The Battle Has Begun

Photo Source: Adapted from Office.com Clip Art

The battle for Christmas 2017 recently took over our lives.

Mr. MPB’s family wants us to fly to see them.

My family wants their traditional Christmas eve gathering.

And, Mr. MPB and I want Christmas morning at home.

We have decided we will not negotiate Christmas morning at home.  We want a special morning as a family, and since we are the parents we are not going to negotiate on this.  Also, growing up both Mr. MPB and I always had a quiet Christmas morning at home with just our parents and siblings – so why do our parents now expect that we wouldn’t do the same with our family?  I truly don’t understand.  Can someone just explain to me why, every single year, this is a battle?  We’ve made our plans known for the last 5+ years, so why do we still have to have this argument?  And why do they all have to layer on the guilt as if our decision to spend a Christmas at home is equivalent to some sort of Satan worship? Also, why do grandparents have an obsession with Christmas being on exactly Christmas?  Isn’t Christmas about the kids, shouldn’t they come first?! (I’m starting to rant….).

We’ve also decided we will not fly on or around Christmas.  Which means a Christmas visit to Mr. MPB’s family is out.  We used to do it, and we ended up spending more Christmas’ in the airport waiting for delayed flights and eating pizza and beer for Christmas dinner.  So, we stopped doing this years ago and we are adamantly refusing to fly with a toddler at Christmas.  We will not put Little MPB (or ourselves) through that.  So, as a compromise, in early December we will fly for an early Christmas with Mr. MPB’s extended family.  We’ve organized it with all the kids so that all the kids and grandkids will visit at the same time.  The siblings were nice enough to work around our schedule as we are the only ones who have to fly.  So, now we are just hoping this is good-enough for his parents and we don’t have any further arguments over Christmas.  As an added bonus, even with Little MPB flying for free since he’s still under 2, this compromise is still going to cost us over $1500!!

As for my family, IF the roads are good, we will drive to see them for Christmas Eve, but return home that night.  The key to this decision is that we will only go if the roads are good.  Last year we drove through a snow-storm and we simply aren’t doing that again.

But, I had to admit, even after this rant, I’m really excited for our Christmas this year.  After all the pressure of Little MPB’s first Christmas, somehow this one seems easier.  Also, I think he’ll actually be interested in Christmas this year which should be lots of fun!

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46 Comments on “The Battle Has Begun

  1. I know it’s going to be a fight with my husbands family for Christmas, so i totally understand! My in-laws live next door, and my mother in law is still fully expecting to be involved with our Christmas morning, and I’ve told them since last Christmas that until noon Christmas day, no one would be at our house. We spend lunch until late Christmas night with them, and that’s enough. I covet my Christmas mornings, as we had quiet mornings with my parents and siblings as well and I’ve wanted nothing more for my own kids. Since this is C’s first Christmas, this is no exception…if anything it’s all that much more important to me. My family gets Christmas Eve, and they get Christmas day. I just want a few hours with my nuclear family, and I’m not giving it up.
    Hopefully the grandparents get over themselves so you can enjoy your Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree with wanting Christmas morning at home with just your nuclear family!! I hope you are able to enjoy your Christmas morning without any grandparents showing up! πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you! The grandparents seem to act like we are committing some sort of horrible atrocity by choosing Christmas morning at home, so it’s nice to know others agree with us. πŸ™‚

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  2. Ah yes… Well if its any consolation, I am in different continents with both parents and in laws, and they **always** expect us to fly out to India for Diwali.. And you know one return ticket costs upwards of 1500$ and we are 4..
    Every year, same problem, same fight… and we never go.. πŸ™‚ simply not worth it. Id rather go when its cheaper and get to spend more time with family than go just for the festive season..

    What you both are doing makes sense.. plus now, do you want Little MPB to remember Christmas as the long trip at airports and roads to meet family or would you rather have him remember Christmas with mom and dad at home , lounging in PJ’s opening gifts and laughing? Ask them this…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reminding me that at least we have family close enough that we can visit when/if we want to. But, I really do agree with your idea of going when it’s cheaper and when you can spend more time with your family – those are also my preferred visits.
      Also, I agree with your question. This is exactly why we wont travel and wont turn his Christmas memories into airports and pizza dinners.

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  3. At least you guys are figuring out the compromises and arrangements months in advance, so HOPEFULLY by the time Christmas arrives, it’s a peaceful endeavor. It’s sad how such a happy holiday can turn into such a stressful event for families.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly why we decided to book the flights now! Everyone will have time to accept this plan and be over their anger. And, frankly, if they aren’t over the anger by the time we visit, that’s just going to be their problem, because I am 100% positive that Little MPB will be oblivious to the drama and he will LOVE the early Christmas. And to me, that’s all that matters. πŸ™‚

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  4. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Yep… It’s getting close to being “the most magical time of the year!”

