Author Topic: Your holiday hill to die on.  (Read 250019 times)

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Danismom

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #75 on: October 30, 2011, 04:29:20 PM »
Our hill has been Christmas morning at home.  Growing up, my parents were divorced and my dad remarried my SM when I was still in elementary school.  My mom's family celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve since my grandfather's birthday was Christmas day.  That meant that mom's family had gift exchange and snacks Christmas eve followed by the big Christmas dinner on Christmas day.  We lived within 15 minutes (all of the family did) so travel wasn't a problem.  Dad's family lived 30 minutes away and SM's family was about 45 minutes.  Dad's family did their celebration on Christmas late afternoon which wasn't a problem as mom's family did theirs for lunch.  SM's family did Christmas eve though which caused a lot of friction.  Truthfully, I never liked SM (who passed away last year) so I was happy to get out of her family's gatherings in favor of going to my mom's.  That was my first experience with a hill.  I wanted to be with mom's family and stood firm on it.

When I married, things got hairier.  DH's family lives 2 hours away from mom's family and also about 2 hours away from Dad's.  We live just 20 minutes from DH's family.  My mom's parents died over 10 years ago and mom and my aunts decided to consolidate the activities to lunch on Christmas day followed by gift exchange.  DH's family seems to change what they want from year to year and I'm never sure what is expected very far in advance.  Last year, DH's family was insistent on getting together on Christmas eve in the evening.  We stood firm that we would be attending services at our church and we could either get together before or after that.  There was some pushback but it wasn't too bad.

We are clear with everyone that we will not be traveling all over creation on Christmas day.  We want to enjoy our children on Christmas morning without being rushed.  My mom died 4 years ago and one of my aunts insists on doing Christmas on Christmas day.  That means we may not get to enjoy time with my aunts.  Everyone knows they are welcome to come to brunch on Christmas day at our house if they'd like.  My dad usually comes which is awesome.  I just wish the rest of the family would be more flexible about the entire family gathering time.  But I'm my mother's only child.  Aunt that is insistent about the gathering being on Christmas day has 2 sons, 1 of whom is married with 2 children.  I'm sad that we won't get to see everyone for the holiday but it just isn't possible this year.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #76 on: October 30, 2011, 06:24:56 PM »
I have a feeling mine's coming up this Christmas.  I've mentioned my sister before, her bad attitude and how bad she is at accepting gifts without complaining/criticising.  I saw her at Thanksgiving dinner earlier this month (I'm Canadian, Thanksgiving is in October here) and the first words out of her mouth were, "Don't you own ANY nice clothes?"  I didn't bother to answer; I didn't want to start a fight at my aunt's house before I'd even taken my shoes off. (For the record, I was wearing clean black jeans, no rips or tears, and a clean, plain t-shirt with no logos or anything offensive on it.  And believe me, I own some OFFENSIVE t-shirts.  I admit, not the fanciest outfit, but it's what I have and it's how I'm comfortable.)

However, I've decided that wherever Christmas dinner is, if she says one rude thing to me...ONE...I'm getting up and leaving.  I'm done putting up with her *censored*.  And if anyone asks why I left, she can explain it.  If I end up leaving, fine.  I'll come home to my house and do what I want, which will probably be napping, drinking wine, and playing with my dogs out in the snow. 
"After all this time?"
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LilacGirl1983

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #77 on: October 30, 2011, 07:21:01 PM »
My hill to die on was when my daughter was born. Previously we went to my mom's Christmas eve night and spent the night. Then Christmas day we opened gifts and had breakfast. It was always crunched since I used my old bedroom which had a twin bed so one of us was stuck on the bed and one was on the air mattress. We told my mom that when our daughter was born we would come Christmas morning after we opened our own gifts. There was a lot of guilt trips and I just kept explaining its time to start our own tradition. She finally accepted it. We now go to my mom's in the morning. We go to my husband's dad's house in the afternoon. It gets to be a bit much but with just one kid and everything within a 15 minute drive we can't complain to much ^_^

snowdragon

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #78 on: October 31, 2011, 02:20:33 PM »
The turkey became my hill to die on one Thanksgiving.   

 The first year I was married to my exDH, we invited the whole family and SOs to Thanksgiving as our home was by far the largest and most centrally located.   I was looking forward to it as I didn't know my in-laws well.  We had dated and married on the opposite side of the country.   My BIL was bringing his long term girlfriend, whom I had never met.  I was informed well ahead of time that she was a vegetarian, and had planned a meatless entree in addition to the bird.   In addition, all of the sides were meatless.

