What do you all do for Christmas?
Our arrangement is supposed to be fairly simple. I get the kids on Christmas Eve and morning. He gets the kids the afternoon of Christmas day, and the following day (also a statutory holiday here). We've toyed with the idea of simply taking turns every other year, but I can't stand the idea of NOT having my kids on Christmas morning, and think they would benefit from the stability of a rock-solid tradition year to year.
This all changed last year, when my ex moved to another planet (practically) and didn't participate in Christmas at all.
This meant that we HAD the kids the afternoon/evening of Christmas day, when we otherwise wouldn't have. We took them to my spouse's family's house for Christmas dinner (which is where he and I go after the kids are picked up), and they really enjoyed it. His parents (who the kids call Grandma and Grandpa) really loved having the kids there.
Which brings me to my dilemma. Ex has returned to the country. He - depsite abandoning the kids for a good 9 months - expected everything to just smoothly go back to the way it was. I have no issue with following our agreement, and think it's good for the kids to resume their holiday traditions.
My spouse's family, however, is making a HUGE DEAL about it.
His parents are "heart broken" that they won't be seeing the kids on Christmas day. My spouse has tried to fix this by setting up a little get-together on Christmas Eve, which of course means that our usual Christmas Eve plans (seeing other family members - huge party) will be scrapped. Which are of course, hurting THOSE people's feelings. Spouse's parents do NOT have any experience with divorce, and really don't get it. They think that because my ex skipped out on the kids, I should just tell him "where to go", and take the kids to their house for christmas like last year. I'm trying to find a way to diplomatically explain that they need to see their father on christmas (as much as he doesn't deserve it...the kids do.) And now they've flipped this into a sob story of "the kids love their father more than us."
THAT'S NOT WHAT IT'S ABOUT AT ALL!!
DH is on my side. Sort of. He sees both points of view, and is tired of my ex "walking all over me" and expecting me to just cater to him whenever he finds it convenient to be a father. He's also hurting for his parents, who are getting on in years and realistically, don't have many more christmases left.
I'm just trying to do what's best for the kids, which is obviously, to see both of their parents on Christmas.
But HOW do I make everyone happy in this situation? The kids are looking at either missing Christmas with their extended family (our usual Christmas Eve party) or their grandparents (as they won't be around for their Christmas dinner). His parents are stubborn as hell, too. They won't entertain the idea of just coming to our house on Christmas morning, or joining us for the usual Christmas Eve party. It's SO FRUSTRATING.
Anyone else deal with this tug-of-war on Christmas? I won't even get into my own family's drama (I come from a divorced family, as well....what a mess!)