How Do I Break It To My Parents?

Lounge By deanna_cake Updated 21 Nov 2009 , 4:35pm by LaBellaFlor

deanna_cake Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 3:58pm
post #1 of 30

That I plan on keeping my family home for Thanksgiving this year? I've always split the day between my mom's & dad's house. Now that I live 2 hours away, I want to do a family thing at my home. I could invite them, although I know they will say no thanks because I know they both say they have their own things going on. I don't want to hurt any feelings but I've always done 3 thanksgivings in one day, my own, then mom's then dad's. It's a very busy day already, and I just don't know if i can do it this year given the distance. Before I lived in the same town as them...any advice?

29 replies
-K8memphis Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 4:31pm
post #2 of 30

Know a good bomb shelter nearby maybe?

icon_lol.gif

I don't know, historically and hysterically (not the funny haha kind, the hysterical kind) we were the world's worst at this conundrum. All our folks are gone now.

So I hope you find incredible understanding in all of your family's thoughts/minds/decisions and much love in all of the hearts involved and for peace to not be shattered and the beauty of the holidays be preserved for all. Especially the munchkins if you have kidlettes.

Shelle_75 Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 4:36pm
post #3 of 30

I don't know the answer, either, but I will say that I'm in a very similar situation.

Mom just assumes we're coming there for everything, because, well, we always come there for everything. I know, our fault, we taught her what to expect, etc. etc. But aside from growing some huge cake balls and causing a gigantic rift in the family, how do you set a new example???

Just don't know.

softwarespecialist Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 4:39pm
post #4 of 30

I remember these days so well. Trying to make an appearance to all invitations. You're exhausted from rushing around you don't enjoy the day.
It would be great for all to understand but, chances are you will get grief.
Make the invitations to your parents as you plan. It is great that you chose to include them. It is their choice to make.
For the first time in 30 years I will not be cooking and having family at my home on Thanksgiving. My daughter is hosting and including her husbands side. It's not an easy task. But a way to eliminate all the rushing. I will be cooking my Thanksgiving dinner on Friday with no fuss, eat when your ready. Kind of an open house. Enjoying the company of whom ever drops by.
Change happens, don't feel guilty and enjoy your day with your family.

LaBellaFlor Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 4:44pm
post #5 of 30

Wow, that is a tough one. I think the fact that you live 2 hours away now, may make them more understanding to the fact that it would be really hard on you to go to both places.

brincess_b Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 4:56pm
post #6 of 30

be firm, be strong!
my mum had enough of running round on xmas. so she decided we would stay home - if people came to use, great, if not, we would see them another time.
she did catch some flack for it, but she just repeated that it was too much to do, too stressful, that they were welcome to come to us.
if they guilt trip you, its becuase they dont want to have to change themselves. but whats the point in going out, to have fun with your family, if you are watching the clock? so be strong!
and announce your plans soon too, cause then theres more time for them to adjust!
dont invite them unless you actually want them to come, dont do it just to stay in the good books.
be nice, just say, we wont be coming over that day, it is too much travelling for us to enjoy.
xx

Doug Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 9:48pm
post #7 of 30

you answered your own question.

Mom - Dad, we're going to start doing a family dinner at my house.

The time is.....

please bring your (fill in fav recipe they make)

See you then

Mensch Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 9:55pm
post #8 of 30

But Doug, what if she doesn't want any company?

-K8memphis Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 9:57pm
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

But Doug, what if she doesn't want any company?




Please drop off the (insert favorite recipe) at 3:30 so you have time to get home & catch your breath before you eat dinner there.

icon_lol.gif

mim1106 Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 10:00pm
post #10 of 30

K8 you are cracking me up today!

mbelgard Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 11:27pm
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

But Doug, what if she doesn't want any company?




Just be rude like me and say you're only cooking for the people who live in your house. If the parents are like my MIL you have to repeat it several times before they start trying to invite themselves and are likely a little pissed but it's worth it if you don't want them.

Mike1394 Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 11:44pm
post #12 of 30

Here ya go tell them friends are coming over to have dinner. Oh heck with that. Tell them the TRUTH. I don't feel like driving 2 hrs.

