So I met with my sister and we exchanged notes. Both of our parents have behaved inappropriately over the years but it seems to be coming to head.
I'm a real estate agent and my dad was asking me for advice pertaining to the selling of their property so he could buy my mom out and stay in the house. Both have been stopping over at my sister's house these past few weekends and unloading on to her their beefs/fights/complaints about the other.
My sister and I agreed that it needs to stop and so we decided to go over to their house right then and speak to them together about it.
We sat them down, told them we love them both and then laid it all out. Unfortunately, when we stopped to let them digest, the first thing they did was start to get in to it again and blame each other, telling us stuff that was really TMI, etc. I told them that if this their response then they really haven't listened to a word we just said. They said they did but then started doing it again. I got up and starting walking towards the door. That's when my dad pleaded with me not to leave, to stay and work this out.
I sat back down and my sister and I told them that whatever goes on between the two of them we cannot be dragged in the middle of it and that their animosity towards each other is being noticed and remarked on by their grandchildren. We love them, want the best for them and will support them in whatever they decide. However, their behaviour where we are concerned must stop now.
In the end, my mom stated that she was no longer willing to do the family things with my father anymore. It sounded like she was going to move out (I'll believe it when I see it) and "go away for a while." Guilt trip? Sigh.
Anyway, it needed to be done and we've made our boundaries very clear. If they wish to continue to have a relationship
with us and our children, then it will be up to them to respect those boundaries.
As far as Christmas is concerned, we'll probably get together at my house or my sister's for lunch and invite both. If either of them cross the line, we will politely ask them to leave.
Thanks again everyone for your advice!