Family + Holiday = ???
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  1. #1
    Registered User JanieD's Avatar
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    Default Family + Holiday = ???

    I guess we all have this idea of what holidays or other special events will be like once we're adults. After a few, we realize the perfect family get together only exists in fairy tales. Anyway, we look for ways to have an enjoyable holiday & make it through without major issues.

    So your parents decided to change the normal holiday stuff. Christmas is really just for the kids anyway. Guess that explains a lot. Everything you were told as a child changes when grands are involved. Don't get me wrong... I just find it annoying most of the time. But the icing on the cake has to be the message on machine since you're at work, changing holiday plans at the last minute. The details when you call back...Of course you can come over then if you want. Oh, you're working 6 days that week... well, we understand if you can't make it. Guess we should have let you know sooner. Great to find out the day before, so you can make other plans.

    Oh well, I made it through another holiday, can't wait for the next one! Wondering if others will share their insight into handling family during holiday planning/get togethers. I've tried to go along with whatever, but sometimes its not so easy. I'm not sure what the best approach is. Maybe I should make other plans for most holidays & let family know several weeks ahead. Really I enjoyed my quiet Easter, but I don't like being told at the last minute plan have changed.


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  2. #2
    Registered User kellydoeshair's Avatar
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    the only thing wrong with my family holidays is that dh is always trying to get out of them
    I've tried telling him that they are awesome and if he REALLY gives them a chance he'll have a good time
    but it really hurts my feelings when he tries to opt out....

  3. #3
    Registered User Neeley's Avatar
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    I am a big old Scrooge when it comes to spending holidays with extended family. If I could only have it with my DH, Dkids, MIL, FIL and my parents I would be happy. But I cannot stand getting together with all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, plus all of the friends of the family that seem to get invitied to EVERY event.

    What DH and I started doing many years ago was planning our vacations around the holidays. Side note...99% of my extended family lives within 15-20 miles of me. The one or two that live out of town come home for every event since they only live a few hours away. The only way for us to get away is to go on vacation. The family knows we won't be at the events/gatherings.

    Every Thanksgiving we head 180 miles south to the beach.

    Every Christmas we head 476 miles south to Disney World.

    Other holidays like Easter, Memorial day and 4th of July we usually have baseball going on so we can easily disappear to the ball park instead of going to the family gatherings.

    Father's day I do go to my daddy's but my mom hosts Mother's day so I don't go. There is always at least 15-20 family members plus the "stray cats"...umm...I mean family friends there. My mom is fine with it. She knows I don't like these gatherings.

    It may seem like I am a bit mean or heartless, but the stress of having to be around, listen to, and associate with certain family members brings out the bad side of me. The important people in my family know why we don't show and fully understand. Trust me when I say it is much bettter for everyone if I avoid these functions as much as possible.

  4. #4
    Registered User mombottoo's Avatar
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    I hate it when plans are changed at the last minute, unless of course it's due to illness or a death. Our holidays are fairly easy, I tell the kids dinner is at such & such if you can make it great, if not have a great "whatever the holiday" is.

    What I get tired of, is adult children expecting you to do the major family get together thing...cuz, it just wouldn't feel like ________ (fill in the blank) if we didn't come to your house. I did manage to get rid of Thanksgiving...but, I still buy the majority of the food, which is no big deal...at least I don't have the mess.

    Don't get me wrong, I love holidays, but I sure would like to be able to just do nothing sometimes.
    "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon
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  5. #5
    Registered User FrugalMomof3's Avatar
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    I am the type of person that just likes it when the immediate family or shall i say, Me, DH, DD and DS from college come. Seems DH's daughters only call when they need something, so I feel used basically but DH doesnt see it that way.

    I did go to my mom's for Easter Dinner but totally felt like I didnt want to be there in the slightest and kept my mouth shut about some issues I wanted to talk to her about because it was Easter and of course, I dont like confrontation (I am a peace keeper).

    On that note, I am always glad when family get-togethers end or just dont happen in the first place, the people that do come over only come for the free meal and to ask for something.

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    I used to be big on the whole family getting together at grandma's events until I had my DD. I want to spend the special days with her, my DH, and our parents. I've hurt a lot of feelings over this,but we do our own thing now. I decided that I'm a grown woman with a family of my own and we're going to make our own traditions, instead of having the same ones that I grew up with. It amazes me that others in my family don't see my point of view on this. I'm glad to hear that some FV's want a smaller gathering for holidays as well.

