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How to avoid family for the holidays?

October 14th, 2005, 05:22 PM
Christmas is coming.... eventually.. :D But I just found out my exam schedule for this semester and it's looking bleak.

Do any of you have the same problem with too many family parties over the holidays? Last year I had 12 days off and 8 had a family party of some kind. That's no vacation, you know?

This year, I just found out, I will have 12 days off again. :( I want to avoid all the crap we went through last year and cut off the family. I told my dad to pick ONE party for he feels our attendance is most crucial, and the rest I am bailing on. Now I just have to convince my man to do the same. Hopefully this year we'll have max of 3 or 4 family parties. That gives me a week off.

I just hate that my favorite time of year is so loaded with pleasing other people. I want MY christmas. I don't want it hijacked by everybody else.

Has anybody ever had to say no to family traditions? Or do you all still just do it, no matter what?

If you do back out of some, how do you do it? It just seems that every party is SOOOO important to some people.

Oh and parents, how would you feel if your kids stopped coming for some of the festivities?

October 14th, 2005, 05:27 PM
Everybody wants you at their party! Being popular isn't always fun :rolleyes:
I would have a party at your house one night. Invite everyone, they can come to you for once. If they don't attend, well then I guess spending sometime with you over the holidays is not as important as you thought it was to them.

They only crappy thing is depending on how your house is kept, you may have to spend a day or two cleaning, I know I would.

October 14th, 2005, 05:32 PM
The thing is with divorced parents, you don't get the two sides to meet too often (maybe at a wedding or funeral). That's what bugs me the most. One day I'm gonna scream. "You think I'm being selfish for wanting time off? Look at you bending me backwards just because you can't grow up. Why should my relationship, my happiness and my overall Christmas spirit be jeopardized because you got divorced 23 years ago?"

*end rant. :o

doggy lover
October 14th, 2005, 05:45 PM
I don't have much family events to go to, on Christmas eve I have my husbands sister and niece over with their boyfriends, last year they didn't come. I also envite my two closest friends last year one came. My family 2 sisters and my mom came. On Christmas day we go to my parents, includes my 3 sisters, one's hubby, 2 nephews and one niece, then my family (four of us). This is all the family I have here and I wish we could all get togeather, I think family is the most improtant thing in life. They are normally the only ones that will stay around in bad times, friends come and go but your family is your family. So sorry to say Prin I wish I was in your shoes. Once they are gone we can't bring them back so enjoy.

October 14th, 2005, 05:45 PM
Hey I get that. I have not seen my parents together since they split. I would not want the first time to be at a party at my house. I know how you feel though. Christmas becomes a serious of running around from one place to another. I would see your immediate family and your bf's immediate family and leave it at that. I'm sure Boo and Jemma wouldn't complain if you skipped a few parties(and are they the ones that really count). I do understand that sometimes with pushy relatives, they just don't take no for an awnser at least not without making you feel extremly guilty.

October 14th, 2005, 05:53 PM
doggy lover, come here. I'll teach you how to talk nasal and monotone and you can be me for a week. :D By the end of the two weeks of relatives controlling what you eat, when you eat, how much you eat and how you sit to eat and every action after you eat, you will want to go home. Trust me.

It's also hard because my dad got remarried and he lost all of our traditions. He even broke all the ornaments when he moved, so it's just my step-mom's christmas.

And my mom... Well, can't eat there unless you want food poisoning really badly.

And then there's my boyfriend's mom's party (she hates me) and his grandmother's party (she dislikes me strongly) and his dad's party (he feeds us deer he killed himself- which I refuse to eat) and his sister's party (she hates me and feeds us take-out) and his aunt's party (she's the only one who likes me, but she has brunch on New Year's day at 8 AM!! That is NOT brunch! That's "midnight snackfast").

Sorry if I'm whiney, but I'm reliving last year and the year before and it's horrible. I have always liked christmas and it has never liked me back. This year will be different (I've been saying that since I learned how to speak).

doggy lover
October 14th, 2005, 05:56 PM
I guess I'm just lucky that the family I have is not like that. Good luck, I don't think your family would want me I can be a mean bit--. Just joking.

October 14th, 2005, 05:59 PM
Please! I so wish that one day, somebody could walk in my shoes. It doesn't look complicated at all to be me, and it isn't really, just TEDIOUS, deathly tedious.. :D

If you don't want the lessons, fine. Just watch "the Nanny" for two days straight and you should have it down. Come on! You gave me a glimmer of hope here! :D I'm kidding. Nobody deserves that.

