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  1. #1
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    Findabhair's Avatar
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    Default Divorced Families at Christmas too many Christmases. . .

    2 years ago DH and I spent our first Christmas as a married couple together. In order to make everyone happy we incorporated ALL of the Christmases. Unfortunately that's just not going to work anymore. DH's parents are divorced, mine are not. They do a lot of Christmases. Here's what we have to fit in/ or work around or skip.

    1) Christmas Eve church service - this is something that we just HAVE to attend but luckily there are a few options here. There is an 8pm or a midnight service.

    2) Christmas Eve Present Opening with my parents and siblings. - This generally also results in a everyone is home to sleep over situation and my mom likes to make bacon and eggs on Christmas morning. If you skip her present opening routine you just end up feeling left out because they don't hold back any of their present opening and I really like the chaos of that.

    3) Christmas Eve Present Opening including extended family (this is huge - everyone and their kitchen sink) DH's dad's side. This goes quite late generally.

    4) Christmas Day Breakfast with Present Opening DH's Mom

    5) Christmas Day Dinner - Lunch time - My Mom w extended family.

    They are all in the London area (30 min drive between) but I just don't know that we're going to be able to handle ALL of it. DH doesn't want to skip Christmas Eve with his extended family either. It's a very important tradition to him as is his eating sugar cereal and opening presents with his mother on Christmas morning.

    How do we fit it all in? Do we fit it all in? Suggestions? I'm still trying to suggest to DH that we skip his Christmas Eve since we skipped mine last time.
    Last edited by Findabhair; 12-09-2010 at 10:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    I know how you feel - I suggest alternating years spent with each family.

    I have my dad christmas dinner

    my mom christmas eve

    Dh's family boxing day

    And there is an 1.5 drive between them. gah, and 3.5 from London.
    Last edited by WateryTart; 12-09-2010 at 10:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    I have a lot to juggle here, too. Not with divorces but my late husband's family and everyone being out of town.

    Honestly, with my own kids, I believe that I need to make traditions with them. They come first.

    My late husband's step mom (both his blood parents have passed as well) does her Christmas on Christmas Eve as Woodstock has their parade that night. We used to go to this.
    Going to my parents Christmas morning for breakfast and gift opening.
    Then fitting in going to late dh's sisters for Christmas.
    Then dh#2 family.
    Then my family for Christmas dinner.
    AND it is dd's birthday on the 13th and my nieces on the 12th.

    This is what we do:
    Christmas Eve is for the kids, IMO. We do wander down to the neighbours for about an hour to mingle with others in the hamlet. But we are back here to put cookies out for Santa, throw carrots out the back door for the reindeer, put stockings out, read Christmas stories, snuggle by the tree.
    *Christmas morning is for us-opening presents, eating certain breakfast foods, spending time together.
    *Christmas dinner is a huge potluck with another family. There are about 60 0f us that get together. My parents and sister will be there.
    *For dh's family, we meet the weekend before Christmas. One brother is in TO, the other up in Wiarton, so trying to juggle 2 birthday parties and Christmas 2 weeks later is nuts! We do it all the weekend in the middle!
    *Late dh family-changes every year depending on everyone's availability. There have been a few years we couldn't go the day they were getting together due to conflicts. But my children are first, then my family and dh#2's family, then them. We still visit, but may not be the main dinner they have.


    This is definitely a stressful time of year for me! Add to this the anniversary of dh#1 on Dec 28th, and it is quite an emotional cocktail for me!

    Hope you can figure everything out! Once I made my immediate family my priority, everything seems to fit in nicely!
    Last edited by ReneesMom; 12-10-2010 at 06:46 AM.
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  4. #4
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! eversoclever's Avatar
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    When I was growing up we were constantly shuffled around at Christmas. We hated it and called it “Half Hanukkah“ because there were so many days of celebration. If you're like me, after awhile you get tired of being socially engaged and just kind of shut down to muscle through to the end.
    Last edited by eversoclever; 12-10-2010 at 06:51 AM.

  5. #5
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    I know how you feel. DH's parents are divorced. Both sets of my grandparents are divorced. my parents are divorced. We have a million christmas parties. I have no idea how we're going to balance seeing my family and his on Christmas eve/day while still ensuring everyone gets a nap. SO STRESSFUL. Our extended families take the weekends prior to Christmas, then Christmas eve we're going to see MIL, Christmas day I think morning with my Mom, quick nap, supper with my Dad. it will be exhausting for my babies. And I never know who to invite for christmas Mass, etc becuase if I tell both parents they're invited neither one will come but usually I end up picking my Dad because he cares more and seems lonlier but then I worry I'm leaving out my Mom. siiiiigh.

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  6. #6
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!

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    We don't go anywhere on Christmas Eve as it's Dh's birthday and he doesn't want to.

    We would usually hit all 3 parents on one day but one day we choose on the holiday as long as it suits all them. (the all live in our hometown a couple of hours away).

    We don't have to go to his moms this year. Our plan is to go to his Dads for a Christmas lunch/ light supper (something easy) on a day we choose in the holidays and my moms pop in for tea.

    Christmas day we have decided ( and have since we have had kids) that we want to let the kids stay home and have the day to play with their toys. But then consider the driving factor too, if we didn't sleep over that would be 4 hours of driving on Christmas( 2 there, 2 back). Thankfully our family is flexible, and his Dad and wife like to go to her familys on the day and my parents are always more then busy on the day too, so it works out nice for us to not have any pressure to be there on Christmas day. His mom never cared about a specific day either when we did go to her house.
    Last edited by my2babies; 12-10-2010 at 07:17 AM.

  7. #7
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    IMO you need to set time aside for your family. stick you feet in the sand and say this time is “our family“ time. with little ones traveling so much sucks. Maybe your family can come to you.

    Next year you should have the talk in October to iron out your christmas needs and expectations. that way its not so stressful. We have had years that we didnt see my mom til boxing day or my dad til the 28th. its not the day its the time spent together~!

  8. #8
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    I hate this too - we used to have 3 lots to go to, much simpler now we're the only ones in the country

    Here's what I'm seeing with your timetable though, there are basically 3 time slots:

    Christmas Eve - your mum, DH's dad
    Christmas breakfast - your mum, DH's mum
    Christmas Dinner - your mum.

    To be honest, there's no way to fit it all in, but I can also see that there are 3 places to be, and 3 times to do it, so they get one each, kwim? I know you don't want to miss anything with your family, but you can't be in 2 places at once, and that seems the fairest way to me. Your DH is asking to be with each branch of his family once, your mum has 3 times slots booked, kwim? It sucks, but I don't see any other way.

    I would explain this to them and ask if they could maybe just save a couple of gifts for Christmas day - maybe put it that you don't want your kids to be the only ones opening gifts at that time, and the others to feel left out? If they can't wait, then there's not much you can do about it.
    Mummy to two wonderful miracle boys

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