    We’re in a situation completely created by my younger sister and the principal of it has me pretty irritated: She changed the Thanksgiving/Christmas rotation schedule with parents/inlaws that my parents came up with long before I was married, without telling any of us. She expects us to just go with her whim (change thanksgiving from being an inlaw year to our family’s year because she is going to Disney over thanksgiving and my parents are going with her, so THAT makes it our family’s year for Thanksgiving even though my other sister and i, and our families, aren’t going on HER family trip to Disneyworld πŸ™„) and have our in-laws follow suit for HER. I think we’re just going to go on holiday instead – stick it to them all. πŸ˜‚

    I dislike Christmas for this very reason.

    Good for you for standing firm on the flights.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I am so sorry to hear that your sister is changing plans and expecting everyone to make her plans work for their families! And, I’m sorry that this one has you all worked up! But honestly, I get it! Normally that’s me, and in fact the only reason we booked the flights was to end the fighting now – I couldn’t stand any more guilt-trips and drama over it and this just seemed easier. And, since Little MPB will be full price next year, we thought it was best to do it while he’s free and in future years we will just say no because of the cost.
        Honestly, I like your idea of going on holiday instead! Honestly, sometimes it’s just best to walk away from the drama, that’s what we did years ago and it’s been great for Mr. MPB and I.

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  5. We have it situated here that one side of the family gets Thanksgiving (and we celebrate Christmas with them then) and the other side gets Christmas, and then we switch next year. We have to travel 6 hours for Michael’s family and 14 hours for mine (although there isn’t any snow since we all live in the south). This has worked out well so far, although my first daughter’s stillbirth was the day before Thanksgiving so we didn’t travel that year, but made up for that a few weeks later.

    All of that being said, we will NOT be traveling this year since I am now pregnant. Since both parents are pretty understanding and supportive of this, I don’t think it will be much of a fight. It will probably mean that they will be visiting here, and that has other issues. I have to say I’m really lucky in the parental in-law department.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Way too early! My grandparents are butt hurt at me because I forgot to give them my address when they moved but they also didn’t ask me even though we’d talked on the phone multiple times. Ugh. And I’m not talking to my dad because he’s a selfish jerk. I asked my aunt in JUNE if she wanted to get together and I never heard back. I’m so over family drama.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh. I won’t travel at Christmas time either. I didn’t marry until age 37, so I spent many, many years traveling to be with one or the other of my (divorced) parents on the holiday when I wasn’t working it (I was a hospital nurse for several years, which means I worked quite a few Christmases).

    Our current arrangement is that we have my inlaws over for dinner and presents on Christmas Eve, we spend that night and the morning in our own house, and we go out to my inlaws’ house for dinner in the late afternoon on Christmas Day. My mother generally joins us for all of the above, and my father is also invited to do so (although he’s only actually come one year; he lives one state over).

    We came up with this arrangement pre-children, but now that we have kids, it works even better! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your arrangement, and I love that your in-laws include your mother in everything. That sounds so nice! πŸ™‚
      We also thought that by coming up with our no-travel plan pre-kid, it would make it easier with kid. It turns out, they all got annoyed with out no-travel plan before we even had a kid and it’s been a disastrous fight for the last few years! This year we just put an end to it by booking the flights. And if anyone dares to complain we will politely tell them that if this is the thanks we get, we wont even try next year. And, I wont lie, the fact that we will probably have a dog again next year, means we wont travel at Christmas because we wont kennel a dog over Christmas and we cannot fly a dog over Christmas. So, we figure this as a one-off year.

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  7. Ugh, isn’t it so unfortunate that Christmas has to be a battle and a guilt-storm like this? It always is for us too. Luckily the furthest we have to drive is 2 hours (x2 families). This year we are doing our first Christmas morning NOT at home. My in-laws cottage is going to be ready-ish to move in to and their whole family has insisted we do Christmas morning there. From there, we will drive to my mom’s place for boxing day, and then return home on the 28th to our poor forgotten cats who had to spend Christmas alone 😯 wouldn’t it be nice if all of our families still lived in the same community together like generations past? Except during the rest of the year when you want a break from them… 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is so unfortunate that it has to be battle and a guilt-storm! It’s actually the passive-aggressive guilting that drives me the most insane.
      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! It sounds like you will be busy!! I hope you find time for your little family of 3 to enjoy a few quiet moments together. πŸ™‚

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  8. You’ve got to build your own family traditions because before you know little MPB will be negotiating spending Christmas with his other half’s family!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Exactly! Just like we had our own traditions growing up, Little MPB deserves to have traditions too! And, I want him to have special memories of the three of us together. πŸ™‚

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  9. I’ve started to plan the holidays SO much earlier now with the kids. I’m like “this is what we are doing and if you want to come then fine but if not we will be here” Isn’t it funny that everyone wants their own plan? I think your plan sounds great! I hate the holidays have to be so stressful at times even in the planning. And btw pizza and beer for Christmas sounds amazing! Kidding well kinda πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your approach!! And that’s actually exactly how we’ve done it – we booked the flights and then told them the plan. (We did work with the siblings first, because we wanted to make sure we could all be there at the same time).
      I hope you have a magical Christmas this year. πŸ™‚
      I agree pizza and beer for Christmas – wonderful, but only if it’s not in an airport!! πŸ™‚