October 14th, 2005, 06:37 PM
Move far away, move very far away. Do not stop to contemplate your decision, do not stop to go to another family gathering.......I repeat move very far away.

October 14th, 2005, 06:41 PM
lol JECM! I WISH! We just bought this ballnchain, I mean, house. :D At least my house is far enough away that nobody "drops in". We're not in any neighborhood that people just happen to end up in. :D

doggy lover
October 14th, 2005, 06:44 PM
My in-laws live 1000 miles away, but they love me more than their own kids. :D

October 14th, 2005, 06:49 PM
=Prin lol JECM! I WISH! We just bought this ballnchain, I mean, house. At least my house is far enough away that nobody "drops in". We're not in any neighborhood that people just happen to end up in.

before we moved we rented my parent cottage about 100ft from their house. To close for comfort my mom was there every five minutes, my one sister was their every ten minutes, and my other sister was their every 15 minutes.
Thank God we had a big hedge in between us.

The only thing I regret about moving is having the kids spend time with all their cousins (23) and their grandparents but we still visit regularly. :)

October 15th, 2005, 12:40 AM
well I'm not proud of this , but I don't have a good relationship with my parents. Yes I blame my parents for how I turned out in a way, please don't judge me on that, I have my reasons, and this has been one of the reasons I moved away.

My mom wants me to go visit every month. I simply cannot do that! I went to visit for Thanksgiving, and she kept pestering me to return in 5 weeks for my dad's birthday, and then go back for the holidays they want to plan their parties and schedule around MY coming home. You have NO idea how frustrating that is. I told them I can't go for his bday cos of midterms, and i asked what they were going to do for his bday. She said nothing if I don't come home. :mad:
They plan on coming to Montreal for Xmas then they want me going back with them for New Years. I most likely won't be spending New Year's with them anyways so why bother??!?!? ARGH so frustrating. :mad:

So yeah, Prin, I don't think I can avoid my family for the holidays, or I'll feel even more guilty than I already do.

Did I mention my mom calls EVERY DAY, to ask the same things everyday, and it's always the same answer?!?!lol

ok well I got that off my chest....

October 15th, 2005, 12:58 AM
I don't judge you at all. I know so few people who are on great terms with their folks.

Sometimes, you have to distance yourself and become your own person so that you are strong enough to face them and not be so screwed up by it. I think it also takes distance to make your parents change the relationship, too.

It took me a long time to learn that their guilt was a defense mechanism, a way of controlling me. I can get out of everything, just not Christmas yet. :o

October 15th, 2005, 03:42 AM
Hopefully this year we'll have max of 3 or 4 family parties.
3 or 4 parties sounds reasonable. I'm assuming that way you spend time with both sides of your and your BF's families--so you cover all your bases, right? Chances are, if you exempt yourself from some parties and not from others, there will be some whose feelings will inevitably be hurt and who will resent your absence. Are you ready to deal with that? I think it is easier to deal with this in your own family than it is with the (sort of) in-laws.

Holidays always carry a degree of stress, but I feel that family is worth it. My family has been thru its share of ups and downs, and we've had some years in between where we didn't get together for the holidays. At the time, I didn't think much of it. Now that most of us get together again, I feel very sad looking back on the times that we let little things--and sometimes even big things--come between us. Frankly, my policy is to get over the small stuff and put aside my personal beefs so that everything can be okey-dokey for the holidays, which is the only time I see some of my family members.

That being said, I don't think any one throws all these 'get togethers' to make you miserable--it's Christmas, and people want to be together. But, you could always call in sick with something very contagious :sick: SARS, avian flu, rabies....That buys you an excuse for this year, at least. Then you need to come up with something different next year--peace corps, incarceration....

October 15th, 2005, 07:21 AM
Prin,the only family we have are our 3 sons,3 cats :sad:
But we have friends with BIG families who usually include us.
Thanksgiving my oldest son had a party with us and his girlfriends family(28 members :eek:).Although we had a very nice time,I could not wait to leave and get home to the quiet.
We have often had to come up with excuses not to attend too many parties,one a month is plenty.On the other hand,I am very greatful to be included.
Christmas,is to make my house welcoming and warm,but we'll only have 2 of my sons(one lives in Alberta)and their girlfriends,I wish I had more family :sad: especially grandchildren to buy toys for..but then again,I have my soft cuddly kitties :D

October 15th, 2005, 08:31 AM
Prin, it's the first year in your new house so I would suggest that you say to all the family this "As it's the first Christmas in our new home, we would like to start making some memories of Christmas in this house, so we will be sticking to home a bit more than normal. I hope you can appreciate our wishing to make our new house a home". That's what I did with all the inlaws many moons ago and then the following year there were far less expectations on our time. :thumbs up

October 15th, 2005, 06:13 PM
It sounds like a good idea BMD.

