Every year in my DH's family, they rotate who hosts Christmas. It spreads the costs around, and the burden of hosting a minimum of 10 people plus in-laws and cousins (etc etc etc) isn't dumped on one family.
In the past, it's usually been organised so that the host essentially has an open house all day for their in-laws and parents, while the other siblings visits their partner's families. Then DH's immediate family and partners all converge on Host for dinner. (I hope I'm making sense?)
This year it's BiL's turn to host, and he's thrown a spanner in the works by insisting he wants to host lunch. Their reasoning is that because BiL's GF doesn't do Christmas visiting (due to divorced parents and general apathy) they don't want to wait all day for the rest of us, which from their perspective, is fair enough.
But in my own family, Christmas lunch is The Main Meal. It's been the special holiday meal since probably before I was born, the one time of year we ALL set aside for family. I don't get to see my grandmothers or my brother much, so Christmas lunch is when we all get to catch up.
I'm not happy about throwing my entire family's plans into chaos - nor, indeed are my parents - but I know if we don't do it BiL's way, the proverbial will hit the oscillating device. And of course, we do still want to see DH's family!
I'm going to talk to my parents tomorrow about it, but the way I see it, I have three realistic options:
1: have Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve.
Pro: Only one hour-long drive.
Con: My cousins invite us to have Christmas dinner with them on Christmas Eve, and I don't want to hijack their evening. Also not everyone will be there.
2: See my family in the morning.
Pro: Get to still help mum with the lunchtime preparations, see everyone beforehand.
Con: Not much time to see them, not joining the meal.
3: See my family in the evening
Con: After a long day everyone will be exhausted and not in the mood for socialising. Lunch will likely turn into an all-day-BBQ-fest or something, so we won't get a chance anyway (someone will moan if we skip out early). Plus, hour drive home.
EHellions, what would you do? If your family gave no preference either way, which would you rather do?
Additional info: There are no children involved at this point in time (if/when they arrive traditions will probably change, to much friction, I'm sure!). We're all adults, all working, all able to drive. DH's immediate family live within 20 minutes drive of each other, and we all see each other weekly. My family (and the family of DH's sister's husband) are about an hour away. If it matters, BiL is the eldest sibling.
Extra you're-being-difficult BG: The first year my DH and I hosted, BiL and SiL decided to start a "traditional" 11am pancake brunch with the rest of DH's family (we weren't invited), knowing full-well that we had planned a proper sit-down meal for midday. DH and I were furious! And the last time he hosted dinner, he kept us waiting until 9pm, for teeny portions of gnocchi. Not impressed there, either, given that we'd cut short my family's celebrations to get there "on time" (because he complains we're late getting back).