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How many events/gatherings do you attend during the holidays? - Page 2

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by JessicaRenee View Post
It's where everyone brings a gift and then draw numbers. Then you go in numerical order and pick one of the gifts. I don't know if everyone does this part but C's family will let other people take something from somebody who already went. So if the person after me wants what I got they can take it from me and I get to go again. A present can only be taken away twice. It's pretty fun!
Oh--around these parts, we call them Yankee Swaps! LOL
post #22 of 25
Originally Posted by PoetryLover View Post
StephandOwen, it doesn't sound like your holiday will not be relaxed this year, but congrats on getting married, though! ... If your family is nearby, how did you explain to them that you just want to be home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and were they offended? The simple truth is that I just want to spend this special time at home and don't desire to travel or have guests (that I have to clean my house and get dressed to entertain).
My family doesn't live nearby (my sister AllyRae is the closest at about a 2 or 3 hour drive, the rest of my family lives about 7 hours away except another sister lives about 9-10 hours away). So they don't care if we stay home for Christmas. This will be our 4th Christmas here and we've never gone back to Michigan for Christmas Eve/Day. We just don't.

DP's family lives 5 minutes away They expected us to spend every. single. minute with them. The first 2 years I gave in and spent a looooot of time at their house over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. DS did not do well at all with that. We were basically there all day Christmas Eve and into the night. We would get back home at 9 or 10 at night, when ds was cranky and tired and had to rush through the whole "leave cookies for santa" thing. Then on Christmas morning they would expect us to come over immediately after opening gifts here (or even stop opening gifts to go over there) and spend the entire day/evening with them.

Last year I put my foot down and refused. We went over to their house for about 2 hours on Christmas Eve to spend some time with them and exchange gifts. My policy was that on Christmas Day DS and I stayed home. DP's family was welcome to come visit us, but we weren't leaving. DP's mom threw a temper tantrum, guilted dp, and refused to come to our house. There's a thread about that somewhere.... let me see if I can find it.

But she got over it I've apparently done many more things this year to piss her off so I'm sure she's forgotten all about last Christmas This Christmas I'll have the same rules- we'll spend a couple hours with them on Christmas Eve but we'll be home all day Christmas Day. They're welcome to come visit us. Or not. Their choice
post #23 of 25
Originally Posted by PoetryLover View Post
clutterwarrior, Alyantavid and HollyBearsMom, how did you sell the idea of staying home on Christmas to your husband?
In my case I had no need to sell the idea...he wanted to stay home too. Actually my DH is a real homebody so I never have to sell the idea of staying home to him, my struggle is when I want him to go somewhere!
post #24 of 25
clutterwarrior, Alyantavid and HollyBearsMom, how did you sell the idea of staying home on Christmas to your husband? I'm actually thinking of having my husband read Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season with me. (I had the library put it on hold for me yesterday and DH picked it up on his way home from work). I don't want to come across as domineering. I just don't want to feel resentful and like I'm being forced to give up my ideal of what Christmas should be.
I guess I never really had to "convince" him because we had talked about since the time we talked about having kids. He new what I wanted and why. Plus my sister did the same thing and he was able to compare christmas at my sisters to christmas at his sisters.

My sisters house was relaxed-meaning more laid back, not a tight schedule, not having to be any where. Her 3 kids actually *played* with their new toys and weren't just trying to get thru so they could move on. Sometimes it would be annoying since we didnt have kids and we just wanted to eat, already! But it was obvious how relaxed and happy her kids were.

His sisters house was rush, rush, rush. No time to finish breakfast you got to get going on presents, go get dressed we gotta get to so and so's house. That's to big bring in the car honey you can play when we get back..... It was worse when she hosted my husband's extended family because then it was rush to this house, rush to that house now gotta get home and cook, organize, kids! get out of the kitchen!!

I can see how his sister's might be more fun when my son is teen as its pretty free range and their are tons of kids everywhere. But for now we are staying put.
post #25 of 25
My head spins contemplating the people with separated parents who have 4 families!
This is us. My parents are divorced and remarried so DS has 3 sets of grandparents. Since they, plus the 2 great grandmothers and all direct aunts, uncles & cousins live within a 30 minute radius, they all figure they should get to see us over Christmas (or any other major holiday, for that matter).

The first couple years we tried to make it work but it ended up being a lot of travelling between places, no time at home, and honestly, too many presents (it just felt like 90% of the time was spent opening gifts, which is NOT what I want DS to remember about Christmas). Last year I tried to simplify it by having everyone come to us. HUGE FAIL!!! It was the most stressful, unenjoyable Christmas I've ever had.

This year, after some great discussion with DH, we've decided to get "mean". Christmas Eve we will go to visit one set of parents. Christmas morning and day we will spend at home. Christmas dinner will be at another set of parents' and the third set will have to fit us in another day. Whether that's the week earlier or (hopefully) New Years day, I don't really care, it just will not be over the 3 day period. We will rotate through the parents each year so only once every 3 years will they not see us over the actual Christmas period.

In principle they've all agreed to this plan and generally understand, although my mom didn't quite seem to "get it" that we wouldn't automatically be doing Christmas dinner at their place this year (in the rotation, it's actually the IL's turn). I kinda should've seen that one coming though since my mom's the one who grew up with a large family so Christmas isn't Christmas for her without a ton of people and chaos.

Besides family get-togethers the only other events we will be attending for certain are my and DH's office Christmas party. Oh, and possibly a party with all the parents of the dayhome DS attends. But spread out over a month, I don't feel that's any worse than any other month (with birthdays and such).

BTW, I do feel bad thinking of family visits in such strict and impersonal terms but it's the only way we can deal it. I try to remember that we're lucky to have so many family and friends to share the season with, but I needed to find some balance.
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