Apparently, I ruined Christmas…(vent)

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1108 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Weird question but, if FI wasn’t giving you answers, why didn’t you call his mom  yourself?

Post # 4
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@gemchick82:  that sucks, I’m sorry!  I think your MIL is overreacting, for what it’s worth…


As for us, we do Thanksgiving out of town with my family, and Christmas in town with hubby’s family.  It’s the one time a year he ever sees his dad’s side of the family, so I have no issue with it.  It works for us and honestly, we don’t really care if anyone takes issue with it because that’s how WE like to do it.

Post # 6
6812 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I think you need to come to an agreement with the families and start a tradition. A lot of families celebrate the holidays off-day.  My FIs family celebrates Thanksgiving on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We luckily don’t need to split any other holidays, but we would probably do Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas day with the other. The families would just have to get over themselves. It sounds like you two are close enough to both families for this to happen. Otherwise, we would alternate holidays. Every other holiday at another family (Easter included).

Post # 7
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@gemchick82:  your inlaws don’t sound very organized.  what’s done, is done.  perhaps for future holidays you can make the plans to ensure your fi and you get enough time with them.  that may include having christmas at your house to maintain the control over the logistics.

Post # 8
25 posts
  • Wedding: April 2014

I completely feel your pain as FI and I have struggled for years with these same issues.  My side is smaller and prone to last minute plans/decisions whereas his side is huge, much further away and generally apathetic at planning anything ahead of time but easliy jumps on the whiney bandwagon if things don’t go their way.

Same advice as above – talk with your FI ahead of time about what your expectations are before consulting with family so you don’t have those tense conversations where you’re trying to read eachother’s minds and facial expressions when bombarded with questions from each of your families.  Then hopefully you can approach your families yourselves, spell out ahead of time what you and FI are wanting to do for said holiday in question and hopefully alleviate some stress filled situations in the future.

Best of luck – honestly, I’ve been there done that!

Post # 9
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

They sound pretty lame. I’d really want my FI to talk to my FMIL if I were you. If she’s not willing to come over for dinner, she can’t then say you’re ruining anything! 

My FI and I don’t really have these issues, since we live in a different country from BOTH of our families. But when people act unreasonably, it makes it a lot easier for me to not care about their feelings.

Post # 10
7896 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I would not leave all the planning up to them as they sound awful about it. I would also just dp separate days because going to both families in one seems stressful and easy to get delayed. next year I wouldn’t have DH ask, have him tell. Hi mom this year we’ve decided to devote a full day for the holiday to each family aso nothing’s rushed.  were doing Xmas Eve with you and Christmas Day with wife’s family. Can’t wait to celebrate with you. 



Post # 11
1822 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall

There are always two sides to a story of course, but reading between the lines, your precise account of what they did/didn’t do right in preparation for the event, and refusing to take a picture stuck out to me. Do you think that your annoyance at their general unpreparedness (and feeling under the weather) was showing and his mom noticed it? Then maybe the air was stiff and she decided that it was no longer fun and wanted to go home because of that? As a punctuality/preparedness junkie, I totally get it, but I wonder if general attitude on both sides might have contributed.

Either way, I sympathize. My birthday is Christmas Eve and his extended family always does their Xmas exchange that night. But it being my birthday, I always try to fit in seeing my family for a late lunch or so. And then on Christmas day we try to see both his parents and my parents. It’s such a pain to do so much driving (1 hr each way), and not get a real chance to just veg out and watch A Christmas Story marathon for 6 hours, lol. It would make sense to devote one day to one family, and the other day to the other family, but it’s just no fun to combine them. Everyone else gets 2 distinct days, I want 2 too! /ranty-ramble Anyway, yeah, splitting the time between both families is a pain and I’m not sure it ever gets easier. Eventually after kids or whatever it might turn into just mailed presents and a phonecall, or split it up every other year like some sort of in-laws-custody, haha.

Post # 12
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

You did not ruin Christmas, she’s behaving like a petulant child.  You tried planning everything out so this sort of thing didn’t happen and his family was completely unhelpful.  That’s her fault, not yours. Next year start planning things more in advance and try to come to an agreement with his family early on so his MOm doesn’t get all butthurt over nothing.

Post # 13
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Unfortunately it’s part of the growing pains of making oyur own family with your FI.  Before Thanksgiving next year, the two of you need to sit down and work out Christmas and Thanksgiving in a way that works best for you and your FI.  I highly recommend splitting the two holidays entirely so that one family gets Thanksgiving Day and the other gets Christmas Day so you aren’t driving around from place to place on Christmas.  It means that you and him will have to miss out on some family holiday traditions and deal with some hurt feelings but it also means you get to make new holiday traditions.  Maybe negotiate Easter with his family since they felt slighted this year.  It’s going to take them some time to realize that your FI won’t be at every single holiday because he has other obligations to your family.

We rotate each year between three sets of parents: 1) his mom and dad; 2) my mom and stepdad; and 3) my dad and stepmom.  We usually do my dad’s house for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning then we go to my mom’s house for Christmas Day on the years she hosts it at her house which is every other year.  Thanksgiving we usually do with my husband’s parents because they live closer.

We just got married this year so we decided to stay home and enjoy our first Thanksgiving and Christmas with just the two of us.  We met up with my mom and stepdad for Christmas dinner and gift exchanges on Saturday, December 14.  Then we hosted Chrismas dinner on the Saturday before Christmas (Dec 21) at my inlaws’ house (they have more space) with them and my dad and stepmom.

Next year we will most likely go back to our regular schedule.

Post # 14
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t think you should be blamed for “ruining Christmas”.  And it sucks when trying to plan things out and others aren’t quite as eager to iron out details. But it does sound like y’all need to come up with a holiday plan of some sort.  Even if they have no decorations or aren’t doing anything specific, they deserve the same time you’d give your own family.  I learned that this year when I spent my first Christmas with my soon-to-be in-laws.  And actually had a really great time, even though it was a different Christmas than I’m used to having.

I know it’s hard when you like to have a plan and it’s obvious that there was some lack of communication here.  But you’re right – it was her party and if she can’t get it together, that’s not your fault.  My advice would be to give them the time no matter what y’all end up doing with it.  If only to keep the peace.  I’m sure spending time with her son and even with you is really all she wanted and she may be a little jealous that y’all are spending so much time with your family.

Post # 15
9525 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’d have fiance talk to them about what they’re upset over and then try to encourage them to make plans for next year that solve those issues. This year is over. But maybe they can learn for next year. And it sounds like your fiance needs to be a bit more forceful about making/getting concrete plans for/from them. But I will say this. You sound pretty, justly, ticked off in this post. It probably comes across to them. Which isn’t making things any better for either of you. So try to truly let this slide under the bridge and start fresh. 

Post # 16
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Holidays can be tricky. My husbands family has big to dos on all major holidays whereas mine only on Christmas and that’s be cause me and my brothers have kids but my daughter is the only kid on my husbands side.

We go to his family for thanksgiving and once we did have two dinners trying to make both families happy but settled with his family. We go to his family on Christmas Eve and my family on Christmas Day , only if we have time will we go to his family on Christmas Day. We claimed Easter for ourselves and make our own plans for that day

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