Author Topic: Your holiday hill to die on.  (Read 245011 times)

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EveLGenius

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #600 on: November 19, 2013, 04:35:56 PM »
This year, I am DONE buying presents for DH's family.  We have been married 18 years, and every year I try very hard to find something that SIL and the nieces will like.  Every year, I buy presents, wrap presents, ship presents- and never hear a peep from anyone.  Forget TY notes- I'd be happy with a call, email or text of any sort.  This year SIL has gotten remarried and I have no idea what her address is.  Eldest niece has gotten remarried, and I have no idea what her address is.  Middle niece is about to join the military, she thinks (long story).  I feel a little bad about Youngest Niece, but I'm done.  The only exception will be MIL and FIL, who are very sweet, and do call and email regularly.

And yes, DH agrees with me.

mime

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #601 on: November 19, 2013, 04:38:30 PM »
Two hills:

Number one-- I know it is in murky etiquette waters: I won't host. My ILs (well, some of them) have demonstrated no respect for DH or our home, don't care how many of my kids' toys their kids break, and don't hesitate to criticize everything from my decorating to my cooking or how I choose to spend my money. I'm fine with them when we're outside of my home; I'm just know better than to subject my personal space to their whims and judgement.

The things that make this hard are that we have the most central location and the most space for 20 people, including play areas and entertainment for the kids, so logically we are the best choice to host. The family also is of the mindset that you put up with each other because we're family, so excluding any of them would be considered extremely rude. DH was told all his life to let one particular sister get her way because it keeps the peace.

A couple years ago, DH's sisters all decided among themselves that DH and I would host Thanksgiving, and told us so. DH was going to go along (he and I are somewhat of the same mindset here, but not entirely), but I made him say "no". We haven't been asked again. If my decision means we should never be invited to a gathering with them again, we're fine with that.

Number two: we will choose when we are available. Both of our families were expected to comply with all of the out-of-towners' schedules. We were willing to do this before we had kids, but it got out of hand. Everything changed for us the year that three of DH's four sisters were all in town for Christmas on different days, and none of them were on Christmas Day. So, DH, I, and local-sister saw his parents on Christmas, then came back again to see SIL#1 the next day, SIL#2 the day after that, SIL#2's step-kids the day after that-- it was one of two times I've ever seen them, and SIL#3 the following Saturday. After all of that, MIL was upset that we went to church with my family on Christmas Eve instead of with her & FIL. That same year, I had family of my own come before the holidays for 4 days, but didn't tell any of their plans. They just expected us to wait by the phone and keep our schedule clear for whenever they were ready to see us. Now, we're available every other Christmas to each family plus one more day when we think we'll see the most people.




darkprincess

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #602 on: November 19, 2013, 04:44:08 PM »
This year we are staying at home. I will eat good food that I don't have to worry if it has allergen x in it, if it is too spicey, if it was prepared safely (cooking meat to the proper temperature). I will not eat vegetables that have been cooked so long that they turned to mush. I will eat real mashed potatoes that do not come from a box. I will have a nice glass of wine without dirty looks or comments meant to cause guilt. I will not drive 2 hours with an infant. I will not be part of any gift exchange but will simply give gifts to who I want to because I want to. I will expect no gifts in return and simply be happy to spend the day with my DH and children.

Mergatroyd

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #603 on: November 19, 2013, 04:46:28 PM »
Ignore me, I'm just signing on for updates, and hoping that all the shiny spines are contagious enough to infect my own during the upcoming holiday season. :)

z_squared82

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #604 on: November 19, 2013, 05:04:15 PM »
I will not listen to my Aunt R go on about politics. I’ve found a neat way around this. I tell my parents repeatedly before she even shows up to Not Bring It Up Period. At Thanksgiving or Christmas. It'll be especially hard this year with Obamacare/the Affordable Health Care Act. I think her daughter has gotten on board with this too because Aunt R’s rants just make everyone uncomfortable. Luckily, she’ll be out of town for Thanksgiving, but that unfortunately means I won’t get to see my cousin…

My mother’s hill to die on also has to do with that side of the family. She refuses to host my Cousin M’s wife. Cousin M is always allowed and invited, but his wife is banned. Now, I know some will say that’s a faux pas, you don’t invite half of a social unit, but both Cousin and his wife are mentally unstable – diagnosed and medicated (although Wife refuses to take her meds because she believes they’re poisoned). A few years ago, before Wife was banned, we were all having dinner together and Wife threatened Aunt R (her MIL). Physically. At the dinner table. Started to climb over the table to get at her.

