General Etiquette > Holidays

Am I selfish for missing family Christmas?

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My FH and I are getting married in January and we decided (back in September or earlier) that we'd like to spend Christmas at home, with just us. Around this time my Mum (who lives two hours away from us) was organising a dinner with my sisters and my aunt in the city, rather near us. It did seem very nice but we both felt strongly about what we wanted to do and declined, saying we were not going to attend but they could drop by for a visit if they wished.

We feel strongly about this as its the first Christmas before we are married and it is something I want to share with him. There will undoubtably be other years where we visit family. There's also the fact that FH has spent a few Christmases alone and I have had particularly bad ones ruined by my stepdad (who seems to enjoy tormenting people) and my sisters. It is SO NICE to think that I can have one nice Christmas and not have to worry about ANY of that.

Well... Ever since I told people there has been no end of drama. My mum decided to cancel the dinner in the city and have it at home. Fair enough. My younger and youngest sisters have now decided that I am selfish for wanting to spend Christmas with FH and have tried to convince me to change my mind. Which I won't, and have convicted me to be stronger about this.

They just don't seem to get it. That when things happen in your life (like getting married) things change. There's also the fact that they're used to running straight over me to get their own way and I just refuse to roll over anymore.

Any advice? I had no idea when I got engaged that things would be like this.

Would you be prepared to host something (or go to something) or either xmas eve or boxing day?  I wonder if that would be ok, I know my parents were a little upset when we decided xmas day was in our house just us and the kids - but either they will come to us, or we will go to them one day around xmas (usually day before or after but was 27th one year due to work) and that works for us, together with a phone call on the morning itself

No, you're not selfish - especially if these people ordinarily "torment" you.

Enjoy your Christmas!

You don't have to do what other people want you to do.

On the other hand, you can't control their reactions to your decisions.

If you feel you've made the right decision (it seems reasonable to me), then stick with it and let their comments roll off your back.

You can always reiterate "We'd love to see you if you want to drive down," as you've said you would welcome a visit from them, and add "anytime during the holiday season - just let us know".

are you selfish for wanting to have a quiet, drama-and-abuse-free holiday?


you just have to be able and willing to be strong about your stance. When people grow up and get married, their core family dynamics change - you are now not *Katana* but *Katana and FH or DH* and you have to take him, and *his* family and *his* traditions/desires/needs into account. as well as your own - you don't want a drama filled holiday - that is perfectly understandable.

don't explain, don't justify, just say "we are going to be spending the holiday at home". if you can/want to invite your family over, then add "you are welcome to buy on [day] at [time until time] - we will have eggnog and put on some cheesey movies"


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