Mike

Texas_Rose Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 12:00am
post #13 of 30

Tell them you're going to cook your own dinner this year, but they're invited for dessert. That way you still sound welcoming but they're not going to drive two hours for a piece of pumpkin pie, plus since it sounds like they're not together, they won't want to risk running into each other.

Last year I stayed home from the family gathering. I really enjoyed it too icon_biggrin.gif We had enough for the 4 of us, plus enough to take plates to DH's coworkers who had to work on the holiday. I didn't have to cook enough for an army, or put so much food into the trunk that we couldn't figure out why we were going anywhere when it looked like we had the whole meal right there.

costumeczar Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 12:13am
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by brincess_b

be firm, be strong!
my mum had enough of running round on xmas. so she decided we would stay home - if people came to use, great, if not, we would see them another time.
she did catch some flack for it, but she just repeated that it was too much to do, too stressful, that they were welcome to come to us.

xx




This is exactly what my mother did when we were little, too. We had holidays at home, and anyone who wantd to come was welcome, but it was easier to be at home with kids, so that's what we did. I do the same thing now, and even though my kids are older it's nice to know that we can all be at home on holidays without worrying about driving all over the place.

If you invite your parents and they say that they have their own things to do, then they won't miss you too much since they'll be busy with their own plans!

indydebi Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 12:34am
post #15 of 30

Agree with Doug, brincess_b, and costume.

We did it and it wasn't hard at all. When I was a wee lass of 18, the first year I was married, I KNEW I didn't want to ruin my Thanksgiving by trying to eat 2 dinners. I didn't want to watch the clock and just be on the run all day. So we announced that one year would be with my parents and the next year with his, etc. My mom threw a baby fit for about 20 minutes, but tuff toenails.

Then with hubby #2, it was the ex who asked that I have Thanksgiving with the kids and he could have them all day on Friday, we jumped at the chance to have a holiday we didn't have to share the kids. So we told our entire family(s) that if they wanted to come to our house, fine, but we were NOT going anywhere on the only holiday that I didn't have to share my kids on.

We started some great traditions just for us, that we continue to this day. Thankgiving remains our favorite holiday.

It makes my a$$ tired when adult parents refuse to recognize that their adult children are ADULTS with families of their own and not that 10 year old little kid who has to come home when mommy says.

My sister complained that her husband's father was always ticked that they didn't spend ALL day Father's Day with him. Said sis, "He doesn't understand that his son is ALSO a father who has kids who wnat to spend Father's Day at King's Island with their dad ..... not bored at grampa's house where they're not allowed to do anything!"

Start your own traditions. thumbs_up.gif

lthiele Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 1:10am
post #16 of 30

Uggghhhh - I hate having to explain and appease around the holidays! When my parents split a few years ago, I couldn't handle sitting in a room with ANY of my relos, so hubby and I took our 2 year old camping. Spent Christmas day swimming at the beach, eating prawns and demolishing a gingerbread house. No cooking, no washing up - perfect!!

mbelgard Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 1:56am
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lthiele

Spent Christmas day swimming at the beach, eating prawns and demolishing a gingerbread house. No cooking, no washing up - perfect!!




I live in the frozen north so swimming isn't going to happen but I NEVER cook on Christmas. Thanksgiving is about the meal so I don't mind cooking then but I would much rather spend my Christmas morning playing with my kids and their new toys than cooking a big meal. If my husband wants more than cold foods that can be preped ahead he can take his a$$ into the kitchen and do the cooking AND cleaning. icon_lol.gif

My mom started it when we were kids so a big, hot meal on Christmas day just isn't part of what I think of for that day. We could eat whatever we wanted that one day so we ate mostly cookies, cakes and candies anyway.

Shelle_75 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 2:32am
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

It makes my a$$ tired when adult parents refuse to recognize that their adult children are ADULTS with families of their own and not that 10 year old little kid who has to come home when mommy says.




Mine too. It also makes my a$$ tired that after 15 years of my getting along with DH's MANY annoying relatives at the holidays, he still can't learn to get along with my one living (close) relative, my mom, even though she is annoying and abrasive at times. Okay, sorry for unloading on your thread.

icon_redface.gif

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 4:10am
post #19 of 30

After trying to get to 3 different housed for every holiday i finally told everyone that since we now had 2 small kids who needed to form thier own family traditions and not just sleep in the car between stops, that we would now be having the Holidays at our house and that everyone was welcome to come over and spend time with us. Simple, not mean. But I really wanted to add that if they were pissed that maybe they should have thought about that before the decided to make us part of 2 broken homes.

