go spend the rest of the day with my husband's family. Both families get equal time and we aren't burned out. usually the weekend after New Year's we get together with some other extended family.

I think you have to make room for your own traditions and people need to be understanding of that. Obviously at some point they made room for their own.

tania7424
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:12:00 AM
Before we had kids, DH and I would go to my IL's for breakfast Christmas morning. We stopped that when I was pregnant with DS1 and started going there on Christmas Eve for dinner. We live about an hour away, and no way was I dragging my kids out of the house first thing in the morning when they had all this new stuff at home, or rushing around Christmas morning with little kids. We've always done Christmas Day/dinner at my mom's, so we just go there around 11 now (kids are up at like 5:30 on Christmas) and they get so much stuff there it's not like they're without any new fun stuff. This year we're not even going to my IL's on Christmas Eve for a variety of reasons. We're going on the 23rd. I was fortunate though in that my MIL understood our reasons for not wanting to go there Christmas morning anymore.




PSILUVU
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:15:59 AM
I agree with Joy 100%. For my dd's first Christmas both DH and I told our families that we were staying home and they were more than welcome to come and stay as long as they liked. That first Christmas we had MIL, my parents and my brother and his wife stay from the 23rd to the 27th. They all lived about 4 hours away. The next year we were at my moms as my dad had passed away a few days before Christmas (MIL passed a few months after). We didn't celebrate. Every year for the next 7 or 8 we have stayed home and my mom came to us.

Now my mom has a form of MD and can't travel so we do go to here but not on Christmas day. This year due to hockey tournaments we will be there from Dec 31 to Jan 4. Thankfully she doesn't care when we celebrate she just wants to see us.


Kelli


Please ignore the typos..I do know how to spell, I DON"T know how to type



Maryland
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:20:06 AM
I just read some of the other responses and I like the others ideas of going to the inlaws house in the afternoon.

If I read correctly, it sounds like her parents will be there at her house on Christmas day. So if she spends the morning with her family, I think it's a nice thing to do to go to inlaws in the late afternoon, for dinner. Maybe her inlaws could come out Christmas Eve and spend the night and be with them in the morning. Then they could leave early to start stuff at their house. Friend and her family could follow later in the day.

Did you say she goes to her parents for Christmas Eve? I think what keeps our relationship good with both sets is that we are fair. Some of my friends drive me crazy because they ignore husbands family and it's all about their parents. And I don't know why their husbands don't stick up for themselves. I understand that most women and men prefer to spend the holidays with their own family. But, when you get married, you have to compromise. If you have sons, you want them to know that when they have their own family, they spend time with their family too, not just their wifes. Anyways, it sounds like your friend likes to keep things fair, so that is being a good dil.

Sorry for the rambling! My computer was down for so long and I'[m just happy to be posting!!

redshoes73
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:21:43 AM
Joy should start her own traditions and spend Christmas Day as she wishes and NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT IT!!! She's not a villain or holiday-wrecker! There are other days to get together with MIL. MIL needs to get over herself and learn that Christmas is not all about HER!!
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SuzastampinCTMH
AncestralPea

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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:24:17 AM
When our daughter grew up and had kids of her own, they stay home Christmas morning so the kids can have Santa come to their house overnight. They usually head either over here or to her inlaws around 1 in the afternoon. Since it would make it too hectic and not much time with other family, we alternate as to whose house is done Christmas day and which one for Christmas eve.



Basket1lady
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:33:32 AM
I agree with the suggestion to have Christmas morning at home, with all the fun and excitement, and then pack up the kids and go to the MIL's house, timing the travel over nap time. Even if the kids don't nap anymore (DS didn't by 2), they can have quiet time in the car.

It sounds like other families will be at MIL's. And that means cousins? At 2, the kids probably don't care as much, but by the time they are 4-5, that will be very exciting. They will get more presents, see the cousins, and eat all the goodies at Grandma's house. An hour isn't that long to drive and it's a good compromise for everyone.

"Joy" isn't wrong to start her own traditions. But the holiday is about family, not just toys.


Michelle

smilesnpeacesigns
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:38:58 AM
Tell Joy to stand firm, but to be gracious about it and MIL and FIL will get over it in time.

It's really hard to stand against someone you love and respect ( and it sounds like JOY does ) but she needs to remember she is doing it for her family.



I hope FIL doesn't make her cry again. That part was sad.


Even with the snark, trolls and spelling police you are a great group of ladies!

tania7424
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:41:44 AM

At 2, the kids probably don't care as much, but by the time they are 4-5, that will be very exciting. They will get more presents, see the cousins, and eat all the goodies at Grandma's house. An hour isn't that long to drive and it's a good compromise for everyone.



I agree. I miss Christmas with my cousins. It was so much fun. And my kids don't have any really, and it makes me kind of sad for them.




writermom1
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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:47:57 AM
I've never felt it was required to stay home all day to enjoy the holiday. In fact, we traveled to two different grandparents homes for well over an hour's drive and I LOVED it. I felt only pity for peers who "only" got to stay home all day. How dull! I thought.

