Skipping family Christmas?

posted 4 months ago in Married Life
Post # 2
Member
1294 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

We’ve done it a couple of times and it wasn’t a very big deal.  When conversations about holiday plans came up we simply said ” we’re planning a trip to Mexico/Florida/Colorado and so won’t be attending this year”. 

My mother tried to make a big deal about it one year but I just turned the conversation to how excited we were about our trip.  You don’t have to feed into any drama.  If someone tries to guilt you about it, just change the conversation to a positive aspect of your decision. 

Post # 3
Member
47445 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

At some point most couples have to choose something different when it comes to family Christmases. Very often it’s simply not possible to attend both families’ traditional celebrations.

Going on vacation can be one way to help family get used to the idea that you won’t always be there.

Post # 5
Member
1294 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

View original reply
@chocolatebeancake3:  I’m pretty sure it was late October or early November.  I know it was early enough that no body could claim that it impacted their holiday “plans” where they had already included us in a count for food or gifts.  But it was late enough that we already had the trip planned and flights/hotel booked so it was presented as a done deal that we couldn’t change. 

Post # 6
Member
1185 posts
Bumble bee

My husband and I have done it so many times. Sometimes its because something has come up or we just don’t want to be around family because we are mentally and physically exhausted. Our family understands……..eventually.

Post # 7
Member
1939 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I wouldn’t get in the habit of handling a tough manipulative MiL with excuses or explanations. You don’t owe her one and if she is like you describe her, any explanation you give will be met with her asking more questions and having an “answer” to each of your reasons. Better to get in the habit of telling her a decision and not explaining. “We are doing Christmas just us two this year.” MiL: why?!!! You: “because that’s what we decided we wanted to do this year.” MiL: nooo!! Whyyy??!! You:” because that’s what works best for us” 

because you can’t run off each holiday just to have the excuse of that’s why you aren’t attending. Eventually you’ll want to be at home 20 min away Enjoying a peaceful Christmas. 

 

 

Post # 9
Member
2283 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

We’ve skipped lesser holidays with the family with no drama. Definitely spent some apart with them due to COVID this year, but that’s a different story. 

Post # 10
Member
13608 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I thought this was going to be about wanting to skip because of Covid. Unfortunately, the way things are going, I think you may have an excuse not to get together this year. But as others have said they can’t lay claim to you every year, regardless.

Post # 11
Member
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2018

I’d say don’t tell them until wayyy closer to the date, preferably with a specific plan in place, and make sure your husband does the telling – it’s his family!

Post # 12
Member
1548 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - City, State

This is a great opportunity for setting healthy boundaries. Asking us “how do we tell them we’re going on vacation” makes me think you guys don’t have a boundaried relationship with your in laws. Just tell them! If Mother-In-Law has something to say about it, just tell her you are doing what’s best for your family. 

Post # 13
Member
1939 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

View original reply
@chocolatebeancake3:  glad to help. Memorize some phrases for mil that both you and husband stick to when she asks questions. 

– that’s what works best for us

– this is what we have decided, so hows the dogs? ( basically follow up saying your decision is final with starting a new topic of conversation. 

– (and if you really need to get firm) mil we said we aren’t able to do X, if you can’t find something else to talk about we will have to connect another time. ( then you hangup the phone if she doesn’t stop or walk away.) 

if she throws a tantrum or gets upset you just say, you sound like you need a few minutes to get a handle on things, talk to you soon! ( then hang up or walk away) 

 

it also might be good to have an agreement with your husband about what you don’t speak to her about. Like any medical info, any finance info, any big decisions before you two have made a final decision. Never put yourselves in a situairon where you are asking mil for her opinion. Always be telling her your decisions after they are made. Followed by, because that’s what works best for us. 

Post # 14
Member
4216 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

View original reply
@chocolatebeancake3:  I agree with a previous poster about setting boundaries now and not leaving room for your Mother-In-Law to question or pick apart your reasonings – you definitely have to approach the conversation in a way that shows that you’re not asking for permission or opinions, the decision is yours and it’s final. You’re just informing them of your plans because that’s the considerate thing to do. And with COVID likely not being out of the picture by the end of the year, that’s all the more reason to be careful about indoor gatherings. We’ve been very cautious and only meeting family outside from a distance, and we likely won’t feel comfortable with indoor gatherings for a long time (especially now that I am pregnant). I’ve been thinking about renting a cabin around Christmas time for my husband and our fur baby as a nice little getaway, so I think that’s a great back up plan if your first plan doesn’t work out. Best of luck! 

Post # 15
Member
2135 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Holidays should be peaceful and happy. I’m glad you and your husband are on the same page about spending a quiet Christmas together! That’s honestly one big hurdle out of the way. 

Just deflect any questions by giving couple-focused responses. “We want to spend a quiet holiday together.”  “We’re looking forward to recharging and spending Christmas together.” We, we, we. It’s definitely a good way to enforce healthy boundaries with a nosy mother in law. You and your husband are a united front, and your own family unit. Starting this now will be a good baseline for future boundary needs. Just stay united and resolute, don’t justify or explain too much, and make it clear your decision is final and not up for discussion. 

 

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors