Originally Posted by pdswife
Christmas has always been a big fight in our family... as a child of divorced parents... now add Paul's family into the mix and it gets quite stressful. We've always had to drive for hours and then "deal" with my family and drive more hours to have fun with his.... a few years ago we started doing X-mas with his family one year and Thanksgiving with mine switching the next year so that my Mom gets x-mas everyother year ( according to her it only counts if we are there to celebrate on December 25th. One day early or late and it doesn't count. She doesn't get her Christmas! She's quite a pain about it.
This year however
I put my foot down!!! I'm having Christmas at my house. I get to be the mom and plan the menu and do the decorating and be in charge. It's much nicer and so far (even though there have been pleanty of complaints) I'm liking it much better!! : )
I'm so glad you worked this out, pdswife! I found myself feeling pushed and pulled from many different directions to the point that I dreaded this time of year and felt exhausted afterward. Then I realized that it wasn't that I had lost the meaning and joy of Christmas - there just wasn't any time
left over for it!!! So 8 years ago, I told everyone how much I loved them and invited them to come and visit the week before or the week after but told them we would be having our Christmas at home so that we could truly focus on what it should be.
Then I told everyone very early the next year that I wanted to stop Christmas gift exchanging from then on. I explained that I have 7 children and it's unfair to expect others to buy for so many and that also, we are fortunate to have all that we need and most of what we want so we'd prefer no one buy gifts for us. Just call or visit or come for coffee or send us great wishes. I told them we would be selecting a needy person or family in our city and we would be providing gifts for them. The card always reads from our family and all our friends and relatives.
There were complaints about our new Christmas arrangements for a couple of years but then, I started to get positive comments from relatives. They said they love me and the children and appreciate that I don't want or expect Christmas gifts or anything else, just their love. My friends have always told me how much they appreciate our low-maintenance friendship. And my children get to have a lovely Christmas at home and the pleasure of playing Santa to someone in need. It's worked out great for all of us!
Oh, and like most of you, I love to give gifts and I do it year round. I just don't feel like I have to do it all on one day of the year anymore!