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Old 31.12.2014, 16:20
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ugh, bah humbug

So, my eighth Christmas here in lovely, snowy Switzerland with my husband's parents...and...

my kids get "too many" presents (which are opened on Christmas morning, and the husband's parents sleep well past present opening time).

The Christmas music is too loud.

There's no traditional meal, baking, or anything else (and, we cooked Christmas dinner ourselves, thank you, and I've tried taking over the kitchen for baking before...bad idea). So food is basically out as well.

I'm all for integrating, but no presents, music or food? Aren't there any traditions that my Swiss in-laws might embrace?

Anyway, a rather useless rant because (1) I've had eight years to figure out that there really is nothing that can be done (I've tried!) and (2) last Swiss Christmas.
Anyone else have some good Christmas stories to share? I could use some cheering up!
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Old 31.12.2014, 16:38
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

"You speak too much English"

I've only been her daughter in law for 25 years.
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Old 31.12.2014, 16:40
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Well, you could start on the bottle of bubbly that has been reserved to see in the new year.
If you haven't got one yet, act quickly, because the shops today observe Saturday opening times.
Incidentally, you'll remember that Ebenezer Scrooge, the Charles Dickens character you quote in the title, finally weakened and gave in to all this festive nonsense. Stay strong, but enjoy the booze.
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Old 31.12.2014, 17:16
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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"You speak too much English"

I've only been her daughter in law for 25 years.
I just learned that the pure-bred Swiss-German grandmother of my step-kids from wife #1 speaks Italian as she lived and worked here for three years when in her early 20's (i.e. 70 years ago), and she still speaks it well, enough so that she and my wife could speak with each other fine the other day at dinner.

Tom
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Old 31.12.2014, 17:17
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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So, my eighth Christmas here in lovely, snowy Switzerland with my husband's parents...and...

my kids get "too many" presents (which are opened on Christmas morning, and the husband's parents sleep well past present opening time).

The Christmas music is too loud.

There's no traditional meal, baking, or anything else (and, we cooked Christmas dinner ourselves, thank you, and I've tried taking over the kitchen for baking before...bad idea). So food is basically out as well.

I'm all for integrating, but no presents, music or food? Aren't there any traditions that my Swiss in-laws might embrace?

Anyway, a rather useless rant because (1) I've had eight years to figure out that there really is nothing that can be done (I've tried!) and (2) last Swiss Christmas.
Anyone else have some good Christmas stories to share? I could use some cheering up!
Seems like you've already been on the booze.

my kids get "too many" presents, The Christmas music is too loud. I'm all for integrating, but no presents, music or food?

Make up your mind. You either had presents/music or not.

Anyway, if you haven't worked out what the Swiss do for the Christmas hols by now, start your own traditions. Or simply ask the in-laws what the Swiss do.
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Old 31.12.2014, 17:29
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Aren't there any traditions that my Swiss in-laws might embrace?
The Christmas Hike - a tradition that no doubt was invented by fed-up guests. Or fed-up hosts.

Seriously - when holiday disfunction starts to rear it's ugly head, head for the hills. Or the meadows or forests or trails. Bundle up the family - at least those still speaking to one another - and a sledge or two if the weather cooperates. A brisk family Spaziergang works wonders to restore holiday cheer.

(A cup o' cheer on your return works wonders as well.)

Guten Rutsch!
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Old 31.12.2014, 18:11
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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I'm all for integrating, but no presents, music or food? Aren't there any traditions that my Swiss in-laws might embrace?

Of couse there are, the only problem they are not your Xmas traditions of baking various unwanted food and cooking ovesized Turkeys.

When in Rome and all that....
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Old 31.12.2014, 18:22
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Of couse there are, the only problem they are not your Xmas traditions of baking various unwanted food and cooking ovesized Turkeys.
There is no such thing as an oversized turkey.

And at 10.2kg, ours was quite small this year.

Last year's was 12, plus the duck and chicken inside it.

On the other hand, my wife's Italian relatives were shocked the first time I cooked them a whole baked chicken.

Tom
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Old 31.12.2014, 18:44
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Seems like you've already been on the booze.

my kids get "too many" presents, The Christmas music is too loud. I'm all for integrating, but no presents, music or food?

Make up your mind. You either had presents/music or not.

Anyway, if you haven't worked out what the Swiss do for the Christmas hols by now, start your own traditions. Or simply ask the in-laws what the Swiss do.
Sorry for being unclear-the in-laws don't like presents or music, so the first part was from their point of view. We did have presents (too many, they think) and music (too loud, apparently). My traditions are deemed to tacky, theirs are...uh.,.complaining anout mine?
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Old 31.12.2014, 20:42
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Thanks to my having an ex-husband plus various family sets who can't stand each other, my son got to celebrate Xmas 5 times last week, on 5 different days with different family members.

Even him agreed it was somewhat too much...
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Old 31.12.2014, 21:06
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Ok Mélusine, that's worse!

I'm really not a super-Christmas-crazy person, no turkey required (that's clearly a Thanksgiving dish, but that's another discussion), but I would like it to be a bit of a break from the dull and normal.