She was not invited back. Cousin M. stays away, too.

Miss March

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #605 on: November 19, 2013, 05:13:37 PM »
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 

To me, a big part of the fun of Christmas is the present exchange.  (emphasis on exchange)  I am not a present-producing-machine, and if you tell me that I am good enough to get presents for all of your kiddies, but not good enough for you to get me something... then I will refuse to participate and not get anyone anything.

And I keep having to go over this over and over again and listen as relatives gasp in shock at what a grinch I am and how selfish to "demand gifts" and how "Christmas is really just for the kids"... ugh.

Just ugh.

My feelings are my feelings and sometimes I feel like the holidays are the worst time of the year to have no kids, and there is no time of year when the childless/childfree are less appreciated...

Can I get a bah, humbug? 

(Man... maybe I should have posted this in the "I need a hug" thread...)

(((slow clap)))

I think your reasoning is sound. Honestly, as the only childfree member of my family, I kind of regret not making a similar stand. I easily spend over $300 on my nieces and nephews for Christmas, and if I'm lucky, I get a wallet sized copy of their school photo in return.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good bye so hard.-- Winnie the Poo

gramma dishes

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #606 on: November 19, 2013, 05:15:14 PM »
...   A few years ago, before Wife was banned, we were all having dinner together and Wife threatened Aunt R (her MIL). Physically. At the dinner table. Started to climb over the table to get at her.  ...

Funny that Norman Rockwell never showed that scene in one of his Thanksgiving paintings.   ;D

MizA

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #607 on: November 19, 2013, 05:19:07 PM »
I'm working all of Christmas, and darned if I'm going to rush over to DH's family celebration after work. I've done it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, to be greeted by cold turkey scraps and sides I'm allergic to. Not to mention this year, when everyone was utterly plastered in reaction to some family strife. Nope, I'll come home, call my family, and be in bed by 10. Ahhhh.
)'( The world would rather hug you than hurt you )'(

camlan

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #608 on: November 19, 2013, 05:30:51 PM »
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 

To me, a big part of the fun of Christmas is the present exchange.  (emphasis on exchange)  I am not a present-producing-machine, and if you tell me that I am good enough to get presents for all of your kiddies, but not good enough for you to get me something... then I will refuse to participate and not get anyone anything.

And I keep having to go over this over and over again and listen as relatives gasp in shock at what a grinch I am and how selfish to "demand gifts" and how "Christmas is really just for the kids"... ugh.

Just ugh.

My feelings are my feelings and sometimes I feel like the holidays are the worst time of the year to have no kids, and there is no time of year when the childless/childfree are less appreciated...

Can I get a bah, humbug? 

(Man... maybe I should have posted this in the "I need a hug" thread...)

My family has 4 siblings with kids and 3 siblings with no kids.

What we did was to decide to draw names. You get the name of one sibling. You have the choice, if that sib has kids, of buying gifts just for the kids, or for the kids and the parents. If you get the name of a sibling without children, then you buy gifts for that sibling.

This has cut down on the expenditure over the holidays considerably.

We did one year with "just the kids," but it was extremely awkward, as three of us are not married and therefore received no gifts at all. So we figured out a solution.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Redneck Gravy

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #609 on: November 19, 2013, 05:39:34 PM »
We also draw names but with a twist...

You write down three things you want (within the spending limit) on an index card

Whoever draws your name then gets three gift ideas to work with.  We PREFER that you stick to the index card.  The receiver is still surprised and the gifter does not have to stress out trying to figure out what you would like. 

It stopped the exchange of dull boring gift cards

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #610 on: November 19, 2013, 05:44:04 PM »
My parents, my brother, and myself are all in agreement on this one; when family members come over for Thanksgiving, there will be no political discussion whatsoever.  With guests on both extreme ends of the spectrum (and going by previous experience), it will degenerate into a shouting match in front of two little kids and make those of us who are interested in a nice family dinner want to hide under the table.  Seriously, I will fight over this.  They can talk about whatever they want when we go over there for Christmas, because it's their house, but different rules apply on the home turf.

GlassHalfFull

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #611 on: November 19, 2013, 05:54:58 PM »
Hill #1;  Christmas morning at home.  With out of town parents/IL's (grandparents to our three kids) we get, almost every year, from at least one set, "It would be so nice to have you all (and especially the kids!) here (their respective homes) for Christmas morning!"  Not happening, but if you'd like drive (or fly) on up, we'll gladly host you.  Preferably not on Christmas Eve, thanks, as....

