Author Topic: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!  (Read 2032 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

weeblewobble

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3364
It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« on: December 22, 2011, 03:06:58 PM »
Or "Christmas used to be fun!"

My MIL shared this family dilemma with me this morning.

My aunt, Lucy, and uncle Ringo have three adult sons, John, Paul and George.  All of them are married and have children.  In general, they have good relationships, but there are tensions just like any family.

John, the eldest, lives close to Lucy and Ringo, with his wife and daughter.
Paul used to live closeby, but recently moved about an hour's drive away with his wife and three kids.
George, the youngest, lives a two hour drive away with his wife and their two kids.

John's inlaws are local and he celebrates with his wife's family on Christmas Eve.  He and his wife and kids open presents at home on Christmas morning, then join his parents at their house to exchange presents.  Paul and George have moved around a few times during the last few years and have out of town inlaws, so they have sometimes come to the Christmas morning celebration over at Luicy and Ringos, and some years, they don't. It's pretty flexible.

Paul asked his mother around Thanksgiving, if she and Ringo would drive down his house, two hours away, on Christmas Eve and spend Christmas morning with him, his wife and kids. She thought it sounded like fun and she and Ringo agreed. 

Two weeks ago, Lucy and John were discussing Christmas plans and she told him she and Ringo would be spending Christmas morning with Paul's family.  John was... displeased.  It turns out John values "tradition" more than Lucy realized, and for him, tradition means spending Christmas Eve with his inlaws and then Christmas morning with his parents.   He objected to this plan, strongly, and told Lucy she needed to cancel and tell Paul to drive up to Lucy and Ringo's for Christmas morning. 

Meanwhile, George, who was unaware of this development, called Lucy on the same day, and asks whether she thought the other two brothers would agree to push the family Christmas celebration to the week after Christmas, because he misses being able to see everybody open their gifts.

Lucy is at a loss.  She knows that no matter what she does, she's going to make someone unhappy.  She called my MIL to lament, "Christmas used to be fun!"  I don't know how she could compromise without hurting someone's feelings.

All I can say is, I'm glad this isn't my problem.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4127
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 03:12:59 PM »
First thing I'd do if I were Lucy would be to get a group email going (or facebook communiqué or whatever). Lay it all out as to what everyone is wanting, and get a conversation going to work something out. Otherwise, Lucy is in the middle and John, Paul and George are only communicating with her, without hearing what the others want. Maybe if they all talk to each other, they can come to some kind of agreement.

The Wild One, Forever

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1845
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2011, 03:21:50 PM »
First thing I'd do if I were Lucy would be to get a group email going (or facebook communiqué or whatever). Lay it all out as to what everyone is wanting, and get a conversation going to work something out. Otherwise, Lucy is in the middle and John, Paul and George are only communicating with her, without hearing what the others want. Maybe if they all talk to each other, they can come to some kind of agreement.

This, definitely.  It's not fair and not right that they are putting their mother in the middle.  They need to come to some sort of agreement amongst themselves, and then be happy with it, no PA grumbling.
Soft silly music is meaningful, magical

JeanFromBNA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2314
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 03:24:05 PM »
I feel sorry for your aunt and uncle that they can't do what they would like at Christmas without their kids acting, well, like kids.

Morticia

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1661
    • Stepmonster's Travels
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 03:47:18 PM »
I think they should go to Paul's since they were invited there first and accepted the invitation. In fact, the whole, you didn't invite me, but I demand you change your plans so I can invite myself thing is just atrocious (I don't care if they are her kids). It might be possible for George's plan to also happen, in addition to Lucy and Ringo at Paul's (with or without Wings) (or Diamonds). But John sounds like a bit of a tyrant.  Are you sure Yoko isn't putting him up to this?  ;)

For future years, Facebook or  a group email might be useful.
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
                                        -- Big Rude Jake

My travel blog: http://www.stepmonster.ca

wyliefool

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1906
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 04:03:17 PM »
She should book a flight to the Caribbean. There's still time (just)!

 ;D

weeblewobble

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3364
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2011, 04:37:04 PM »
I think they should go to Paul's since they were invited there first and accepted the invitation. In fact, the whole, you didn't invite me, but I demand you change your plans so I can invite myself thing is just atrocious (I don't care if they are her kids). It might be possible for George's plan to also happen, in addition to Lucy and Ringo at Paul's (with or without Wings) (or Diamonds). But John sounds like a bit of a tyrant.  Are you sure Yoko isn't putting him up to this?  ;)

For future years, Facebook or  a group email might be useful.

I, too, think Lucy needs to go to Paul's as arranged.  If Paul was feeling generous, he could invite John there, too, but I'm not suggesting that! I will say that this behavior is very out of character for John, who is usually very kind and laid-back. I think that's why it caught Lucy so off-guard. Also, his wife is lovely, not-Yoko like at all.

proudmama

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2011, 05:50:50 PM »
I also think that they should go to Paul's house. They were invited and accepted.  One brother should not commandeer every Christmas.

I am the child that lives the furthest from my parents. We were expected to drive every single time. I put my foot down and now spend the day with my DH and kids. We extend the invitation to my parents. They have yet to come here because the others want to stick to traditions. Well, being at my parents was not always tradition. We used to go to my grandparents until my mom had enough.

So, I think that they should not give in to one child while completely neglecting the one that extended the invitation first.

FoxPaws

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5407
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2011, 06:13:31 PM »
Situations like this are the reason a lot of families - including my own - have moved "the family Christmas" to any day in December except the 25th.

This year Luci and Ringo need to stick to the plans they made prior to John expressing his displeasure.

Next year, they need to get that Facebook/email group going and agree on a date - say the Sunday before Christmas - to celebrate with all of their kids and grandkids. Ultimately, it would be nice if that gathering could be rotated between the four households every year.

Then, they need to book that Christmas in the Carribean trip for themselves! :)
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5937
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2011, 09:31:54 PM »
I hate family drama. However, I do feel for John. His mother should have told him that she would be changing her Christmas plans earlier, since she knew since Thanksgiving. Since Christmas has been celebrated a certain way for a number of years, I can understand that John was counting on it this year and didn't have alternate plans.

Dindrane

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15439
Re: It's Christmas-Planna-Pocalypse!!
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2011, 10:51:54 PM »
The very first thought I had when reading this, I have to admit, is "Everyone lives within 2 hours of each other?  Spending Christmas together ought to be super easy!"

I admit, however, that I am biased by the fact that it takes a whole day of travel for me to get to anyone in my family at Christmas, and my in-laws are quite literally on the other side of the world.  So...2 hours is what I drive just to go to the airport (to then fly for 4-8 hours, depending, and drive for another hour at least once I reach my destination).

Having said that, I do think Lucy should probably have communicated the new plans to all of her children once they were made, just because their plans sometimes (or always) depend upon her.  It would be nice, at this point, if Paul invited his brothers to spend Christmas with him, although given the short notice, that might not really be possible anymore.  Although, in all honesty, John could totally spend Christmas at Paul's house (if he were invited) with very few adjustments to his traditions.  Driving for an hour shouldn't really be that big a deal.