  7. #7
    Registered User magaka's Avatar
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    Glad to see that I am not the ONLY one that might have slight issues with family. HA! My parents are the type of people (okay, my sister and her family are like this too-and they all live together) that you do things their way or no way. So they will do what they want when they want and I had better JUMP for them. Needless to say I get annoyed-I have kids that are NOT kept up until 2 or 3 in the morning (no, I am NOT kidding-their kids stay up that late so they will sleep most of the day) so it does not go well. PLUS my mom thinks that my sisters kids hung the moon because she lives with them, and so if mine get into dissagreements with those two, well, it is always my kids faults. PLUS my kids crave attention from my mother, but she will not give them attention because it might upset the two that live with her. It is such a wicked little circle.

    Now, this year my mother DID go out of her way to tell my oldest (in front of my youngest) how much she loves him and misses him-yet she never said a word to my little one, who had a confused look but never said anything. (Ummm, No, my parents and I do NOT live far apart, but my mother refuses to see my kids and if I go there to let the kids see them then she insists on calling the other kids in the room because it is not fair that my kids get time alone with her and my father....they live maybe 8minutes from us) Her and I have talked SEVERAL times about how she treats my youngest, but she refuses to change things. And I refuse to make him see that more than I HAVE to because he has done NOTHING to deserve such treatment from his grandmother.

    This year actually went better than I thought though!! My cousins wife told me off over a year ago and we have not spoken since, so I knew that would add stress to things with my mother, but I just went in and talked to her and things were fine. So that was okay and MUCH better than I would have thought!! Only mom was her usual self, and well, a leopard doesn't change his spots, so I cannot expect much else from her. My aunt and I are very close, and she had Easter at her house with everyone there.

    My DH family is another story. His mom changes the holidays to whatever she wants, so we never know when things will be. This year her Easter is this coming Saturday, and I had plans to take the kids to a show that day, so now they have to miss the show because if I skip Easter there well, it might cause the next world war. {rolling eyes} She lives close to, but only sees the kids at holidays, brthday parties and maybe 2-3 times more than that. She says it is too much for her to make the 8-10 minute drive here, yet she can drive 45 minutes to go look at a basket. She also has a daughter and her son living with her, so if I go there then once again the kids cannot get alone time with their grandmother, and really she says it is too much with 3 kids so close in age to be together for her-she says she gets too overwhelmed. So, that is that.

    So my Easter is half over for the year. Just have her house to go!!
    Last edited by magaka; 03-25-2008 at 11:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Registered User JanieD's Avatar
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    Looks like I'm not alone in "the family can't have a nice holiday" category! Maybe I need to look at this holiday thing differently. I should make other holiday plans in the future that won't depend on family. I will let them know several weeks ahead that we won't be attending. Holidays are so up in the air & I'm not really considered when plans are being made; so I need to distance myself the family get togethers.

    Seems like favoritism runs ramped in many families. I'm a little surprised at how this has played out in my family since parents have experienced this from their parents (my grandparents) as I was growing up. I don't think they really see it or perhaps they feel its ok due to circumstances. I've talked to DH & plan to cancel our normal visit, so I can avoid saying what I think about this whole thing. Feels like I need a little space right now.


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  9. #9
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    My situation is a little different. I LOVE family celebrations, and getting together with distant cousins and various generations. We do a lot of planning so that no one has the majority of the work, and we all love to get together and cook. This Easter, for example, everyone had a hand in decorating the Bunny Cake, and we all cooked together, and took time out for sandwich lunches while doing so. Some folks snoozed; my son got comfy with his two young sons, and all three of them snoozed in the recliner. Some watched TV in the living room; kids played video games in the basement. Some were going thru old albums, looking at pictures. We set up tables all over for the meal, and talked non stop. We all went to church together,had an EAster egg hunt, ate a little more. Such fun. We all really enjoy each other's company, and as I get older, I cherish these times even more. I can remember similar gatherings at my grandparents, with great great aunts sitting on the couch, and great uncles running around taking photos. Those generations are gone now, but we still have the photos, and memories, and we continue to share them with the new generations.

    On the other hand, I remember that after we were married, it was difficult for a time dividing up our holiday time so that both sides of the family felt appeased. We ended up spending Easter with one side, Thanksgiving with the other side, and a little Christmas with both sides. We also tried to see each side at some point in the summer. It was a little testy at first, but then we settled into a routine. My inlaws are deceased now, so that part of the problem is moot.

    But overall, I LOVE our big family gatherings.
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  10. #10
    Registered User karone's Avatar
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    we didnt spend easter with jason's parents or my mom b/c he was working. christmas we did spend all day at his parents then came back in the afternoon b/c merrick was picked up by zack's (merrick's father) dad for their christmas. i felt more comfortable with jason's family than i did with zack's and i know merrick felt it b/c he laid down with one of jason's brothers.

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