Oh, and st2lemans, we are huge fans of turducken for Thanksgiving over here. Huge. That also got thrown by the wayside.
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Old 31.12.2014, 21:11
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Can you not just see your In-Laws on Boxing Day… and have Christmas with just yourselves so you can do what you like? ….. Or go to the States for Christmas!!
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Old 31.12.2014, 21:15
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Can you not just see your In-Laws on Boxing Day… and have Christmas with just yourselves so you can do what you like? ….. Or go to the States for Christmas!!
I've been lobbying for many years, and have finally been promised a Christmas either in the US or on our own next year.

Music, a feast, and presents are on the list. Oh, and my grandma's cookie recipe. She's Amish, so its good stuff. Such a shame, though, that I didn't pick up any Swiss traditions in 8 years, since, like a stereotypical American, I'd incorporate anything. New country and all
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Old 31.12.2014, 23:50
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Do the Swiss not have Christmas traditions? Last year, my first Christmas in Switzerland, I hosted. I was not not permitted to participate in the making of Christmas dinner, raclet. We spend the rest of the evening on the sofa, while everyone quietly stared at me. There were no family traditions, no music, one present for each of my young boys and no one else, and everyone was appalled when I offered dessert.
This year I said f*** it and we went to California to be with my family. They are from the South so Christmas was full of tradition. No more Swiss Christmases for us.
BTW, we were so excited to come back to snow. 25 degrees in December is just silly.
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Old 31.12.2014, 23:56
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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We spend the rest of the evening on the sofa, while everyone quietly stared at me.
They were waiting for you to light the candles on the Christmas tree. Then you would have all stared at that instead of at each other.

Now there's a Swiss Christmas tradition (albeit probably not one that can/should be exported to somewhere as dry as California.)
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Old 31.12.2014, 23:56
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Do the Swiss not have Christmas traditions? Last year, my first Christmas in Switzerland, I hosted. I was not not permitted to participate in the making of Christmas dinner, raclet. We spend the rest of the evening on the sofa, while everyone quietly stared at me. There were no family traditions, no music, one present for each of my young boys and no one else, and everyone was appalled when I offered dessert.
This year I said f*** it and we went to California to be with my family. They are from the South so Christmas was full of tradition. No more Swiss Christmases for us.
BTW, we were so excited to come back to snow. 25 degrees in December is just silly.
You were lucky to get away with raclette. Everyone in the butcher's queue ahead of me today was collecting their order of horse.

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Old 01.01.2015, 00:35
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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You were lucky to get away with raclette. Everyone in the butcher's queue ahead of me today was collecting their order of horse.
The queue wasn't very long, though, because most of the people were hunting cats or dogs, right?
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Old 01.01.2015, 00:35
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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The Christmas Hike - a tradition that no doubt was invented by fed-up guests. Or fed-up hosts.

Seriously - when holiday disfunction starts to rear it's ugly head, head for the hills. Or the meadows or forests or trails. Bundle up the family - at least those still speaking to one another - and a sledge or two if the weather cooperates. A brisk family Spaziergang works wonders to restore holiday cheer.

(A cup o' cheer on your return works wonders as well.)

Guten Rutsch!
I am German, and when we were little, we would have a walk through town on Christmas Eve, counting the Christmas trees in the homes, but only the ones where the candles had been lit, already. I always found that these walks were way too long, keeping me from the presents at home, but now, these are my fondest memories. So, I absolutely second that notion.

Maybe, you could start a new tradition of watching the Christmas Carol on TV, every year? At least all of you would find someone to sympathize with, in that story, which does not seem to be easy in the setup you describe, swiss_in_training… Of course, it would have to be a German version, better yet Swiss German...
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Old 01.01.2015, 09:15
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Some of you are married to very weird Swiss guys with very weird families- it seems, honest.

Plenty of traditions over Christmas in Swiss homes, presents and very good food. I love raclette, but I do not know anyone here who has raclette for Christmas??? If you were hosting, why didn't you say 'I will cook you a turkey, as we do back home, with all the trimmings and trifle for pudding and great British cheeses. Lots of Christmas baking done in Swiss families over advent, but not on Christmas day- it is busy enough, surely. Presents are not opened first thing in the morning, but after late luch, when it gets dark and the candles are lit on the Christmas tree for those who still carry this tradition, as we do.

My parents always came to us in the UK for Christmas- so we mixed the tradtions. We had a tree with real candles- and the kids were allowed to open Santa's presents first thing in the morning- but then wait till after lunch and the tree to receive and give other presents. My parents always thought our kids had too many presents- and now I am a grandmother, as much as I love my grandkids, I too think that they get far too many, and that it is truly not necessary. Wouldn't dream of saying so- but I may have inadvertently hinted at it And yes, I did ask sil to turn the music down at one point in the day as we were putting the finishes to the meal and kids were running riot... and it was fine. TV remained switched off all day, thank goodness.

With 39 years in the UK, traditions seemed a bit thin on the ground- with many (too...) families watching crap on TV all day

If you want your Christmas to be different- make it happen. Just do it - they might even enjoy it. Or just see them for dinner on Christmas eve (as per Swiss tradition) and have the 25th on your own. Why be a victim or a martyr?

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Old 01.01.2015, 12:38
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Your Christmas sounds lovely and all, but I think mine is the bestest:

I stay in my pijamas aaalll day (shower optional), eat and watch tv

Top that
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