Hill #2; The one and only holiday that my sister (only sibling) and I completely and absolutely reserve for our two families to get together is Christmas Eve.  (We live near-ish each other, so no overnight guests!  And we understand each other, so no fuss, no super late nights...awesome stuff.)  Occasionally our (sister's and mine) parents will come in for that, otherwise it's just us (and our combined 7 kids and DH's), and I love it!  Other holidays are not off-limits but it's rare we both have the same one free from other obligations.


GlassHalfFull

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #612 on: November 19, 2013, 06:09:51 PM »
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 

To me, a big part of the fun of Christmas is the present exchange.  (emphasis on exchange)  I am not a present-producing-machine, and if you tell me that I am good enough to get presents for all of your kiddies, but not good enough for you to get me something... then I will refuse to participate and not get anyone anything.

And I keep having to go over this over and over again and listen as relatives gasp in shock at what a grinch I am and how selfish to "demand gifts" and how "Christmas is really just for the kids"... ugh.

Just ugh.

My feelings are my feelings and sometimes I feel like the holidays are the worst time of the year to have no kids, and there is no time of year when the childless/childfree are less appreciated...

Can I get a bah, humbug? 

(Man... maybe I should have posted this in the "I need a hug" thread...)

(((slow clap)))

I think your reasoning is sound. Honestly, as the only childfree member of my family, I kind of regret not making a similar stand. I easily spend over $300 on my nieces and nephews for Christmas, and if I'm lucky, I get a wallet sized copy of their school photo in return.

I have three kids and can't imagine excluding a family member without kids in this way.  I have a childless and single BIL and we specifically try to "big gift" him as we know he's spending x3 kids and x2 us on the holidays.

One idea perhaps for you; My sister, who married into a family of which her husband in one of 9 siblings, and there are at recent count 36 kids afoot amongst them all, does this;  adults put their names in a hat and exchange.  Kids do the same.  Buy a gift for the name you pick.  Done and done.  (Of course adults are largely responsible for the names their children pull, as most are super young!)  Simple gift exchange, generation-style. 

Elfmama

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #613 on: November 19, 2013, 07:00:19 PM »
My parents, my brother, and myself are all in agreement on this one; when family members come over for Thanksgiving, there will be no political discussion whatsoever.  With guests on both extreme ends of the spectrum (and going by previous experience), it will degenerate into a shouting match in front of two little kids and make those of us who are interested in a nice family dinner want to hide under the table.  Seriously, I will fight over this.  They can talk about whatever they want when we go over there for Christmas, because it's their house, but different rules apply on the home turf.
Are you ready to eject the quarreling family members from your home when they misbehave?  (Yes, when.) Because in my experience, tell someone that they cannot discuss X will make it almost unbearable for them and they will eventually HAVE to bring up X.  They may bring it up sneakily, by talking all around it but never precisely treading on the subject, or just blurt it out, but they WILL talk about it.

And I'm with you.  "Discussions" that are so loud and vehement that they wake the babies sleeping in an upstairs back bedroom -- as far from the living room as possible and still be in the same house! -- are, IMHO, "arguments."
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KenveeB

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #614 on: November 19, 2013, 07:08:18 PM »
I'm resurrecting this thread because I am starting to have a hill. I am the only one in my family who is single and childless so usually I am more than happy to travel wherever and be as flexible as possible with dates and events.

However, with all of the events in the month of December including three birthdays and the holidays, having people in the family who will NOT plan ahead makes me feel like I'm supposed to sit around waiting for them to make decisions for events I should (and want to) attend instead of committing to other events I also want to attend (say, with friends).

I'm starting to commit to the other events, come heck or high water, because I feel like I am usually more than accomodating and I get tired of flying-by-the-seat-of-ones-pants/last-minute plans.

So what is your hill this year?

I have the same hill with my family! I've started enforcing it in the last year or so because I'm tired of never knowing what to commit to because the family refuses to plan what day our thing will be on. My new rule is that I'll be flexible and show up to as much as I can, but if something is scheduled for a time I've already made plans, I'll just have to miss it. It's worked with Easter and Mother's Day so far!

My two sisters have kids, my brother and I don't. What ended up working out for us is my brother and I buy for our sister's kids, and they buy for us. If/when we have kids, they'll buy for our kids instead of us. (I also give my sisters a tin of homemade goodies.) Among the larger extended family, we draw names.