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Author Topic: Your holiday hill to die on.  (Read 324069 times)

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Xallanthia

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #60 on: October 28, 2011, 12:13:31 PM »
My "hill" has so far not been argued by family: I will spend Christmas at my own church.  This means that whatever family we live closer to, within a reasonable drive (not requiring overnight stay) will have DH and me for Christmas.  End of story.

It was DH's family for the first three years of our marriage.  It was my family last year and will be my family this year.  In the future, it may be neither!

SPuck

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #61 on: October 28, 2011, 01:14:28 PM »
My grandmother had a foot tall Christmas tree/direction that she used for years. My mom had the artificial tree for years when she was younger, and getting a real tree was her hill to die on after she married my dad. They tried getting a potted tree a few years ago to off set the price of buying a tree, but it died.  ::)

iradney

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #62 on: October 28, 2011, 01:39:13 PM »
Our tree is about 2 foot tall, so it's not ginormous. And I would love to set it up, but we literally have no counter space to put it (the kitchen is titchy tiny. Hubster and I have to do a dance routine to be in the kitchen at the same time), and anywhere we put it on the floor will be in the way. And we don't even have that much stuff :( So this time next year, new house, the tree is going up! :)
It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance.
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Glaceon

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #63 on: October 28, 2011, 01:53:45 PM »
My hill has been "no running around on Christmas."  We go to my mom's in the late morning/afternoon but she lives in the same area.  If we lived further apart we'd stay home all day. Luckily I haven't had to die on it because my parents instituted it back when I was a kid so they get it.  And my inlaws have been ten hours from their own families for thirty years so they're used to nontraditional or flexible holidays.

veryfluffy

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #64 on: October 28, 2011, 02:19:14 PM »
Our tree is about 2 foot tall, so it's not ginormous. And I would love to set it up, but we literally have no counter space to put it (the kitchen is titchy tiny. Hubster and I have to do a dance routine to be in the kitchen at the same time), and anywhere we put it on the floor will be in the way. And we don't even have that much stuff :( So this time next year, new house, the tree is going up! :)


Ah, but why does the tree need to stand on the floor, or the counter? A solution can be found on the ceiling...

http://www.westendevents.co.uk/john-lewis-introduces-upside-down-christmas-tree-category-1185898982.html
   

Nora

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #65 on: October 28, 2011, 06:42:01 PM »
Family Thankgiving was my first hill of my life actually. I had to learn how to not play the game "Outrage"tm.
The rules of "Outrage"tm : The following things are fair game 1) everyone at the adult's table 2) every event / past wrong (real and percieved) 3) religion (nearly every family group was a different religion or non-religion) 4) politics 5) scientific opinions 6) what you eat / don't eat. The person who wins is the person who riles up the most people - if you can rile the entire table and have someone stomp away from the table then you are an Outrage Master.
Now, I leaned to play from observing the adult's table from the kid's table and when I felt old enough I asked to sit at the adult's table. If you sat at the adult's table you could have wine. I quickly learned why. Regardless of my age (I think I was 14 at the time) I was a player in the game and I lost - badly.
It took years (and getting past teen hormones) but I finally patented my "I'm Switzerland" stand in the game. You can't win or lose a game you aren't participating in.

This is priceless.

And so very painfully true!
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

missmolly

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #66 on: October 28, 2011, 07:06:55 PM »
Mine is that I will only attend one mass at Christmas time. My mother used to make us go on Christmas Eve, as well as 10am the next day. Last year I attended midnight mass by myself after watching Carols by Candlelight and wrapping presents. I was a little tired the next morning but I still found it a lot more practical than going to church Christmas morning and then scrambling to get everything ready to head over to my aunt's house.
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

poundcake

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #67 on: October 29, 2011, 03:28:13 PM »
I'm in the same boat with those of you who want to have a nice meal, eaten on real china, with real cutlery, and no plastic anything. I'm fine with doing all of the set-up and clean-up and wash-up, and I don't care that it's "so much work." We have that plastic garbage for summer BBQs and birthdays and every other possible occasion. Let's let Thanksgiving and Christmas be special.