My boyfriend agreed that this year we're going to tone down the parties. We're going to have more of a Christmas of our own. Let's see if we can... I wish each side could get everybody together for ONE party but that never happens...

I just found out that I have to buy a new dishwasher before Christmas :D so I have somewhere to put my tree... (Our dishwasher is a counter one on a trolley and it's in the way... :D)

Shannon, if we covered all the bases, we'd be back to at least 8 parties. Sure some people will be hurt and try their best to make us feel guilty about it, but they have to think about it from our side for once.

Chico, that wild and crazy family party you went to is like all the ones on my side of the family. We used to be a lot bigger (43 family members) but now we're down to 20 something if we all get together. It's nutty.

I usually also have a Christmas dinner with my friends. When things didn't go well with the family, it was nice to have a happier dinner and we've all become quite fond of it. I switched to roast beef though because we were all getting sick of turkey (8 turkeys in a week is a LOT of turkey).

I find it sad though that the more you become in control of your life, the more you feel like you've already given up trying to get the things you want to happen. Maybe I'll feel better if I do a "Griswold" outside. :evil:

October 15th, 2005, 06:16 PM
Wow, that is SO much more dignified and tactful than anything I could have come up with. Brava, BMD! :highfive:

October 15th, 2005, 06:18 PM
Crep, I forgot to comment on your diseases! That was hilarious. I'm getting the dog flu.
*** cough! cough! wheeeeeeze!**

October 15th, 2005, 08:00 PM
We end up going to Van every few years and the whole family gets together 8 kids plus spouses, 23 grandkids and 2 greatkids. I give credit to my 84 year old mom from cooking the whole dinner. We still have a kids table even though the kids are now in their late 20's and early 30's and have their own kids.

The rest of the time its just us. I have offered to put on the dinner up here but no one has taken me up on it. Which is okay I really have no idea where I would put everyone. :eek:

October 16th, 2005, 01:01 AM
I'm a kids' table girl to the end, baby! Yeah! Woohoo! :D

October 16th, 2005, 02:50 AM
I am NOT a Christmas person and thankfully, some of my closest relatives are Jewish. Now before you think I am bah humbug, let me assure you I come by this naturally, lol My parents - neither one of them - are the sentimental sort and I think b.c my mom was never "into" Christmas and saw it as a time she could get out of Dodge for two weeks (she was a school principal and later administrator of a School District). Thus, our Xmas tradition involved happily rushing to go to Fla for Christmas. Sunshine, warm weather, vacation. What fun!!!

We did stay home a few years and I found it sooooo stressful!! Inviations here and there - but I did enjoy in later yrs making socks for my grandparents and seeing the joy in their faces. Now, I usually work on Christmas Day and spend it with kids in the hospital which works so well first b/c I enjoy it and 2ndly b/c it gets me out of so many engagements. And my bf is Jewish (as is my sister and nephew) so I so quite well, all things considered. Oh I do buy gifts for ppl but either I go away to visit my folks in Fla or I work.

And having worked a few ER's at Xmas as a med student and intern, Xmas HAS to be THE MOST STRESSFUL time of the year. Ppl have these huge expectations and feel if they are alone at that time of yr, they are a failure, yadda yadda and thus you see suicide attempts, spikes in the rate of depression, ppl die immediately after b/c they were hanging on 'till after Xmas (I see this is small children still!!). I think the whole thing has got out of hand. People should celebrate the religious siginificance of the holiday if they are Christian and are spiritual. Or enjoy dinner with loved ones - whoever that may be - if they are home. But this commercial buying and even all the expectations is so crazy!!! I admittedly enjoy staff and faculty parties and we have fun doing things for the kids in the hospital but that is what it should be all about, giving and to me, the whole thing is no fun without children!!! And little furkids! :)

October 16th, 2005, 04:34 PM
i have all up 24 immeadiate aunts and uncles, add another 8 step aunts and uncles to that, yep theres a few of us out there. so needless to say i dont even send christmas cards to them, and they dont send to me either. except for favourites, i have a fav aunt, i always spoinl her a xmas.