The evening before Thanksgiving I received a call from the GF, informing me that because she was vegetarian I could not serve a turkey at all.  She went on to say that she was afraid the "family" had forgotten to tell me that meat was not allowed at any function she attended.    I was sort of startled by this, but did tell her that we were definitely having a turkey, but that I was also preparing a vegetarian option.  She said that it "wouldn't do" so she was going to call MIL... and she did.   MIL called me and I learned that the family had acquiesced to this demand for several years, despite that fact that they were all meat-eaters, and admitted to missing the turkey/goose/ham, etc. on holidays.    My MIL never asked me not to serve the turkey, but did say that this was very important to GF.   I was not willing to give up that turkey (thawed and ready to go), so I had my then-DH call his brother and tell him that the menu was not changing, and we would understand if they didn't come, but they were still very welcome.   BIL and GF didn't come to the meal and actually broke up a short time later.  ILs attended many more holiday meals at our home until we split, and always seemed to enjoy the food.     I've always wondered if I was the family's way of getting their bird back? 

We've had something similar happen in my family.  Im not a vegetarian, nor are any of my immediate family members.  After about 6 months of doing "meatless Mondays" and my discovery of a powdered veggie boullion, I'm now comfortable making vegetarian meals.  Vegan, on the other hand, I'm not set up to do nor am I comfortable doing.  Same with most of the "whatever" free, like gluten or casein or nut free, as I know that I personally can't guarantee that a particle of "allergen/item" is not in the food, and I know that is very important. 

If I invite people over for a holiday (may be doing that this year) or party, then I get to pick the menu.  If someone lets me know about an allergy or intolerance or other food issue, I will figure something out, but if someone tries to dictate the menu... nope.  Not in my house, thank you very much!


Tai,, I've been trying to read the archives and just ran across that epic last week, is she still with you brother? How do you handle now, if she is?

This would so be my hill to die ~ I love my turkey.

snowdragon

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #79 on: October 31, 2011, 02:23:51 PM »
...
This year, my hill to die on is that since I'm not going to my mom's for TDay, I'm staying home.  Alone.  Doing what I want.  I alrady have multiple invites, and while my close friends get why I want to stay home, others think I'm nuts. I'm really not.  I will be working both black friday and the folllowing day, all day, so I want to stay home, cook something yummy for me, and watch football in my jammies.  I can't wait.

Just to let you know, I don't think you're nuts.  My first job was 600 miles away from my parents' home. That first Thanksgiving, I drove there all night Wednesday to be there. And it was the same ol' parents screaming at my sibling, someone stomps out in anger, everyone else watches football all weekend (not my thing).

  I don't think you're nuts either - I've skipped easter dinner because my family is nuts , many folks would be comfortable with their loud conversation and play arguing - I am not,,and I don't see the "fun" in mocking those you love, they do.  I live with my mom, she hosts family dinners, I have stayed in the basement all day more than once to avoid these dinners.

The next year I just stayed home, and it was glorious.   Every year, someone would extend a pity invitation ("You just can't spend Thanksgiving alone!") but I turned them all down, and had Thanksgivings I was actually thankful for.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #80 on: October 31, 2011, 08:29:06 PM »
One of my friends once up and took a trip to Mexico over Christmas, all by herself.  She said it was the most liberating and peaceful holiday ever.
"After all this time?"
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gingerzing

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #81 on: November 01, 2011, 10:14:59 AM »

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.

Heh.  I just remembered a year that my grandmother didn't even bother with the PLEASE.  There was a group of people in the living room watching the game.  (I think this was the day after Thanksgiving, so Texas/Texas A&M) and she had called everyone in for dinner.  None of the football watchers moved.  My grandmother walked calmly out to the living room and turned off the TV mid-play and said mildly, "Dinner" with the LOOK.  Not one person muttered and dinner was served.    She was a force of nature.

Nora

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #82 on: November 01, 2011, 12:31:48 PM »

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.

Heh.  I just remembered a year that my grandmother didn't even bother with the PLEASE.  There was a group of people in the living room watching the game.  (I think this was the day after Thanksgiving, so Texas/Texas A&M) and she had called everyone in for dinner.  None of the football watchers moved.  My grandmother walked calmly out to the living room and turned off the TV mid-play and said mildly, "Dinner" with the LOOK.  Not one person muttered and dinner was served.    She was a force of nature.