My biggest issue is the meal itself. Both my husband and I love to cook, and we're good at it, mostly because our families hate to cook and stink at it. So we want to have a nice sit-down holiday dinner with conversation and leisurely second helpings. We like to try new recipes and have different courses. My family, however, is of the "pile it on your plate and gobble it down as fast as you can" variety, so before we'd even finished bringing things to the table, my mother and grandma were already clearing things and doing dishes. This made our other guests very uncomfortable, too, like they shouldn't be finishing their own meals, but should be helping my eighty-year-old grandma in the kitchen. Finally, after jokes, polite requests and anger, I put my foot down: yes, I appreciate that you want to be helpful, but sit at the table until we're all finished eating the holiday meal! The dishes will be there in a half-hour.

I swear, it nearly kills my mother every year.

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #68 on: October 29, 2011, 03:35:27 PM »
Oh, I HATE that!  We do a lot of clean up as you go so we can have a nice long leisurely dinner.

My hill?  Please turn off the television during the meal.  I want to hear what people have to say.  I'll DVR the game, even the movie you've seen eleventy times so you can watch it AFTER we eat.  After. 

weeblewobble

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #69 on: October 29, 2011, 05:30:01 PM »
Oh, I forgot one.  I'll supervise MY kids during the meal, but not yours.

My inlaws divide the family into smaller groups to make dining space more manageable. About eight people can fit around the dining room table.  Everybody else is situated at smaller card tables spread through the living room and den. The first few years after we had DD, MIL would always put the special Disney place settings out for DD and her second cousin and let the moms put them wherever we planned on sitting. There weren't enough kids for a kids table.  Second Cousin is a loud, rambunctious kid who is really hard to manage at the table.  When DD was 2-4, Second Cousin's mom would watch where I put my place setting and DD's, put Second Cousin's at that table, and then fix her plate and sit at a table far away, so I ended up managing her kid.  DH tried to help, but it always ended up being a divide and conquer thing. He took DD, I ended up with Second Cousin.

I finally figured out that I had to wait until Second Cousin and Mom went through the buffet line and seated themselves, then get our plates and sit somewhere else.  It sounds petty, but it's really cut down on my stress and resentment.

auntiem

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #70 on: October 29, 2011, 05:52:00 PM »
Family Thankgiving was my first hill of my life actually. I had to learn how to not play the game "Outrage"tm.
The rules of "Outrage"tm : The following things are fair game 1) everyone at the adult's table 2) every event / past wrong (real and percieved) 3) religion (nearly every family group was a different religion or non-religion) 4) politics 5) scientific opinions 6) what you eat / don't eat. The person who wins is the person who riles up the most people - if you can rile the entire table and have someone stomp away from the table then you are an Outrage Master.
Now, I leaned to play from observing the adult's table from the kid's table and when I felt old enough I asked to sit at the adult's table. If you sat at the adult's table you could have wine. I quickly learned why. Regardless of my age (I think I was 14 at the time) I was a player in the game and I lost - badly.
It took years (and getting past teen hormones) but I finally patented my "I'm Switzerland" stand in the game. You can't win or lose a game you aren't participating in.

This is priceless.

And so very painfully true!
Don't get me wrong, I was no angel the second year. I pulled off an Outragetm hat trick (with an assist from an Outrage Master) - I could have been a contender as they say. You had to prove you could play the game to be let out of it.
Any wonder why my Thanksgiving mantra is "Open the wine. Open it early. Open a lot."

Gumbysqueak

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #71 on: October 29, 2011, 06:24:37 PM »
Marriage was my hill to die on. Thanksgiving.  Growing up, our family has huge (think 30 relatives) family Thanksgiving dinner.  It was great fun.  DH's Jewish family has their once a year celebration on Thanksgiving.  Family fly in from all over the country. 

No more maternal family thanksgiving, but a wonderful new family celebration.  It works out perfect, Thanksgiving with Dh's family and Christmas with mine. 

Sometimes the Hill to Die On is a blessing.

Dindrane

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #72 on: October 29, 2011, 07:21:19 PM »
I may be approaching one after this Christmas.  The trick is that if things go the way I'm afraid they will, it will be such a gradual process that I might have a very hard time resisting the trend without looking overly sensitive and like the resident family killjoy.

Basically, I live on one coast, my brother lives on the other, and my sister and parents live in the middle of the country.  My mom's family also mostly lives in the same area my parents live in, so family gatherings when I was growing up were always very large.  My dad's family is not close, so we only spent a handful of holidays with them.  My personal ideal is to spend holidays with my parents where they live, because that way I get to see my aunts and uncles and cousins, and because for me, that's a traditional holiday (no matter what we actually end up doing).

