- 2 years ago
- Wedding: June 2018
My mom’s side of the family does Christmas at my great-grandparents on Christmas Day. This is how it has been for my entire existence. I currently no longer speak to my mom (and dad by default of my mom’s behavior) because of some terrible, terrible drama she caused during my engagement and wedding going on 3 years ago. Drama that was bad enough to cause a literal knockdown drag out fight at the end of my wedding reception. There’s a lot more to the drama but we’d be here all day if I explained. Although undiagnosed myself and my therapist believe my mom suffers from narcissism and borderline personality disorder.
My aunt (my mom’s sister) and I have gotten close because my mom has treated my aunt the same way for her entire life, so we really can relate to my mom and how she continues to act. Definitely an awkward way to bond, but what can you do.. lol. Thanks to my aunt helping to “stand up” for me, my great-grandparents are just about the only family members who haven’t shunned me or acted like all of this drama was my fault. Last year, my aunt and uncle, my in-laws and myself and DH started doing our own nuclear Christmas.
Since this drama with my mom, the big Christmases at my great-grandparents have not been enjoyable and they are super awkward. DH and I walk in and we basically feel all eyes on us and sit awkwardly by ourselves even during the traditional Rob-Your-Neighbor game. My aunt and uncle, grandparents and maybe another cousin or two are the only ones who talk to us. Now, DH and I are all about being cordial and civil but we are not about to just strike up conversation with my family and other cousins my mom has on “her side” and pretend everything is okay. If I’m being frank, I only continue to go to Christmas for the sake of my great-grandparents. Plus, with Christmas being so big, its seldom we get a chance to have any quality visiting time with my great-grandparents anyways.
On to the actual point of my post – My aunt really wants to do our little Christmas again this year but its just getting to be too difficult to coordinate a good date to get everyone together before Christmas. Given how awkward Christmas at my grandparents is now thanks to my mom, and the fact that we barely interact with anyone at Christmas anyways, my husband came up with a new idea for how we could still do Christmas with my aunt, uncle and great-grandparents but not have to worry about the drama and awkwardness of the rest of the family. Another added bonus would be that DH and I could save the money we spend on our portion of the Rob-Your-Neighbor gifts (1 gift per person, so 2 gifts).
He suggested not worrying about his parents (because my in-laws would not be the least bit heartbroken by not being included in this, lol) and instead having a Christmas with just my aunt, uncle and great-grandparents where we exchange gifts, visit and play cards just the 6 of us and we don’t attend the big Christmas. Initially I was hesitant because I’ve never missed Christmas Day at my grandparents, ever, but honestly the idea of doing a more intimate Christmas sounds soooooooo nice. I wouldn’t be anxious about seeing my parents and dealing with the drama (and when I say drama it’s the kind of drama that is always just “there”).
I think my grandparents would understand where I’m coming from if I suggest this, as would my aunt and uncle but I’m curious to other bees if it sounds bad that I want to do this smaller Christmas? I guess I’d obviously be doing it to avoid the overall awkwardness which feels cowardly, but I think it would make me feel so much better and I’d enjoy the holiday more. I also struggle with feeling like I’d disappoint my grandparents by not showing up to Christmas BUT deep down I know they’d understand.
What would you do? Still go to Christmas Day or do the smaller, more intimate Christmas? Is this even a good idea? I’m at the point in my life where I’ve over petty drama and its much easier to just stay out of it than to constantly put myself in an anxious state being around it and not being happy.