Post # 1
My husband and I got married last September. We live in the same city he grew up in, although my hometown is only two hours away. I grew up an only child, to diivorced (but amicable) parents, whereas my husband is the eldest of three boys. Needless to say, his boyhood home on xmas is a lot more hectic than what it was like for me growing up. My father would accompany my mother and I (neither could stomach swapping holidays), and we would exchange gifts, opening them one at a time. My family didn’t have much money but we always made sure the gifts were thoughtful. It was a relaxed morning, with brakfast and watching the parade.. some of the best memories I’ve had.
Nowadays, at my in-laws, gifts are already piled by owner, and its a relative free-for all. Its difficult for me because I’m trying to pay attention to the recipient of my gifts opening it up, but they are more consumed with watching my brother in law (who is 17, senior in high school) open his things while absent-mindedly opening their own. There is no moment of thank yous, no “oh let me see that!”, and thats really difficult. Plus, his family gives a lot of gag gifts, which are a total waste of money, In My Humble Opinion. Anything that isn’t a joke gift is picked out by hte recipient months in advance, so there is not much thought there. I do love my in-laws but this type of christmas morning is just so sad to me, its hard to abandon everything I had growing up.
Its even spilled over to my husband, in some senses. He wants to give me a list of things to get him for Christmas (not odd at all..) but when I told him I had a lot of great ideas he said “well, what if its not the first thing I would have bought.. what if its dissapointing?” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the purse he picked out for me two years ago wasn’t my favorite (rather.. I probably would have spent the money on something else, although it was nice) but I wore it with love because he picked it out for me. Perhaps some of you do what he is thinking of, but to me CHristmas isn’t about satisfying your “needs/wants” list. Its about the thought. Me following a list has little thought involved.
Anyhow, I’m mostly ranting, I suppose, but I was wondering how Christmas is now for all you married folk.
Post # 3
Rather, if anyone else is having a hard time adjusting to how the holidays are now that they are married.
I will say I can’t wait until we have kids so we can start our own “family traditions”, that have us at OUR house Christmas morning.
Post # 4
I’m not married, but I was talking about this on Thanksgiving night. Now that Fiance and I are in our own place, about 1.5 hours from my family, and his family is a bit blah right now – it’s just us. It kind of sucks, but I’m so glad that we can start our own traditions and do as we please.
I also think the holidays is making Fiance have baby fever!
Post # 5
I have the same issue as you. FI’s family send eachother lists that everyone stricly abides by. I hate this: to me a gift is something that says :I was thinking about you, and this reminded me of your likes and I wanted to get it for you.
When i go “off the list” his family gets dissapointed! VERY dissapointed.
They finally asked me about it on year in a very rude way “Why do you get us things we don’t want. We give you a list…”
and I was honest: I don;t have a good relationship with my family and they don’t and never have gotten me presents for a birthday, christmas or other holiday. So, growing up any gift from a friend or family memebr was something to be treasured: the thought that someone thought of me on a special day was a gift in itself and anything less then that just seems…well…greedy and commercial.
It was an akward year, but I was fed up of Twenty year old girls crying becasue “Luckygal5571 didn’t *sob* get *sob* me my Jimmy Choo shoes *sob”
I felt kind of bad afterwords, they were all kind of embarresed
The solution? me and Fiance have our own special christmas moments first, and visit everyone else when we are done. They were a biit peeved in the begining, but Fiance stepped in and said “We want to celebrate the joy of the season as a family together first. It’s something that’s importent to us”
Post # 6
I hear you.
My holidays have changed, not due to in-laws or anything like that but more because my actual family does different things now that everyone is grown up.
My house growing up was always the “Christmas house,” which meant my grandparents would come stay with us and the local relatives would come over for a big family dinner. I have two sisters and a lot of cousins so it was always so much fun.
Nowadays, though, everyone does their own thing and it kind of stinks. The local relatives do Christmas elsewhere, I only have my grandma left, and my sisters, who have since moved away, always stay where they live. My parents have started traveling to my sister’s house because she has a toddler, but going to my sister’s just doesn’t feel like Christmas for some reason.
This Christmas we will spend it with FI’s family and stay with his brother, who has a new baby. It will be the first Christmas with the future in-laws, and I’m looking forward to a change of pace.
I don’t mean to sound negative, but Christmas day for me just isn’t as important as it used to be. I’ve given up on wanting things the old way, and I’m now trying to enjoy new family and new traditions. One day Fiance and I will have kids of our own and will turn OUR home into the “Christmas house” (which we fully intend on doing, just like you).
Until then, I’m just really glad I have Fiance to spend it with, no matter what we do.
