Post # 1
Hi there! I’m a newly married bee and this is our first Christmas together. I imagined that it would be romantic and something that we could look back on with fond memories but boy was I wrong. To start out with, I should explain that I come from a large family and we all LOVE Christmas. MY DH comes from a small family that celebrates Christmas, but not in a big way. Christmas with my family covers both Christmas eve and Christmas day. On Christmas eve, we go to my grandparents house to celebrate with them and my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Then we go vist my dad’s parents and then come home and exchaneg gifts between immediate family. Christmas day we do dinner with my mom’s extended family. Well, my DH particpated in Christmas eve, and when we got home he said he would not be joining us for Christmas day dinner. He was mad that everyone in my family was asking him about our housing situation (we are buying a house and it has some problems), and that he wanted to stay at home doing his work because Christmas was stupid anyway. Well, obviously I got upset because he had already told me and everyone that he was going, and I wanted to spend Christmas with my husband. He said that “he put in time” the day before and that I was ridiculous for getting emotional. He said he couldn’t stand telling everyone his business and that he would rather be at home being prodcutive rather than sitting at dinner being miserable. Am I being unreasonable for expecting my husband to partcipate in Christmas? Everyone is going ot be wondering where he is and I don’t know what to say.
Post # 2
You could simply say he’s not feeling well or you could be more direct and say yesterday was all a bit much for him, seeing as he’s used to smaller Christmasses, the stress of house buying has been getting to him and he felt he needed to retreat back today.
As for how you Usually do Christmas, well it’s time to compromise and perhaps pick one day or one meal to participate in with your family and do the rest of Christmas with your husband in a way that he will also enjoy. I don’t think automatically the one who normally does a bigger Christmas trumps the one who doesn’t.
It is a little late and rude to back out now but your foremost loyalty should be with your husband, as I assume you would expect if roles were reversed. Does he mind if you go alone?
Post # 3
I agree but would leave out the part about the stress of house buying. He has already stated the questions about that were making him uncomfortable – respect that.
Don’t make a big deal about him staying home, and plan what your future holidays will look like. Asking a spouse to spend both days with one family is too much unless they truly want to.
Post # 4
Thanks for the feedback. It should be noted that he only has to do Christmas with my family every other year. Next Year I will be taking a weeks vacation to go spend time with his family.
Post # 5
It’s too bad you guys didn’t discuss all this before, but I’m totally on his side at this point. I’m overwhelmed just reading what you do on Xmas and beforehand. Additionally, I don’t see one opportunity for him to spend time with his own family, even to make a phone call. So this holiday was entirely, 100% about you. I’m sure you didn’t mean it to be, but it is. Give the poor guy a break, everyone needs some downtime. And next year, plan just one day to be spent with your family and one to be spent some other way that’s more relaxing for him. Also he might need to pick up a few phrases that shut down lines of questioning he doesn’t feel like dealing with and change the subject.
ETA: update came as I typed but in general the point still stands. He may not have realized how busy it was going to be and need some time to adjust.
Post # 6
I agree with pp. Both days with your family is a bit much. DH and I do Christmas eve with family and Christmas day just us. It offers a chance to really enjoy each other and the season. Maybe that could be an option for you guys?
Post # 7
How did you celebrate Christmas before you got married? It sounds like you need to compromise and start creating your own traditions as a married couple. I know you have all of these wonderful traditions with your family, but you also need to respect his feelings and recognize that’s it’s OK that he doesn’t want to do the big Christmas thing all of the time.
Post # 8
Reading that made me want to scream so I don’t blame your husband for having enough haha.
You’ll just have to compromise in the future, tell him he can stay home for the Christmas Eve festivities and come for Christmas.
Post # 9
That’s a lot of time with a lot of people. Mix in stress over a home purchase and yeah, I understand why he wants to sit some of this out.
My advice for next year is to talk in advance and work out a compromise. Accept that your huge family christmas might be overwhelming and stressful for him, and he also wants to have a nice holiday. There’s compromise to be found here. Treat each other well.
Post # 10
I’m currently hiding at my own family Christmas party because we’ve done non stop Christmas parties all day yesterday and today. I wish I was at home and just had some time to chill out.
not everyone enjoys huge chaotic family events back to back. You need to compromise now that you’re married. You should BOTH enjoy the holidays. Not just ‘well this year is my year to enjoy and next year is his to enjoy’. Find ways so that you both get to enjoy the holidays. Otherwise, you’ll both always dread the upcoming holidays and fight.
Post # 11
I think it’s a little unfair to say he “won’t do Christmas”. He just doesn’t want to do non-stop Christmas for 48 hours straight.
I get that your compromise was to every other year, but if his normal family routine is just a small gathering, I could see how your multi-party affair can be overwhelming and perhaps a bit unbalanced. I’m also curious, with a large family already how long this everyone together on Christmas Eve/Day will pan out. I have a large extended family and we’ve gotten to the point between everyone’s obligations (in-laws, step-families, etc.) that various sides have chosen to do other weekends in December and January and Christmas Eve/Day is just immediate family. SO is the same way. My family does the first weekend in December for one side and New Years Day for the other. SO’s does the second and third weekends in December for various sides of the extended. Eve and Day are reserved for our immediate families. The extended family visits are optional. While it kind of seems exhausting that there is something every weekend, it seems much more tolerable because there is always down time the same weekend, which is really important to me, and we don’t feel obligated to attend every single one. If someone can’t make an event, we just get together for coffee or dinner sometime else – it’s helped immensely to take so much pressure of having to see everyone on the day(s) exactly.
Post # 12
My husband and I are headed home from my family’s Christmas right now. We went to my dads this morning and my moms for afternoon/dinner where grandparents, step siblings, etc. We’re also driving all over to do it. It sounds like half as much work as your family and we’re still SO exhausted. I don’t blame your husband – 48 hours of it is too much.
Post # 13
I also have to wonder how much of this is faulty expectations on your part of what this holiday should be and your disappointment in that. You expected it to be romantic and full of fond memories for years to come – yet it doesn’t sound like you did anything to make that happen. You just slotted him into your normal family routine and expected it would just be romantic and magical by virtue of the two of you being married. If I were in your husband’s place, I could tell you that rushing around to three large parties where I’m virtually a stranger (or at least at two of them unless you both hang out with your extended family on the reg) and having to make small talk sounds like the least. romantic. thing. on. earth. I think the two of you will have to come up with more compromises than just slotting each other into your old family routines on opposite years in order to come up with a mutually satisfying holiday experience.
Post # 14
I don’t blame him. He sounds like a private person. You need to find a compromise.
I will have done 4 Christmas this year. I’m an only child that never did Christmas. This is a lot for me. I’m going a little insane.
Post # 15
I’d choose one day to attend together. Either Christmas or Christmas Eve and then the rest of the time you can go alone (if he is okay with that) or you both just have a calm day together. I hate doing multiple things at Christmas, especially with huge groups of people.