Post # 1
I apoligize for the novel in advance but here we go. My family has always been very casual about the holidays and pretty much just stayed home and had a “get there when you get there” approach because all three of us kids (now grown adults) have always had multiple gatherings,etc. Normally I go to my future mother-in-laws mid-day for Thanksgiving and then to my folks for the evening. Last year my brother began dating a girl in August or September right before the holidays, lets just call her “Bear”. We loved her but it was still tough because my brother had just broken up with a girl we adored after about 8 years, and to say the least we embraced Bear with open arms. That particular Thanksgiving my family and I had reservations at a wonderful restaurant that evening. The plan was to go to my future mother-in-laws first and then meet up at the restaurant with my family. The weekend before Thanksgiving, Bear decides it is a good idea to invite just my parents to her folks’ house for dinner. They took her up on it and cancelled our dinner plans with the whole family. Needless to say my feelings were extremely hurt and not to mention my parents not once (after 5 years with my future husband) have ever been willing to even socialize with my future in-laws for any event. They have always been invited even though we always still have a family get together. My parents had no excuse other than me and my future husband and family friend to celebrate with our family. My oldest brother had just moved to Texas with his wife and kids and would not be around. I brought it up to them and told them how much it hurt that they never made any effort for my side. They shrugged it off and pretended it didn’t matter and that I was being sensitive, even though I was honest and upfront with them how it made me feel. Two days before Thanksgiving, Bear finally texted me an invite if I wanted to come to her family’s dinner. I went reluctently for my brother, to be a good sport and because I still wanted to spend time with my family. I also agreed to go because I said that they would have to be fair and give my side the time of day if I went. This year I didn’t even mention the holidays because I knew I would be ignored anyway. I heard my dad mention that they were already invited by Bear to Thanksgiving but I think they declined and they don’t want to feel guilty because of me. Now I believe they have plans to go out of town by themselves to avoid everything. What should I do in the future since Bear has decided to ruin our family tradition because now she will ask them everytime? I am not sure how they will treat the holidays once I have kids in the next couple of years. It makes me sad to think that I can’t just go to my home to enjoy my family like usual especially when I have kids down the line.
Post # 3
Bear didn’t do anything wrong here, so don’t hold this against her. All she did was extend your parents then you and your husband an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner with her family.
If a tradition was ruined your parents did that, and this is an issue to bring up with them.
Why not host Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner at your house/apt this year or next year? Make everyone aware that you plan on hosting one of these next year if this year isn’t possible.
Post # 4
Erm, maybe your parents grow weary of hosting the holiday as they get older? Maybe another invitation was a welcome change? I don’t think this “bear” person meant any harm, other than to be hospitable. Maybe if the family had a, “you get here when you get here” mentality, they felt like they were 2nd on the priority list, and just figured they’d 1) remove the cumbersome logistics of multi-family celebrating for you, and 2) take a load off from cooking for once.
Post # 5
@mishagirls79: I agree that it is up to my parents to decide what traditions they will uphold but I was only invited at the last minute (courtesy invite). I have been excluded on other occassions by Bear and my parents have a soft spot for my older brother and only worry about pleasing him. You are right on that one, I appreciate your insight.
Post # 6
@StuporDuck: Typically I do the cooking at my parents house with my dads assistance because my home is not large enough to accomodate everyone.
My parents are the ones who encourage me to go to the other events and they always get first pick for holidays because my future husband’s side is divorced and there are many events. My family is small compared to his and we only have one gathering. Trust me I’ve tried everything. LOL
Post # 7
I also don’t think Bear should get the blame. Perhaps you should shedule lowkey get together for your folks and inlaws on the non holidays?
Maybe they don’t feel comfortable or perfer for whatever reason not to spend holidays with your inlaws.
While it stinks I think once we grow up and have siblings with different spouses it gets harder and every year we don’t all get to be together. That’s just life.
Post # 8
This is kind of typical in most families- people get older, married, divorced, spouses die. You just have to make your traditions more elastic and try to find a way to make it feel like the holidays regardless of where you are or who you’re able to spend the day with. Lots of us have to make compromises to spend holidays with family.
When you have children, or maybe now, despite how you feel about the home you’re in, you should find a way to host a holiday. People cook thanksgiving dinners in studio apartments. It just takes creativity. Why can’t your family have two holiday dinners, perhaps on two subsequent days or weekends? What about enjoying the holiday with your fiance? Don’t hold your hurt feelings against your parents or Bear. They’ve done nothing wrong in this situation and I think it’s kind of lovely that she’s so keen on getting closer to your family.
Post # 9
Bear is not likely trying to ruin your family’s traditions. She simply was courteous and extended an invitation to her SO’s parents. They are the ones who accepted without checking plans with you.
Instead of waiting for someone else to make the plans, then get hurt feelings when they are not what you want, you could take the iniative and extend an invitation yourself.
Whether you host at your home or your parents, is irrelevant. A pp has said, maybe your Mom and Dad are simply tired of doing all the hosting. Maybe your parents are thinking of going out of town because they are trying to avoid dealing with reactions such as yours?
Family traditions evolve over time especially when children grow up and add partners to the family.