Post # 7
I actually have no problems with Christmas lists. Most people in our family are pretty sucky at giving gifts, they are stuff we would never use or even like. It’s not that they are not putting thought into it. I just don’t get why they would think I would like something like that! So usually it sits in my closet for two years until I give it away to the Salvation Army. Now we have started asking their spouses what they want! It works out much better!
If I’m going to spend money on something for someone I would much rather it be something I KNOW they would want.
My husband and I have been spending the holidays together for many years now and it’s different from my families. When we were younger we didn’t really do Christmas mornings (it’s quite an american tradition) So it was a nice switch to go to my husband’s and do christmas morning, presents, etc. When my nieces and nephews were born we started doing christmas with the kids. And Christmas with kids is CRAZY!
But I don’t know, to me, that’s the fun of Christmas. The excitement, the thrill, the craziness! And above all, Family!
🙁 Your post made me so sad!!!
My husband and I alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas every year between our two families. With the baby coming we’re going to switch it to every third year so that the bb has a thanksgiving and christmas at home every third year. I think it’s really important for them to spend the holidays with family but at their own home too. I don’t want them to think the holidays is all about traveling. In 2013 I am hoping I can convince my family to travel to spend Christmas with us so that it will be a great BIG Christmas celebration at OUR new home!
Post # 8
@reg I cannot wait until there are some kids in my family.. thats when I dont mind chaos.. adults acting this way is just kinda strange to me. Lists are for people you don’t know.. or maybe when people are really terrible at gift giving. I just pride myself on really getting things people would like without even knowing that they would. I don’tdo gift cards and I certainly would never give money, but thats just a personal choice.
Post # 9
@regberadaisy: Sorry I didn’t mean to sound like Debbie Downer! I do LOVE Christmas, but Christmas Day just doesn’t feel the same now that I’m grown up.
Post # 10
I would SO be ok if it was the spouce/mother/dad/other person that wanted to give “helpfull hints” or ideas, but it’s the “BUY ME THIS AND THIS” that irks me.
The holidays seem to be giving my Fiance baby fever as well. He keeps talking about “our baby” It’s so cute
Post # 11
Oh no, you didn’t sound like a DD! I just felt bad for you :(.
Post # 12
@luckygal The holidays also make me want a baby! Its so hard to see baby updates of bees married the same month as Darling Husband & I. We just have a 3 year plan before we have kids — 1 down, two to go!
Post # 13
I agree that the holidays are about heartfelt gifts, not an endless list of specific wants to be fulfilled. Both of our moms have asked for specific gift lists, but they usually surprise me with things not on the list too. And I ask for practical things (usually kitchen accessories or other stuff for our townhouse), which they know will be used because I’m asking for them (for example, we’ve asked for a waffle maker. That’s something I wouldn’t want to get for someone unless I knew they would actually want to use it and take up the kitchen space to store it). But I love getting surprises too.
It’s nice to have gift ideas so I know a general theme or idea of what to get someone, but Darling Husband and I don’t actually exchange gift idea lists. I prefer to be surprised! And he’s done a great job getting me cute, useful gifts, like nice pajamas, blankets, etc. without any sort of list from me!
Post # 14
I think that’s part of the beauty of life! Things will always evolve and change, and people choose which of those things that are special for them and each other and combine those things when creating their own families. Keep your own fond memories, observe the new ones you’re experiencing, and come up with your own unique plan for when you add children (or not) to your lives.
Nobody likes to grow up! Your good memories of how things were during your childhood can be credited to your parents, but that doesn’t mean someone else’s ideas or traditions are any worse or better~ they’re just different.
Kids have made lists for Christmas for as long as I can remember, or write letters to Santa with the same wish list, so really…people have been almost programmed to do it. I have my kids do it too (still,as married women), but it doesn’t mean they get everything on it either. Some people go all out and others don’t, but really, however somebody chooses to celebrate is their business. (and honestly? I don’t care one bit what others may think if I go overboard. It’s my prerogative as a Mom!)
Post # 15
Awww…I had the same feelings last year because it was the first year we spent Christmas with my in laws and given that we got married last December, Christmas just felt like….it was too much, I guess.
Your description of your in laws is very much what my in laws are like. At my house, Christmas morning is very calm and fairly relaxed (even though my dad starts freaking out about the turkey almost upon waking…”Guys…we’ve got to the bird in the oven”). My in laws are all list people. And it’s just pure craziness Christmas morning, with everyone opening everything at once and no one really paying attention. lol
Why wait for kids? Start some traditions for yourself now. 🙂 It will help keep you sane when dealing with your DH’s family.
Post # 16
@arwenbride good point! I know we don’t have to wait kids, but part of me feels like it might be rude to tell the in laws that we wont be there in the morning when we live so close — my mother in law isnt someone to back down. Its her way or the highway… which sometimes I really like about her.