Author Topic: Holidays and the Inlaws  (Read 647 times)


  • Member
  • Posts: 110
Holidays and the Inlaws
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:49:50 AM »
Thought I'd put this out there and see how others handle this.
Do you still make a point of seeing the in laws on Christmas Eve/Day if that is what you did prior to your spouse's death?
Christmas Eve had always been an issue for us because both our families celebrated on that day.  It was a source of arguments for many years and most years I gave in and rearranged being with my family to accommodate his.  I have tried to continue at least stopping in to the inlaws celebration in the last six years since DH died, but it is getting harder, as my parents are getting older and my sister lives out of town.  I missed theirs two years ago, and cannot attend this year as they are planning it for the same time as my family.  This made me wonder what others do?  Thanks for any responses!

Captains wife

  • Member
  • Posts: 675
Re: Holidays and the Inlaws
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 01:54:28 PM »
I have a young child so I try and stay connected with my inlaws around Xmas - although I have decided as time has gone on (6 years now) that I also need to prioritize my (our) own happiness. At first my son and I went there on Xmas Day but now we spend Xmas with my family (who are in Canada). I do try and have a small present opening/Christmas celebration with my inlaws and my son either before or after our Xmas trip but that's it. My MIL isn't happy about this but this is what I want to do - and my son loves seeing my family including his cousins (which we don't get to see often). As an FYI - I don't include the guy I'm dating in anything related to my inlaws, including Xmas celebrations.


  • Member
  • Posts: 1708
  • aka MissingmyTim
Re: Holidays and the Inlaws
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 02:44:31 PM »
I am recently remarried and we will all spend Christmas Eve with my late husband's family.  I have always hosted but asked my sister in law to take over this year.  Christmas Day my mom comes up and we just hang at home.  Current husband's parents have both passed and his 3 sisters spend Christmas with their own families.  It works for us.
You will forever be my always.


  • Member
  • Posts: 121
Re: Holidays and the Inlaws
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 07:55:58 AM »
Like you,  where to spend Christmas was an ongoing argument for years until I finally put my foot down and said my kids needed to spend Christmas in their own house....

Now we go see MIL the weekend before Christmas. This year NG may go with me for the first time.


  • Member
  • Posts: 216
Re: Holidays and the Inlaws
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 04:04:51 PM »
Twin mom, I sure wish I'd been able to set those boundries when my kids were little. That was really wise of you. I really wanted us to establish our own traditions in our own house on Christmas Day, and see extended family on other days. It's one of my biggest regrets, now.

My own siblings/parents were extremely flexible. Sometimes we'd even have Christmas on Thanksgiving. LH's  family- not so much... always had it Christmas Day, and Christmas Day only, at one of his sister's. Most of our life together, we drove hours and hours for this, often in crappy weather. Given that his mom was widowed, I always felt if I protested I'd be depriving her of her rare opportunity of having all her kids together. (She and I were widowed at about the same age of 50/51.)

We tried rocking the boat one year after she passed, and saw his siblings a different day... they didn't hide their resentment.  At 3 1/2 years out now, I haven't been since the first Christmas after his death. That was a real treat... the host BIL started on about what a GREAT year it'd been. After a moment of shock, I got up and left the room to compose myself, cursing myself for having made the 4+ hour trip by train with the kids, and was therefore trapped for a couple days.

Since then, I've excused myself... second year was an easy excuse, as I'd ended up with a knee replacement after failed meniscus surgery.  Last year and again this year, I've just said I was having Chistmas at home, which seems to leave them a little insulted. (I've made numerous suggestions we do it a different day, or even Christmas in July, when the weather's good.)

Unfortunately, my kids grew up with that tradition, so establishing a new one's an uphill struggle. Since my kids range up to 26, I just let them know I'll be hosting anyone who's available on Christmas, but let them decide what they want to do. This year, most of them want to go out of state to the inlaws, so I'll have Christmas gift opening on Christmas eve. Then any of them and any extended family that's available and I will be here for roast beef on Christmas, and it just is what it is. (In the back of my mind, tho, I'm thinking, Well, who's the widow *now.*  :o Where's the consideration for getting all of us together that LH and I gave MIL on Christmas  :o !)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 04:18:36 PM by sojourner »


  • Member
  • Posts: 185
Re: Holidays and the Inlaws
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 09:38:33 AM »
No we do not go to late-dh's family over Christmas any more. We went over Thanksgiving for a couple days. They live in the next state (about 3 hours). I try to get the kids over there two times a year. They used to come over here once a year, but that has stopped over the last two years.

They are always kind a welcoming when we come, but they have lots of other family that they spend time with, so my kids aren't really a priority. I'm not bitter, it's just the way life goes.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 09:42:59 AM by daysofelijah »
Amy, mom to four (15,13,10,6)


  • Member
  • Posts: 473
Re: Holidays and the Inlaws
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 12:03:14 PM »
Traditionally, Thanksgiving we'd rotate around however my family more often than not because we lost both my parents on Thanksgiving, 5 years a part. My late husband was Jewish so we did Hanukkah with his parents and Christmas was always ours and we hosted. We did Christmas Eve with his stepdad's family. We hosted NYE at our house.

Last year was our first without my late husband and we knew we had to shake things up, alter our traditions, and only do what we felt we could handle. I gave Christmas to my siblings and I hosted Thanksgiving. We went on a trip for New Year's. The kids wanted a break from Hanukkah and Christmas Eve. I let them and man, I got hell as an insensitive, self centered so and so from keeping my kids from their grandmother! Whatever. We survived Hanukkah with just 1 gathering and was subjected to annoying criticism by an uncle and we're obligated for Christmas Eve this year to attend. I was informed I was expected to do my part this year. I'll do it but it doesn't mean it'll improve them in my mind. They just proved to me that they are the ones who are insensitive and selfish. There lives aren't impacted anywhere near as ours were.


  • Member
  • Posts: 377
Re: Holidays and the Inlaws
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 08:41:32 PM »
My LH was an only child.  But he came from a huge family.  They have a big gathering the Sat. before Christmas, the week before.  Around 80 come usually.  MIL would take our son up early and hang out and we would shop and have some grown up time.  And we would pick our son up after the party and that was it.

I couldn't go the first 3 years after LH died.  They didn't check on us or follow through with support.  Nothing.  I allowed MIL to take our son as long as he wanted to go and arrange a place to pick him up mid way.  It is out of state, about 3 hours.  I finally went the 4th year since LH died.  It was okay.  Good to do but stayed with my brother.  Last year, NG and I went up and took my son, but then we stayed at a cute B&B, not going.  My son and and NG both said it was awkward and didn't want NG to attend. 

They moved it to THE Sat. before Christmas, the 23rd this year.  Normally it would have been this past weekend.  One aunt lost her husband after 65 yrs. of marriage and she wanted it moved, so they did.  WE are not going. We are with NG and his kids that day, my new life.  I know MIL is disappointed, but I want to move forward, not stay stagnant.  I will take our son up after Christmas a couple days, but likely stay at my brother's.