Christmas with the ILs this year…

posted 3 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@sbottiani:  Oh hell no.  I would say, “I do not attend church.  Thank you for the invitation!”  If your fiance wants to go, he should go.  

Post # 4
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

My parents have known for years I am athiest.  The only time they ask me to go to church anymore is if I am home at Christmas (or if my grandma is over on a Sunday, better to go than get into that argument with her).  I don’t mind, it’s the church I went to growing up so I pretty much just go to say hi to the priest after since he has known me my whole life.  I just sit there and don’t pay attention, I entertain myself in my head.  It’s just an hour and doesn’t bother me.

It you would rather not go at all could you tell them you will meet them for breakfast/lunch/dinner/whatever afterwards depending on the time of the service?

Post # 5
8850 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Ooh that’s a toughie.  I grew up pretty un-religious, but we’d usually go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning with my parents and grandparents.  I always just kind of considered it a cultural experience – partaking in the Christmas ritual and all – rather than something I was actually supposed to *believe*.

It’s not like they want you to go every Sunday.  As an atheist myself, I think that once a year on Christmas isn’t too big a deal.  For the sake of good family relations, I’d just go and view it as an anthropological experience.  Is a once-a-year trip really worth drawing a line in the sand?

If they ask you what you thought, be polite but honest and say something like, “I’m not religious but I thought it was an interesting experience” etc.

Post # 6
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@sbottiani:  I would not attend church with them.  Family meals and celebrations are okay but I draw the line at church.  Since I don’t personally don’t attend, I think it’s disingenuous to attend church as a non-believer.

Post # 7
2915 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

If I knew it would really offend them if we didn’t go, I would just suck it up. I’m a non-believer, and I do agree that it’s not right that you should be expected to go at all, but c’est la vie.

Post # 8
3831 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Eh – I was raised Catholic, and I don’t practice Catholicism anymore and actively disagree with a lot of it’s views/practices.  I don’t go to mass when I’m visiting my parents EXCEPT for Christmas Eve. If DH (who isn’t Catholic) and I are visiting my family for Christmas, we go to Christmas Even Mass. It’s part of the family’s holiday traditions, and it’s just an hour out of my life to keep the peace.

If it’s just going to a church service, I would let it be and just go. If they’re trying to convert you or “save” you, then it’s a problem.

Post # 10
11469 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

@sbottiani:  I am the religious one and my DH while raised Catholic is non-practicing. He respectfully attends church with my family on several occasions including the swapped Christmas (we do either or like you). I know that he would rather be somewhere else but it is out of respect for me and my family that he attends

Going to church as a family is more of a bonding experience and less about them trying to convert you. IF they start pushing the issue then I would say speak up absolutely as respect of course goes both ways. There is no harm in you attending with his family as a unit, you married into this family right?

I am not Catholic and like you and your stance again religion in general I feel the same way about Catholicism. I have attended many masses, baptisms and services with DH’s family throughout the years. I am not changed nor my beliefs put into question because I attended, rather I am going to be part of the family and to support whatever occassion is happening.

Post # 11
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

Why can’t you stay home while they go to church?

That said, I’m not Catholic but I went with my DH’s family to a Catholic church one year for Christmas.  It was a midnight service too, so you know I made some effort!  It didn’t really bother me to go, and I know it meant something to his parents that I was willing to join them.  I guess I just didn’t make a big deal about it so neither did they.  You don’t have to believe what they do to walk into a church.

I guess if it really does bother you, then politely decline.  Do you expect them to react badly?


Post # 13
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - White Point Garden, Charleston, SC

I would politely decline. Maybe pick a little craft or baked good and make it while they’re gone. It’ll occupy your time and also when they come home you can easily change the subject from church to “look at my fabulous banana bread!” 

Post # 14
1963 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I think you should go, if its a holiday tradition. If I were in your shoes I would just suck it up. Just try to focus more on the fact that you’re spending a little quality time with the fam, instead of being preached to about magical things from the bible. I also think that if your ILs go on a mission to convert you, then all bets are off.


Post # 15
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@sbottiani:  If you don’t want to go, then don’t go but discuss it with your husband first. He might want to go so it would be best if you all worked out how to handle this now.

also maybe consider that this isn’t so much about religion or saving you as it is just carrying on a long standing tradition and your in-laws showing you off to their community. As long as the in-laws aren’t pushing you to convert, perhaps one church service every other year isn’t too intolerable. It’s certainly not going to brainwash your children.

Post # 16
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - NH

I don’t go, but if it’s a holiday service I personally think that sometimes the music and service can be very nice.  I think they’re the only service that I never mind going to.  However, if you don’t like it, don’t go.  Don’t fake who you are – those who love you will accept you even if they initially express disapproval.

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