I mention this only to show that traditions are what you make them.

In our case my ILs have always had Christmas Eve so that's nice. Then for a few years my mom came here in the morning then around noo. we all traveled 70 miles (one way) to my Gram's on Christmas Day. As time went on many of the cousins married and more and more people pushed their visit later in the day (to accommodate in-laws and such). Eventually we were the only ones going for the bulk of the day and my Gram herself decided it was getting to be too much and that the children shouldn't be out on the roads. (She resides in the Snow Belt so weather is an issue).

So basically my answer is that we all kind of en masse started a new tradition - with the bulk of the family deciding together.

Then my Gram is a reasonable person who realized that traditions change and new ones are good too.



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Luvspaper
AncestralPea

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Posted: 11/27/2012 10:51:49 AM
havent read any responses...but have seen my sister do this for 18+ years and NOW she is complaining that our family never gets together for the holidays! Why? Because she didn't want to drive on Christmas Day, but wanted to stay home with her little family.

Now she complains that her kids aren't close to the other cousins and that the adult siblings have no relationship when she was the main culprit in stopping a family tradition for her convenience/want/thoughts/desires.

For us, we just made going to our family get togethers as PART of our traditions! I look back at them fondly and my kids love getting together with their cousins! We are all so busy and kids are at different stages so that getting together doesn't happen otherwise.

So whatever she decides to do now will have consequences later...and she should have had DH deal with MIL/FIL. Makes me wonder if DH agrees with her.

MerryMom937
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Posted: 11/27/2012 11:09:31 AM
The husband needs to call his parents and say "Mom and Dad, I have so many positive memories of being a young kid at our house for Christmas Day and opening up our presents at our house. I am sure that you understand why I am going to create those great memories for my kids."

End of discussion.

Hold firm.

If the grandparents insisted on not following some other parent decision, would mom and dad be cool with that?

Why all this angst about Christmas? I notice that there is no place for the wife's family in all that.


havent read any responses...but have seen my sister do this for 18+ years and NOW she is complaining that our family never gets together for the holidays! Why? Because she didn't want to drive on Christmas Day, but wanted to stay home with her little family.

Now she complains that her kids aren't close to the other cousins and that the adult siblings have no relationship when she was the main culprit in stopping a family tradition for her convenience/want/thoughts/desires.

For us, we just made going to our family get togethers as PART of our traditions! I look back at them fondly and my kids love getting together with their cousins! We are all so busy and kids are at different stages so that getting together doesn't happen otherwise.

So whatever she decides to do now will have consequences later...and she should have had DH deal with MIL/FIL. Makes me wonder if DH agrees with her.


I don't agree with the above post. The big huge family get-togethers don't have to be done on Christmas Day, especially in the morning. When the kids get older, fine, go back to the get-togethers in the afternoon.

When kids are little, why not be flexible? Especially with driving involved.

jennifw
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/27/2012 11:11:01 AM

We spend Christmas Eve through Boxing Day at my mom's house. End of story. THAT is our tradition. THAT is our kids' tradition. We all love it.


Me, too. I have never spent a Christmas at home since I have been married. Even pre-kids, we went and stayed at my parent's house starting Christmas Eve. That is our tradition. Now that my parent's have passed away, we go to my sister's house. Santa has never come to my house, but it doesn't matter. Santa knows where to find my child and she LOVES spending the day with her cousins.

We did something similar when I was a kid except we spent Christmas morning at home and then went to my grandmothers. My best memories are with all of my cousins and family - NOT just with my parents and sister at home.

scrapper100
Budletsmom

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Posted: 11/27/2012 11:19:33 AM
We got to my MILs as soon as we finish opening presents here. We have a late breakfast and then open everything there and see the family. I thought I wanted to stay home and make my own traditions until the year one of us was sick and we stayed home. We missed everyone. I know DS would be upset if he missed out on seeing is grandma and cousins. It being only an hour away I can't imagine not doing it. Opening presents at our house eating a small breakfast and then going to MIL's is our tradition. Our other tradition is making split pea soup that night from the ham bone that we get at MILs.

We usually go around 8 and most family leaves around noon - we usually hang out until around 2 and then come home and play with everything. It really doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Someone else suggested maybe going over later would this work that way you still get to open at your house and also see the family. I assume from what you said that there are more family involved than just MIL and FIL but other siblings and their family. I wouldn't want to keep my kids from seeing family. I figure they still wake up in their own house and get to open presents but they get to see family which makes it more special. Every other day is spent at your house.

Growing up I always went to my grandmother's house and I loved seeing my cousins (I only saw them a few times a year a they didn't live locally). I miss that. I think those that have very little family are the ones that really want to be around what little family they have (unless they are toxic which from the sounds of it they aren't). I just think Christmas is more about spending time with family than playing with toys. Kids playing with cousins usually trumps any toy they will receive I know it did when I was a kid and it appears the same way with DS today.


Patti
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