-K8memphis Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 4:14am
post #20 of 30

If anyone else is on this fence--consider making the announcement this year that next year is gonna be different--that way they have a whole year to gather ammo and properly wage war. icon_biggrin.gif No but seriously it might go easier but there are no guarantees.

mbelgard Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 4:27am
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelle_75

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

It makes my a$$ tired when adult parents refuse to recognize that their adult children are ADULTS with families of their own and not that 10 year old little kid who has to come home when mommy says.



Mine too. It also makes my a$$ tired that after 15 years of my getting along with DH's MANY annoying relatives at the holidays, he still can't learn to get along with my one living (close) relative, my mom, even though she is annoying and abrasive at times. Okay, sorry for unloading on your thread.

icon_redface.gif




Maybe it's something about men because my husband recently excused me from any extended family gathering his side might ever have again.

Several years ago we went down for Easter with my family, one of only two major holidays that we've been with them since our oldest was born, and my husband refused to go to my grandma's for an hour. My mother was making a meal at her house so it was only to say hi. The other holiday was a different thing with as many of my great grandma's family that could show because she turned 100 on Easter Sunday and I made him go to that.

I finally asked him why he had refused to go a month or so ago because I was annoyed about family holidays and he told me that it's because my family is large and he barely knows any of my aunts, uncles or cousins. icon_mad.gif

Then he told me that it's not so bad for him to expect me to get to know all his aunts, uncles, cousins, etc because his family isn't so big. icon_mad.gif At the time my mother's side was about 35 while my husband's paternal side was about 29.

I spent years going to every holiday meal and kid's birthday party that his family had. When he gets ready to go to his grandma's on Thanksgiving for dessert he's going to find out that I'm not going.

LaBellaFlor Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 4:41am
post #22 of 30

Your a fricken saint in my book Mbelgard. I don't know how you've managed to keep your sanity & not smack him.

indydebi Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 4:49am
post #23 of 30

This topic is both irritating and fascinating to me.

Why, as adult "children", do we feel we have to explain to our parents/family why we are choosing to spend OUR holiday with OUR immediate family?

I say that parents are either grown adults or big freakin' babies. A grown adult will understand your decision. A big freakin' baby will whine and cry and try to pull the guilt thing on you ... and to those I say "why do we give a d*mn about trying to make THEM feel better?" THey obviously have zero concern with how YOU feel about the holiday!

My son is going with his girlfriend to Florida for Christmas this year. Know what we said? "Wow, that sounds like it will be a fun trip for the two of you!" Would I like him to be with us on Christmas? Of course! Do I want my kids to spend the holiday with me because they feel they HAVE to "....or mom will be mad/upset/disappointed!" Hell no! Nothing would hurt me more than to think my kids were spending time with me because of a sense of obligation, rather than because they sincerely wanted to.

The best thing we can do as parents is to raise children in such a manner that they WANT to come home for the holiday.

Start your own traditions with memorable holidays that make them WANT to re-create those memories, so to speak, with the person(s) that gave them such wonderful memories. thumbs_up.gif

And as Mr. Vanderbilt said, "The public be damned!" icon_lol.gif

mbelgard Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 5:30am
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Your a fricken saint in my book Mbelgard. I don't know how you've managed to keep your sanity & not smack him.




I'm not a saint.

My way might be more subtle but it will in the long run be worse for him. Not only will he have to either go without me, which means he will have to actually keep an eye on the kids the whole time, or decide not to go but he also will get to listen to me complain about how his mother chews me out for not going. I know she will because she was the one who pushed for the dessert gathering in the first place. icon_twisted.gif

He honestly should have lied and come up with something that sounded a bit more acceptable because I'm mean when I'm mad.

grandmom Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 11:33am
post #25 of 30

OK, here's how it has worked out for me. I have two sons, both grown and married with kids of their own, hence the screenname of Grandmom. My parents are deceased, and DH's mother lives states away and doesn't give a hoot about holidays. Fine, we don't have a problem with having to be somewhere else. But my sons do. Of course their wives want to spend Thanksgiving with their own mothers and families.