BTDT. Prying people from the tv around dinnertime is always my job. My mom says I have a special ability to convey how mad I might get if you don't listen when I say it is time to eat. Comes from working really hard to time all the components to be done at the same time, well spiced and hot. For it to sit there and congeal because of tv makes me absolutely furious.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #83 on: November 01, 2011, 12:46:35 PM »
Thankfully with DH's family there isn't a real need for "hills to die on" but when we were still speaking to my family and spending Tgiving with my dad's side of the family every other year, there was one year that gave me a "hill to die on."

BG: For years my grandparents always hosted Tgiving but when they both ended up going into a facility and sold their house, that wasn't possible so other family members had to host, which wasn't much of a problem until 2008.   Which is the year that everyone waited until practically the week before to decide who would be hosting the dinner. 

Now most of my dad's side of the family lives at least 3 hours away, and I was working and would not have Black Friday off.  And since everyone dragged their heels making the decision, everyone else at work who had the time to take the day off had already asked off so I would have to be working on Black Friday.  As it turned out, my dad's twin brother and his wife, who live in northern PA, decided to host it so it meant 2 1/2 hours drive up the day of Tgiving and the same distance back that same night so we were thinking of saying "Sorry everyone, we'll be eating with DH's family this year."

But as it happened I ended up getting laid off just before TGiving so we could go after all and stay for Black Friday.   I decided from then on that if no one told us prior to November 1st, we'd be eating with the IL's who lived 15 minutes away from us.    Ironically I ended up cutting off my parents and haven't been part of Tgiving with that side of the family since.  We do both Tgiving and Christmas with DH's family every year and it's wonderful.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

magician5

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #84 on: November 01, 2011, 04:28:22 PM »
Hill to die on? Yeah ... and I died.

Until about 8 years ago, it was mandatory ... we HAD to go on the 4-hour drive to be at my wife's childhood home with her family ON CHRISTMAS DAY. It did no good to point at the radio and say "see, they're playing 'It's So Nice to Be Home For The Holidays', we're married with 2 children, so why can't we be home?"

My FIL had been trading on his frail health for years ... can't upset or worry 'The Holy Father' 'cause he has a heart condition and he might diiiiieeee. That led to a few instances (it wasn't constant, but it was repeated) of him running roughshod over boundaries, and you can't tell him 'no' because he might diiiiieeee. I couldn't even disagree with the old so-and-so without a kneejerk screaming session from my wife because he might get upset and diiiiieeee. I never got her to understand that gentlemen of good character may disagree on occasion. I never got her to understand that I didn't hate my FIL (even though neither he nor I went with the women to late Christmas Eve church, and we would chat away the evening and he confided numerous things about his health and his history that he had never told anyone else in the family).

I never once got to have Christmas at home because he'd get upset if he didn't see the children come running down the stairs to tear into presents. I never once saw that at my house. Not that I wanted it that badly, I just wanted to come FIRST for once in my marriage. Until I had a stroke 10 years ago plus 'The Holy Father' finally dropped the other shoe and diiiiieeeed. Then we agreed that, between my disability and my attitude, we could stay home on The Big Day and they could go without me on the following weekend.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 04:31:38 PM by magician5 »
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Luci

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #85 on: November 01, 2011, 05:26:50 PM »
We pulled that off by going to my husband's hosting for Christmas eve then traveling 5 hours on Christmas day, visiting 3 groups of realtives for about an hour each, then driving an hour north to spend the night at my dad's and having Christmas dinner the 26th with my family, then coming home that night. That slowed down after the southernmost relative died, my maternal grandmother who only had one child, deceased.

The way we managed the children's Christmas gifts and playing with the new toys was simply asking Santa to come a day early. We got away with it.

Oh yes, the weekend before Christmas (usually near the 15th) we traveled to visit husband's extended family about 5 hours away - round trip in one long day. Did this for only a few years, but we were young and wouldn't trade those memories for the world.

Most importantly, my husband really liked to drive. A couple of years snow made it kind of dicey, but we managed, thank goodness. Also, we all get along really well, so there is never all that family angst that so many of you post about.

I truly understand why so many of you want just a quiet nuclear family or private day at home on these traditionally "family" days. It really gets me down from time to time so I know why you make it your hill. I imagine I will have alone days in the future, and be glad of it. Sometimes we sort of wished for that, but we didn't hate it enough to make a big deal out of it.