on top of that i have over 30 cousins, nah we dont do parties with the whole family. just your immeadiate family or your favourite......

it would be all oot war if all those ppl came, my mums not a very nice person, we dont dislike her , we jsut recognise that as a person she has a very mean spirit, unfortunate but true. well with a mother like that its dangerous to invite to many, she would jsut start a fight, she is always so nasty to me and my sister, so this year she is only invited to lunch, and i told her she had better book a motel for that night too, she aint staying here.... she is like a scrouge, and a lazy (she wont even set a table, thats why she had kids dont you know?? well thats what she tells us anyway), annoying, condecending, taunting one at that.... its hard to deal wih her and keep dad happy to, who will beat us to a pulp if i offend mother dearest in anyway, so you have to put up with her but you cant say anything or dad goes burko, ahhhhh families at xmas, oh what a blessing :mad: (that was sarcasm ppl).

so its immeadiate only, and i will go to only one inlaw dinner, so they had better be organised.

i am jsut glad my beautiful big sister will come, having her here makes me feel i can put up with anything, esp our mother....... i cnat wait to see my sister and her babies, yay i really love my sister and christmas with her is jsut such a gift... :angel: i am getting sooooooo excited now......

November 4th, 2005, 01:32 PM
Greetings Everyone!! I registered justa few moments ago and hope to learn and provide helpful tips to everyone. I have two nice dogs, Yayo and Roxy. I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you all.

As for the coming holiday season, I hope everyone fulfills what they intend on doing, that they are not redirected by other forces(people). Be yourself and be happy!!!

Sorry my greeting showed up in this forum, as I am not to familiar with the site yet. :sorry: :grouphug:

jesse's mommy
November 4th, 2005, 01:49 PM
This is terrible to say, but I do everything I can to do as little with my family as possible and usually dart out of the parties as soon as I think of an excuse (I think I've used them all and am looking for some new and interesting ones if there are any out there...) Reason being is that in all honesty, I'm the black sheep of the family. Don't get me wrong I love my family, I just have nothing in common with them. It's always this awkward silence. They will say things to try to get me mad, and when I don't get mad, I'll say my honest opinion about something that they don't agree with and they get mad. I've learned to tune them out after 30 years. I would say alcohol gets me through it, but I hate hangovers and really don't drink that much. Plus I don't have the same stomach as I did 10 years ago! I found indigestion hits me pretty easy these days, but that's another subject for another thread -- GETTING OLDER! I'll give you an idea as to why I don't get along too well with my family. All of us are a little short on cash this year. We've all had some expenses through this year that has lightened our pockets, so I suggested since neither my sister nor I have kids, lets just have a nice Christmas together as a family, cook a phenominal dinner and not get gifts for each other. Instead let's put our money together, contact the church and find a child who's parents can't afford gifts and give them the joy on Christmas morning. I thought this was a great idea and gives you an idea on how my mind thinks in general -- I'm always thinking of ways to help others out. Well, would you like to know the response from my family? We look forward to getting our gifts. I've asked them on more than one occassion if I was adopted and told them I wouldn't be offended if I was, but they keep denying it. I've even asked for a DNA test, but they won't do it. I just really don't understand how I'm related to these people. So with this example and about a million more, I do everything I can to avoid big holiday family parties. I would rather have my own traditions that focus on what the holiday is supposed to be about -- love, not greed. Unfortunately, my family doesn't agree with me.

Mrs Bungle
November 4th, 2005, 01:57 PM
I have THE BEST way to avoid family at christmas *lol* Mind you, it could cost you depending on how you do it...

This year, my fiance and I are going to europe to meet all his family so we wont be here for any of the holidays!!!! haha BUT we will be with his family down there...

But heres the kicker, say your going away, and just take a trip somewhere nice OR say your going, and dont go anywhere at all hahahhahaa.. UNLESS of course you live with/next to/near/your parents are nosey and would actually go and check your house...... :evil:

jesse's mommy
November 4th, 2005, 02:09 PM
They would do a drive by. We are all originially from Pennsylvania. My sister moved here 10 years ago, I was transferred with my job 2 years ago -- with my family knowing it wasn't permanent for me because I don't like it here -- and my parents moved here about a year ago. So I'm stuck.

You see I'm hoping for the ultimate excuse, I'm up for a promotion within my company. If it happens, we will be relocating to Florida. I'm just waiting, and waiting and waiting...It can't come soon enough! I know they won't follow me to Florida because they call it an overgrown swamp, so I would be safe there! :evil: Keep your fingers crossed for me...