Last year, my parents and sister decided to visit my brother for Christmas, because he lives in a part of the country that is pretty spectacular in the winter.  I decided to visit as well, because I couldn't resist the chance to see all of my immediate family at once, and because my parents offered to pay for my and my husband's airfare as our Christmas presents.  It was fun, but the travel was difficult (they live in a small town, and the winter weather made a long and challenging trip that much more complex), and we basically had a SIL Family Christmas.  Despite the fact that my family outnumbered hers (even with her parents, who live in the area), her family's traditions were the ones that held sway.

As a sometimes thing, I wouldn't mind all of that.  It was fun, but at the same time, I don't want to do it every year.  I want to celebrate my own family's traditions, I want to have actual Christmas presents and not just airfare (and I can't afford the airfare on my own), and I want to see my extended family.  On top of that, I do have a husband and his family and his traditions to consider, and Christmas is the one holiday that both of our families celebrate (he is not American, so Thanksgiving is pretty much whatever I want to do).

But it's beginning to sound like my brother and SIL expect us to visit them every year.  They don't like the weather where my parents live for Christmas (understandable, since it's sometimes actually hot), and now that they have a baby daughter, I'm sure travel will be that much more difficult for them.  But I swear, if it starts to become the My Family "thing" to visit my brother and have a SIL Family Christmas, that will become my hill to die on.  And whether I choose to participate in that style Christmas or not, I will resent the heck out of everyone for making me choose between the traditions I value and seeing my actual family.

Of course, you have to add in the fact that my brother and I both moved away from my parents' city 4 years ago, and I have visited him 4 times.  He's never once visited me.  My sister has never visited me.  My parents do visit, but not as often as they visit my brother.  I know the reason is because I have a one-bedroom apartment, so visiting me is a lot more expensive than visiting my brother (he owns a house with extra bedrooms).  But no matter how logical that argument, it still hurts that because I have less money than my brother (basically), I'm always the one who has to travel.  Having to give up my holiday traditions on top of that is just too much.


doodlemor

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #73 on: October 29, 2011, 10:03:44 PM »
Oh, I forgot one.  I'll supervise MY kids during the meal, but not yours.

My inlaws divide the family into smaller groups to make dining space more manageable. About eight people can fit around the dining room table.  Everybody else is situated at smaller card tables spread through the living room and den. The first few years after we had DD, MIL would always put the special Disney place settings out for DD and her second cousin and let the moms put them wherever we planned on sitting. There weren't enough kids for a kids table.  Second Cousin is a loud, rambunctious kid who is really hard to manage at the table.  When DD was 2-4, Second Cousin's mom would watch where I put my place setting and DD's, put Second Cousin's at that table, and then fix her plate and sit at a table far away, so I ended up managing her kid.  DH tried to help, but it always ended up being a divide and conquer thing. He took DD, I ended up with Second Cousin.

I finally figured out that I had to wait until Second Cousin and Mom went through the buffet line and seated themselves, then get our plates and sit somewhere else.  It sounds petty, but it's really cut down on my stress and resentment.

You are not being petty, weeblewobble, you are outsmarting the entitled mom. 

You are under no obligation to care for an extra child during a holiday meal.  If you get roped in again I think that you just need to go tell her politely that the seating arrangement needs to be changed, because her child doesn't respond well to you.  [She apparently plotted this in the first place, she may be plotting again for this year.]

cocacola35

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #74 on: October 30, 2011, 12:27:01 PM »
Our "hill" was the family gift-exchange.  For the past few years, our in-laws would draw names so each person would supposedly have to only get one gift- however most of the people involved here were SIL's family.  We get along with most of them okay, but everyone only sees each other twice a year at most so getting a gift for someone here was hit or miss.  DH and I would always get presents for his immediate family and SIL's two small nieces regardless of who we chose.  On top of that, we had the added stress (and scrounging for extra finances) of getting a couple more gifts for people we didn't really know.  Both DH and I hated this but didn't know how to get out of it.

For a couple years, my parents had been coming with us to DH's family for Christmas.  This worked out beautifully.  However the next year, SIL called me and asked if my parents wanted to be involved in the gift exchange.  I told her (knowing how my parents felt) that they didn't want to be a part of it and just enjoyed spending time with everyone.  I told her to that while we were talking about it that DH and I really didn't want to be involved with the gift exchange this year and to please take our names out of the drawing.  SIL accepted this gracefully and we hung up.  A few weeks later, DH informed me that apparently he and I started a new trend: it turned out that most everyone else felt the same way we did about the gift exchange and they decided to get rid of it all together!