Now, fortunantly, the only hill for me is not drawing names, and we even have convinced one family we visit not to have the grab bag. I HATE that! One year we didn't know the oldest grandchildren were going to participate and he ended up with a whiskey flask.......his grandpa traded with him.

Miss Misha

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #86 on: November 01, 2011, 06:21:45 PM »
<snip>
ETA: I think I love anna_garny's BIL.

Me too.  Does he have a girlfriend?   ;D ;D ;D

I have two major hills this holiday season.  Hill #1:

Mr.#2's family is heeeeuuuuyyyyge and they get together and insist we come on every holiday, semi-holiday and non-holiday.  And every occasion has the same script: 

Everyone arrives at least 1/2 hour late. 

Hors d'ouevres are served and too many are eaten, so no one is hungry for dinner.  Bonus points if there are no vegetarian options.

Dinner is served two hours into the party, and is lukewarm.  No one has a table large enough to fit us all, so seating is catch as catch can.  No one cares because they're all too full from too many hors d'ouevres.  Except for the vegetarians, who are bravely eating the lukewarm side dishes and filling up on bread.  (For those of you playing along at home, repeated offers to bring a vegetarian dish to share have been turned down.)

Dessert is served and someone objects to the whipped cream/pie/frosting/napkin colors.   ::)

Wives, mothers and aunts trample each other in too-small kitchen to clean up.  Men folk wander off and do not help.  Kids wander off and play.

Uncle B. starts to rant about latest political scandal/minority group/the price of tea in China.

Uncle K. puts on loud music to drown him out.  It's usually greatest hits of the 80s. 

Uncle B., who just *has* to be the center of attention, asks various aunts to dance.  Some say yes, some say no.
When he runs out of aunts, he dances in the center of the room while others jeer at him (He's not even drunk! He doesn't drink!  I wish that was his excuse!  :P)
I look pointedly at my watch and then Mr. #2, repeatedly.  Nevertheless, we never leave before midnight.

This happens to.the.letter.  Every.time. This year I got a bye because Great-niece is turning 1 the Sunday before Thanksgiving and Jr. and I are flying to Niece's house to celebrate and stay for Thanksgiving.  But I really, really, really don't want to do this for the December holidays.  The problem is too many hurt feelings if we don't go at all or if we go Christmas Eve and not Christmas Night or some other reduced combination.  I may get a week long sickness called aversiontolargeloudfamilyholiday.

Still with me?   :D  Second hill:

My mother has always been, er, um, well, difficult.  She has a hair trigger temper and looks to take offense where none is meant.  She is entitled and diety forbid, never wrong.  The stories I could tell would fill up any remaining bandwidth on eHell's server, trust me. ::)  She also has begun to slip into senior dementia.  Big time.  Because my only remaining sibling lives out of state, helping Mom has fallen to me.  But she doesn't want help.  She wants to belittle, yell at and argue with me, then 10 minutes later forget that she was belittling, yelling and arguing with me.  And then start the cycle all over again.  I really, really, really don't want to have her over for Christmas Day (before we go to Mr.#2's family).  Yes, I'm a bad daughter.



Chivewarrior

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #87 on: November 01, 2011, 09:27:43 PM »
No, Miss Misha, you're not a bad daughter. You're someone who has toxic-sounding family-- and it's not a bad thing to cut off toxic family or insist that they treat you well. If they're not even feeding you adequately not going sounds entirely reasonable.

doodlemor

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #88 on: November 01, 2011, 10:24:33 PM »
Miss Misha, you're not a bad daughter.  You are someone doing her best in a difficult situation.  It is very difficult to be a care taker to a mother with dementia - I know.

PS Is there any chance that your mother still likes to dance?

Lovemykids

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #89 on: November 02, 2011, 06:38:24 AM »
I never once got to have Christmas at home because he'd get upset if he didn't see the children come running down the stairs to tear into presents. I never once saw that at my house. Not that I wanted it that badly, I just wanted to come FIRST for once in my marriage. Until I had a stroke 10 years ago plus 'The Holy Father' finally dropped the other shoe and diiiiieeeed. Then we agreed that, between my disability and my attitude, we could stay home on The Big Day and they could go without me on the following weekend.

I'm sorry to hear your FIL died, but -- you had to have a STROKE to get to stay home on Christmas?  Man.