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  10. Always do what works best for your *nuclear* family and shut the harrassment by your extended families by saying “This is what works for our family” and “This is not up for negotiation, we have told you what works for us”. Do not JADE (justify, argue, defend, excuse) your position because that just gives them something to argue against. XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ugh I hear you! This is the twins second Christmas and it already stresses me out anticipating the family drama! Hubby and I both come from divorced parents so that is 4 separate Christmases! Both grandmothers want to see us Christmas Day but we want to stay home and not rush to be somewhere and people will have to deal with it. As it is, we do his dads side the weekend before? His moms side on the eve, my moms side Xmas day and my dad the day after, I’m already exhausted!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly how I feel about it! My theory is that we’ve booked the flights, so they really cannot complain now because we wont be changing them. And if they complain, they will quickly be told that we will never do this again if our thanks is complaining. πŸ™‚

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  12. This is my life, and I am so worried for this same thing once we finally have kids. (Also, I think we live in the same area and our in-laws might be in the same area too??). My in-laws are constantly wanting us to fly out to them at Christmas (for $1500) – but won’t come to us. My family seems to think that since we don’t have kids we need to spend every second with them because – what else will we do with our time?

    It’s always a battle! Good for you for sticking to your guns. You don’t HAVE to spend every Christmas with both sides…maybe you should reserve Christmas for the three of you and leave it at that? It stinks to travel over the holidays – the weather sucks, it’s packed, and while everyone else is relaxing and enjoying themselves you’re sitting in an airport…not fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m intreguid by the proximity observation. Feel free to email me and we can chat offline – myperfectbreakdown@gmail.com.
      We stopped travelling for 5 years before we had Little MPB – we refused to spend Christmas with either family. We thought that by the time we had kids our families would be used to the fact that we chose to stay home. Turns out, they both seemed flip a switch at the 5 year mark and lost it on us! And that was before Little MPB. Now, it’s a true battle that’s based mostly in guilt and manipulation which does nothing but make Mr. MPB and I resentful. But, next year we’ll have a dog again (I’m confident of that) and we’ll go back to using the dog as an excuse for not travelling at Christmas – can’t fly the dog or put the dog in a kennel over Christmas.

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  13. Guhhh do I need to start thinking about Christmas shenanigans already?? Lol. We have the constant run around, and my parents are divorced which adds an extra stop. Both of my parents and the in-laws are all within 45 minutes of us, which sometimes is nice … until the holidays everyone wants you there the same day. Thankfully, my dad is the flexible one that says we can celebrate on any day – yet that makes us want to see him more. My in-laws are slowly easing up, but can see that changing when we have kids. And my mom is the one that EVERY holiday is her “favorite holiday” and wants to spend it with family. Which I get and family is important to me too, but we can call it a “holiday” on a different day too, and likely have more time to actually visit with everyone less stressed.

    We also tried the “we’re staying home, you can visit us if you like” method one year. It was great for Thanksgiving, but Christmas was incredibly lonely to me, so we have adjusted that some and try to schedule to see family, but where we’re not driving all day from one house to the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to agree, the first year we stayed home and didn’t visit any family, was lonely! But, we eventually started our own traditions (like we make something totally weird for Christmas dinner and we always walked our dog on December 25, even if it was -30). After a few years of it, we definitely did not miss the Christmas travel and began to love the quiet day at home.
      I hope you are able to find a way to balance all your extended family visits so that you can enjoy the season while visiting with everyone. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m really happy that we don’t have a ton of family to have this argument with. My sister has always wanted the kids home for Christmas, so they won’t travel for the holiday. Now that we have Cadence, we feel the same way. (Well, at least I do, I haven’t talked to B about it lol!) My mom splits the holidays between us…one year she goes to my sister’s for Thanksgiving and here for Christmas, the next year she does the opposite. B’s sister usually comes up here around both holidays, because we’re here and her hubby’s family is here as well, and their kids are older. I’m so sorry that you have the stress of all this to deal with all the time. I think it’s fine that you put your foot down and say no. If people have a problem with it and don’t understand, that’s too bad. Also, I’m glad that Mr’s siblings were accommodating for you guys!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s great that your mom is willing to travel so that the grandkids get to stay at home! I hope Cadence has an amazing Christmas!! Will your mom be with you this year or your sister?
      Yes, it was super nice of his siblings to be accommodating because it meant we could travel on the cheapest weekend and save a few hundred dollars. πŸ™‚

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      • Yes this year she’s here for Christmas. My sister and I usually Skype on Christmas for presents from each other, so we still all at least get to see each other.

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  15. $1500 trip!! That is so exe. I’ve never understood why flying within Canada is so expensive when all around the world we manage to make it cheap!!! They sound like great plans. Reminds me I must get on to mine!!

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