Christmas - am I being selfish ?

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ErmineClad
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Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by ErmineClad » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:34 pm

Hi - I am new here and grateful for the opportunity to post my problem. I am in my fifties and I over the past 30 years learned to hate Christmas. I go to church on Christmas eve (and every sunday) and then I can't wait until 28th December when life takes on some normallity again. Christmas is: endless shopping, thinking of stuff for people (always the wrong stuff), endless preperation for the BIG day, endless cooking, constant effort to try and 'create' the magic ... and so on...

I am married with 3 grown up children, all left home & in their 20's. For the past 30 years I have done my duty - and done all the above chores every Christmas. Now I don't want to do that anymore - I want to please myself which, basically, is what my 3 grown children do all the time, let alone at Christmas.
My husband is good and helps with everything, but we HAVE to have his mum every Christmas day, She is never grateful for our efforts, never offers anything to the conversation, dosn't buy us gifts but hands over cash (dont want it thanks) and wants to sit in our lounge most of the day on Christmas day.

Christmas is fast approaching and I would like to make changes - as in - I would like the day OFF ! suggestions most gratefully accepted. Elaine

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Skarlet
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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by Skarlet » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:48 pm

No, you aren't being selfish, why not switch the days, say his mum can come over on the boxing day, as can your kids, for a boxing day tea, and you and your husband go out to a restaurant for a meal?

I can completely understand your feelings, my Mum has never had a christmas day in her own home, it has always been at my nans, and this year, I think she is going to change it this year.

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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by kerrie24 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:44 am

I agree christmas is for you aswell and as you done your best to make it nice for everyone else up till now you deserve a day to do what you want.Talk to your usband about having his mother a different day.Is there any other place she can go?You can just relax with hubby or book yourself in somewhere and let someone else do the cooking for once!Everybody else can do without you for one day of the year.

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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by dipsydoodlenoodle » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:59 am

I don't think you are being "too" selfish.

I agree with everyone else however, christmas is a time to spend with family - if family come over ask them to help. My grandma always used to come for Christmas, my mam used to moan all the time (Grandma = dad's mam); but as Grandma was family and she was the only grandparent efforts were made; she can spend Christmas alone or with "some" family.

Why don't you suggest going out for a meal with the whole family and if they can't afford it then you will see them on boxing day.

ErmineClad wrote:Hi - I am new here and grateful for the opportunity to post my problem. I am in my fifties and I over the past 30 years learned to hate Christmas. .... Christmas is: endless shopping, thinking of stuff for people (always the wrong stuff), endless preperation for the BIG day, endless cooking, constant effort to try and 'create' the magic ... and so on...


To be honest, I know you have to think of yourself but you seem a bit of a "humbug" about Christmas; my dad is a major humbug and quite frankly he's just ruined Christmas; last year was the first time he didn't drink lots of wine and fall asleep after dinner, as my friend was over with us as she'd just lost her mam. My dad hates Christmas, he never buys presents then goes in a huff becasue he didn't buy anything - ruins it, he winges - ruins it, falls asleep - ruins it.
A hug is a great gift, one size fits all.

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Skarlet
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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by Skarlet » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:30 am

To be honest, though I can understand why she feels humbug. I like christmas, and its nice to see all the family, but when you have to do all the cooking, and arranging, it can end up feeling like a massive chore. I have always had to help my parents, and can see why sometimes people want to just do nothing.

Since my sisters father in law died, they haven't had a christmas as such. They had a curry takeaway last year.

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dipsydoodlenoodle
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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by dipsydoodlenoodle » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:12 am

Skarlet wrote:To be honest, though I can understand why she feels humbug


I know but I don't see why other people can't help her out.
A hug is a great gift, one size fits all.

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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by RagDoll » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:13 pm

I guess the problem is, once you've set a precedent e.g. the Mother-in-Law coming over and not helping out, not engaging in conversation etc. it's hard to change it.

I agree with what Skarlet/Kerrie suggested re: having people over on Boxing Day and doing your own thing on Christmas Day.
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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by Bel Bel » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:17 pm

How does your husband feel about this?
Perhaps you can go away for a few days
Does you mum in law have anywhere else she can go?, i.e other siblings
If you have done it all these years let someone else deal with her. You can always suggests she asks one of your kids if she has no other kids herself, after all it's there nan.
Don't ask on her behalf though let her do it herself they won't find it so easy to say no to her directly.
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ErmineClad
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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by ErmineClad » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:02 pm

Thanks everyone for you suggestions and comments, much appreciated. I think I am a Christmas Humbug ! I never used to be, when the children were young it was a lovely time. When they progressed to teens things began to change - this is when the inlawas started coming to xmas dinner EVERY year. As my children grew into young adulthood - they were often hung over to sit and join us for lunch. Now they are in their 20s and finding their way in life - coming to xmas lunch is not a priority for them - and I really can't blame them for it is not a pleasant experience - sitting with their nan (my M. in law) is an awful experience. Whatever anyone says, she puts a negative spin on it - eg daughter might say "we had a lovely weekend away last week" M I L will say "I never get to go on holiday" or Son "this is a lovely dinner" MIL "I dont like vegetables" and so on .... Just being in the same room as her is a chore. She is obviously a depressed type personality, always has been and until now, I have been able to ignore & switch off to it, but now - with the children gone, I just don't wnat to do it anymore. I have told my husband this and he understands, but that leaves him in the middle sort of thing.
I feel I would rather not have xmas lunch than go on with this charade.

Thanks for your support - its nice to get these things out in the open :)

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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by Bel Bel » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:55 pm

So have you decided what to do?
Life is for living so live it to the fullest

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dipsydoodlenoodle
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Re: Christmas - am I being selfish ?

Post by dipsydoodlenoodle » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:10 am

ErmineClad wrote: As my children grew into young adulthood - they were often hung over to sit and join us for lunch.



A lot of my friends are that hungover miserable lump. I don't understand how people can do that; I mean it is ONE day a year when you are supposed to sit as a family...I've never ever done it; I'd hate to ruin Christmas for everyone else by being selfish.
A hug is a great gift, one size fits all.

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