Christmas Day Dilemmas

Christmas - happy families right?  All gathered together, exchanging gifts and having fun.  Chestnuts roasting, snow falling, crackling fire, delightful snub-nosed children, jolly relatives chuckling merrily....  That's all real right?!

How do you decide where to spend the festive period? Do you have a strict rota in place? Or is it everyone to you year after year?

Busy working mum Tory, who writes the fabulous Work it Mamma blog, has written a really honest post about her experience, and I for one can certainly sympathise.  Really at the end of the day, why can't we all just do what makes us happiest?  That may sound selfish, but surely life is just too short to go putting everyone else first?  Or should we just bite it because "it is Christmas after all!"?

Ding dong merrily on high. Or ding dong round one. Whichever way you look at it, Christmas is hurtling towards us at an alarming rate and for me, it’s time to put operation Christmas Day into practise.

This is the time I start planning and plotting my Christmas and most importantly where we’ll be on the big day. Without doubt I want to be at my parents and so far so good – for the last ten years since I got together with ‘him indoors’ this is what has happened.

I’ve weathered the odd surprise attack and infrequent pang of guilt but there’s never been a moment I wasn’t sure where we’d be – even if I have feigned compromise and a possibility that next year it will be different.

Since Arthur’s been born it’s been even more important to me for him to experience the kind of Christmas I had. I know his dad didn’t have the best family life so while I’m happy for us to see his family over the festive period it won’t be on the day.

I can’t bear it and I’m completely aware how selfish this is but I’ve already confirmed my plans while still pretending there’s a chance our plans may change. I have a well-versed list in my head of all the reasons we can’t go to his parents: Too far, too many big dogs; too much for his mum to take on, Arthur won’t see his cousins etc.

The real list is far more sinister:

  • I don’t want to spend all day with them. Simple.
  • I want to be in my childhood home with all the people I love.
  • I hate their big salivating dogs.
  • They can't cook.
  • I don't want to spend hours hovering round the kitchen repeating: "Is there anything I can do to help?"

I want the joyous chaos of a big family day with noise, cousins, dad dressed as Father Christmas, great food and too much alcohol. The sense of ease you get in your childhood home when, I’ll admit, I revert to daughter status and the pressure is removed to be everything to everyone. I won’t compromise on the day. It’s a hideous truth but I will lie and manipulate to make it happen. I guess this is unfair but like most activities we do, I organise them and I know what’s right for my boys -what will generate the best memories and moments.

Another truth is he’ll enjoy it too, we’ll have a wonderful day and see his parents another day and we’ll drive home and I’ll say yes, maybe we can go to your parents next year…..over my dead body.

Merry Christmas!

Over to you dear reader, what do you think? What do you do?


  1. We spent our first year together at his family's. NEVER AGAIN. Horrific experience. My parents are divorced so the options are slim. We use the excuse that hubby works in retail and only gets Christmas day off as a way to spend it as our little 4. We see his family and my Dad and that side of the family in the run up. It means all our weekends are booked up in December but it's worth it. My Mum and that side of the family come to us on Boxing Day and we do a buffet. That suits husband because he's at work so doesn't have to grin and bear another family ordeal. All part of the fun of Christmas!

  2. Our first Christmas we were with our own families for Christmas Day as we had only just started seeing each other. From then (until 3 years ago when my gran passed away) we had always alternated, Christmas day with one family boxing day with the other. Now we always spend Christmas with my in laws. I love it! We have such a wonderful time and I enjoy seeing my son in such a loving atmosphere, surrounded by as many of his family as possible.
    I can totally see where you're coming from and don't blame you for wanting to be around all your family :) x

  3. we always refuse invitiations to people houses, we like to do our own things and catch up with family afterwards

  4. Christmas should be enjoyed. Children do build up memories, it would be nice for those to be happy ones. Christmas Day may be one day. Though there is the festive season, so hopefully there is time and opportunities to share and wish people Best Wishes for the season etc.

    Rachel Craig

  5. Brilliant post! Very honest and made me giggle.


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