After only a few years of trying to work out the various dinner times with the other two sets of in-laws, I just moved my holiday. We have our family dinner the Sunday before, which is tomorrow! I'm sure no one noticed that Grandmom has been absent from CC this week icon_cry.gif But I've been busy cooking and baking for the Sunday dinner icon_smile.gif .

In the long run, this works out great for us. Both my sons and all our siblings and their families can come to our dinner and can stay all day because there is no conflict with other family dinners. On the actual Thanksgiving Day, we can choose to stay at home or accept any one of the invitations we typically receive.

I don't feel at all like we've lost anything in the deal. Instead, we win. We get the kids' undivided attention for a full day. It really doesn't matter what the date is. And ours is their first taste of turkey and trimmings they get for the year, and I think they enjoy it the most.

Compromise is a great thing!

mim1106 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 1:12pm
post #26 of 30

My mom and I had the best setup for the holidays. She drove down to FL every year to see her mom and stopped by my house for the night along the way (usually 2 days before Christmas) so she could see my kids and drop off their gifts. Now that she is gone, my dad continues the tradition (he drives to my mom's mom's house still!!) Now my DH family is exactly like ya'll have been describing. She expects us at her house every single holiday (yes, even new years, birthdays, Columbus day if she knows we won't be busy) and boy do I get the guilt trip if I am not there. They live 3 hrs away! We can't start our own family traditions b/c she gets really upset. My hubby put his foot down this year, though. We are staying here! He is only home every other holiday season anyway b/c of his deployments. You guys have made it clear that it's not normal to accomodate them every time! THanks for this thread!!

Shelle_75 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 1:25pm
post #27 of 30

Indy, will you adopt me, please???

manahigh Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 2:05pm
post #28 of 30

Grandmom, I am with you all the way. I am more than ready to compromise on which day we celebrate. Always have been able and willing to give up Thanksgiving or Christmas day in order to give my kids a break so they don't have to feel guilty and stressed. Thats just plain crazy!!

When our kids were small, we alway lived at least 8 hours away from our parents so going home for the holidays rarely happened. It was difficult for me at first because it just didn't seem like the holidays, but now I see how fortunate we were not to have these holiday family battles. We made our own traditions that we still enjoy today.

We will be going to my daughter and SIL for Thanksgiving and eat dinner with both sides of the family. His mom, sister and I bring most of the side dishes and desert. This year my son and family will join us there but last year they spent it with DIL family. Its ALL good!!!

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

CakesByJen2 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 3:48pm
post #29 of 30

Growing up, we didn't have to deal with this because my family was very small. My dad's mom died when I was very little, so there's was no family gathering on that side. We spent Thanksgiving at home usually, and for Christmas we'd go to my Mom's parents on Christmas Eve for dinner and open presents from them, then we were at home on Christmas Day.

But I had friends with large extended families who got dragged all over the place at the holidays, and I always said I was never going to do that. When we got married, I let everyone know from the beginning that once we had kids, we would be spending the holidays at our own house. We have my family over for Thanksgiving (we've invited his, but they don't come because they live 4 hours away), then on Christmas Eve we go to my mom's for dinner because we're 20 minutes away, and on Christmas Day, which is also my son's birthday, we have Christmas brunch & birthday cake at my house for anyone who wants to come. Then we usually go spend a couple of days at the in-laws after Christmas.

Fortunately, my MIL is very reasonable about the holidays. She's also not particularly sentimental or anything, so it's no that big a deal to her, and his brother got married first, and they HAVE to spend every holiday with my SIL's family, so my MIL was already used to not having everyone there.

I think you just have to put you foot down, and do what you want, but it is better if you give them plenty of notice.

LaBellaFlor Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 4:35pm
post #30 of 30

You know I was talking to my husband (yes, he has to listen to our stories here on CC sometimes) about this thread. And it dawned on me, going to his mom's house has NEVER crossed our minds as an option. SHE CAN'T COOK! Usually my SIL & I work out the details. I'm cooking very small for Thanksgiving and I'm cooking really big for Christmas. We usually end up at my BIL & SIL's houes at Christmas and I told her we weren't coming over, peiod. She said,"Why not? You guys usually end up over our house" I flat out said,'I don't want to, so we are staying home. You guys come over here" They're coming over here. icon_biggrin.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%